Young Parisian photographer Alex Baudry captures the City of Lights from the unique perspective of the metropolis’ many rooftops, flaunting cinematic flair and precision symmetry.
A 19-year old student who dedicates his spare time to photography, travel and jamming to French hip-hop, Alex regularly wows thousands of international followers on Instagram with his distinctive photos of Paris and its surroundings.
We caught up with Alex, who gave us a peek into his story, his inspiration and his run-ins with the law while pursuing the perfect shot.
How did you get started in photography?
Thanks to Instagram! I discovered Thomas Francius’ work (@thomvsfrs), a Parisian photographer. To be honest, he has been an important source of inspiration for me since the start. Then I met more people from Paris but also from different countries.
Your Instagram is an incredible love letter to the architecture of Paris, capturing the city’s buildings and scenery from unique, unexpected vantage points. Why the focus on Paris, and what do you find most attractive about Paris?
I focus on Paris because it is my city. Even though I often travel to other countries, I really feel at home here. The most attractive things about Paris is the view from the roofs, the architecture of the buildings, and the ton of staircases that the city has to offer.
For out-of-towners traveling to or exploring Paris, what are some of your recommendations?
I’d recommend they explore the city by themselves. Accessing roofs in the center [of the city] is pretty easy in Paris compared to other cities like London. I’d also recommend they explore the underground systems, the Petite Ceinture (abandoned railways in the center of Paris), La Défense (Paris’ Business District). You can also message me on Instagram if you need to know anything – if you want to meet, I will show you the city with pleasure!
You’ve certainly developed a distinct visual style. How would you describe your photography?
I try to keep it simple… even though I am still adjusting it, I like to have bright, slightly desaturated shots. I really pay attention to lines: on the roofs, in the street, while shooting staircases, etc.
What sticks with you as a memorable photo-taking experience, and why?
[Accessing the rooftops of] La Défense, the Parisian’s financial district. It is definitely one of the best views of the Parisian suburbs. Also memorable because we had “issues” with the police for it!
You’ve been showcasing your work on Instagram for a year, and you’ve already gathered quite the following. When did your work really start attracting attention and taking off?
My work really started to attract attention on Instagram when I started to go on the roofs. Being able to go where only few people can go and to shoot unique views they do not see every day is something appreciable.
What can you tell us about your fan base? Who are the biggest followers of your work?
At the beginning, my fan base was mainly from Paris. But now a lot of my followers come from the United States or from places I traveled to, like London and Tokyo.
What’s a really good piece of advice you’ve received – either about photography or life in general – that’s really stuck with you?
About both photography and life, one of the best piece of advice I received is to meet as much people as you can. You will always learn a lot from them and it is an unique opportunity to share your vision.
Here’s another deep, profound question we ask all our photographers – what’s your take on selfie sticks?
To be honest, I never used one. However, I have recently seen some unique shots taken with selfie sticks from really high buildings from New York, Shanghai and Dubai.
What can we expect from you over the coming months?
I am moving to Brussels in September for a year, so you can expect some new content and hopefully many travels to Germany! I would also like to launch my own website soon to showcase all of my work, tell my story and maybe share prints or Adobe Lightroom presets with people.
What are some tunes you’re digging at the moment?
I mainly listen to old school French rap. Artists such as Lunatic (Booba, Ali), Fonky Family (Le Rat Luciano, Sat L’Artificier, Don Choa), and Hugo TSR. I also recommend the “14 SHIT MIXTAPE” my G @vic.invades dropped on Soundcloud. He is also a New York based photographer.
Who have you been following on Instagram lately?
@vuhlandes – a Detroit based photographer with hood portraits. Then, @6ntoine – a NYC based photographer I met in Paris a while ago with a super clean style. Lastly, @insighting – also a NYC based photographer with unique photography and editing skills.
Lastly, where can folks see your work and follow you?
For now, you can follow me on Instagram, and I might create a 500px account soon. I’d like to thank Provenance Mag for the opportunity to talk a bit about my story, my photography and to promote my work.