This week’s All Eyes On is with French photographer Discret. Real name Arnaud Brecht, his fun photographs always raise a smile at EyeEm HQ. We caught up with this intriguing 36 year old to discover more about this niche style of toy photography.
How did you get into photography? Do you shoot on your phone?
I began shooting with a compact SLR. Over the course of 15 years, I took photos with several different digital cameras to capture travels, anniversaries and some portraits.
In July 2011 I was at my parents’ house and saw little Smurf figurines lined up in the living room that my 6 year old nephew was playing with. I took a few photos, put them online and then discovered a huge community of toy photographers. For one year I shared several photos each week while simultaneously buying and photographing new toys.
In 2012 I started to get into mobile photography. I really enjoyed the spontaneity of shooting with my phone, but I really missed the quality of my DSLR. I found EyeEm in 2013 when Instagram became too buggy and too spammy.
Do you have some good tips for other aspiring location shooters? What things do you think about when you are trying to capture a shot?
Imagine and prepare your ideas in advance. If the scene isn’t exactly perfect, experiment until you find what you’re looking for. Create simple scenes at first, for instance, at home with two characters who are interacting with each other. At the beginning I used my daily route to work to photograph scenes. Depending on the season and the time I would find puddles, trees, street lights and monuments located close to me.
It’s often the simplest scene that brings the most success – a photo that is spot on, that evokes an emotion or a smile.
What are your three favorite photos and why?
I like all of my photos. I remember each one and what I did for each photo shoot. I try to always be positive with dash of irony.
What’s the strangest thing that has happened to you while in pursuit of these photos?
Once, I was about to put an army trooper (one of the figurines) in position next to the fountain at the Tuileries, and he fell in with his mini camera. I managed to recover the trooper, but not his camera.
I went back to my office and made a net with a piece of a bottle and a belt. When I returned that night, the camera was below all the algae. I tried for 15 minutes and was about to give up when the caretaker of the small boats arrived with a real net and helped me get my mini camera out.
Moral of the story: better to do less risky photos in the grass
Why do you like EyeEm? And who are your favorite users on EyeEm?
I really like EyeEm for the quality of images and the ability to choose a format of my choice (portrait, landscape, square, etc.). The app just keeps getting better and better on iPhone. My favorite users on EyeEm are @Celicelo, @kaa75 and @superchinois801.
Thanks Arnaud! Follow Discret on EyeEm, or simply enjoy our selection of our favorite Discret photos below!