It's Just Love
It’s a testament to Sophie’s craft that she can take a subject as visceral and divisive as the sex industry, a subject that has been visited by great photographers already, and come away with images that are not only original but, most notably, pictures that are genuinely intimate.
That’s intimate in the true sense of the word: familiar, personal; like we’ve been taken not only behind the scenes, but also into the confidence of the subjects.
This is something you can see in much of Sophie’s work. The images are so much more than the sum of their parts. There’s beautiful light in abundance, compositions are effortless, thoughtful and witty. Working almost exclusively with film, the finish to the images has depth and feeling. But it’s more than all of this that makes Sophie’s images so special. There’s empathy as well. Whether it's porn-stars, professional boxers, teenagers in the school-yard or three generations of family on Summer holidays, we are there with the subjects, not as voyeurs but as fellow human-beings, sharing a sly glance and a smile about the ridiculousness of life, or just sharing whatever moment or place that it happens to be, in some cases just the feel of the sun-light or breeze on your skin.
It’s a gift to be able to do that, but Sophie has found a methodology which takes her to that place where it all ‘just happens’ time and time again. All I can say is how excited we are about where she might take us all next, uncovering the unexpected in the familiar, and not so familiar.
Pornography is the largest and most profitable market in the world today. However, the industry and its works are still subject to widespread scrutiny and taboo.
To humanise the individuals in front of the lens and show a lighter side within the industry, French-born photographer Sophie Ebrard followed porn director Gazzman for the past four years on his sets around the world.
The results are no ordinary erotic images, in fact there’s very little sexual gratification in them. ‘It’s Just Love’ is both a study of composition and of the human relation to the industry of sex. It is porn turned on its head in a blaze of long shots, private moments and elegant compositions. Sophie’s lack of prejudice makes her work more honest and therefore unique.
Ebrard lays bare the reality of porn from the peripheral of the film cameras using medium format analogue film in order to catch those unguarded and most human of moments. An interaction between a number of like-minded people; a means to making a living and an enjoyable profession just like another.
In an era where porn has never been discussed more elaborately, Sophie’s vision of the industry is a refreshing alternative: reminiscent of the Renaissance paintings, full of honesty and most decisively, beauty. “Any glimpses of nudity humanise, rather than objectify, the subjects of ‘It’s Just Love’.
Sophie Ebrard is a French born, self-taught photographer and director. Her photographs are as eclectic and full of life as the photographer herself. Sophie captures all aspects of life on film; from the smoky hills of La Clusaz and the bustling streets of Thailand, to the alternative nine-to-fives of the residents of Cape Verde, and the skating culture of Brixton Beach.
Experimenting with natural light and preferring the surprise-factor of film for her personal work are two factors among many that give Sophie’s images a sense of genuine warmth. This is both rare and beautiful amongst the current climate of overly produced and manipulated images. Yet she is not flippant in her art, choosing to connect with the subject in her photographs on a personal level. Even her pictures that are absent of people aren’t without their own touch of personality and narrative. Sophie’s work is straight from the heart, and comes from her unyielding passion for photography, storytelling and light.
“It’s Just Love” is Ebrard’s first solo exhibition and will be presented in her own home as part of Amsterdam’s renowned Unseen Photo Fair in 2015.
The featured photographer for February 2016 was Sophie Ebrard edited by James Gerrard-Jones, Partner at Wyatt-Clarke & Jones