Photography: Benoit Grimalt, spontaneous and directed

Born in Nice, Benoit Grimalt spent 15 years in Paris shooting for various magazines before migrating to Brussels a year ago, where he’s now based. Now working on more personal projects, such as the book Do You Know Syd Barrett? – in which he documented everyday scenes and landscapes of Cambridge, where Pink Floyd’s founding member spent the rest of his life as a recluse – as well as moving images.

Photography by Benoit Grimalt (C).

When did you get into photography full-time?

Ten years ago. After I graduated from a photography school where we mainly studied studio photography. But now I prefer being outdoors, I prefer natural light.

What drew you to this medium?

I like family albums.

What is your first ever memory about photography?

The old pictures in family albums.

How would you define your style/practice?

Spontaneous and directed at the same time.

Who are your top 3 favourite photographers?

Irving Penn, Henrich Kuhn, and Bernard Plossu.

Who/what is your Holy Grail? (A person, location, scene that you dream of capturing someday)

Jean-Pierre Léaud.

What’s your fondest photography moment?

Shooting landscapes.

One that you would like to forget about?

A commission for a magazine with rockabillies

What are the habits you get into whilst shooting? Is there one word you constantly use, or one person you always need with you as a lucky charm?

“A little bit more on your right…a little bit more on your left…”

What do you listen to in the studio?

I have no studio but I used to listen to Tindersticks, the last two Talk Talk albums, Jim O’Rourke, Ned Collette, Hamilton Yarns.