At the editorial board, we have always heard of Nicolas Guérin and we had met his muse and spouse Sheri Chiu during a shooting with Martial Lenoir. During our research we have seen many series and editorials from this French photographer and we had already published photographs from Sheri in previous publications. Therefore, we have contacted them for this Paris issue, which seemed more appropriate to present his work, as vast as it is singular. Spontaneously, and after exchanging a few emails, Nicolas offered to realise a series on the banks of the Seine, to which we answered enthusiastically and without any hesitation.
Because we needed tranquillity, an almost inherent necessity for outdoors nude photography, the duo gives us an appointment on the Ile de la Cité in the early morning hours, a few minutes after sunrise. We thus walked on the isle, along the banks and the streets, watchful and attentive to the least remote revolving lights, warmly greeted by some passersby appreciating the view and the landscape, for the greatest pleasure of our model. Nicolas now shares his time between portraits, fashion, and personal projects, especially nude. He works from his studio in Saint-Denis, constantly moving and collaborating with prestigious international reviews. Nicolas is currently realising a series of erotic nude projects and continues to travel around the world to create pictures.
What is your outlook on photography ?
I see photography as a drowning man would look upon a lifebelt sometimes, or as an alcoholic would look at an empty bottle! Photography is everywhere in my life, all the time, whether I’m working on it or not. I am travelling through and for photography, most of the time with my wife, Sheri, who poses for me. So I have an intimate and daily relationship with photography, which is vital to me… and I really don’t know how to do anything else! I started photography at 30, by myself. I needed to change my life, photography saved me from boredom. Very young, I have been struck by the discovery of Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Guy Bourdin thanks to the covers of Photo magazine. I was 15, and I knew nothing, but I really felt that their creative gestures were strong a little bit scandalous. There was a perfume of liberty and transgression. When I felt the urge for freedom, I went to photography.
What are the aspects that still captivate you and the ones annoying you ?
I exclude from my life as much as what annoys me… The thing which has been captivating me again and again is the encounter with the subject, the model, and the concept of distance, shrugged off and progressively replaced during a session. It is an accepting relationship as well as a mirror. It is fascinating to look at the evolution of your own work over time. Why was I taking pictures like that 10 years ago and how I ended up doing it differently today? Which patterns are repeating themselves and where the liberties are acquired? The transition toward a certain type of image, more intimate and more erotic has been made when I met my wife, Sheri. The question of distance has shrugged off and replaced by that of the look, the imagination. Having the same model as a subject for many years forces to not go in circles, to experiment more. Taking pictures of Sheri on a regular basis questions our relationship, and I am the first witness of its evolution. The nature of collaborations has changed lately, she is entirely associated with the creative process, we are exchanging inspirational images, we are scouting together when we are shooting outdoors and we are editing the images together… It is a new way of working, more gratifying for both of us, and a way of living photography as a couple.
- Meet Nicolas Guerin in Normal Magazine issue 6 -