Grenoble Life’s James Dalrymple talks to blogger-photographer extraordinaire Gaëlle Brunet about Grenoble Daily Photo, music photography and her upcoming exhibition at Musée Dauphinois.
Grenoble Life: How long has Grenoble Daily Photo blog been going and why did you start?
Gaëlle Brunet: I started the blog three and a half years ago, in February 2007, when I discovered the Daily Photo Blog community (www.citydailyphoto.com). At that time, there was only a handful of cities involved but now we are more than 1200 all over the world.
I was mainly aiming at helping people discover Grenoble and it was also a good way to share my pictures.
GL: What do you think makes Grenoble so photogenic – what are your sources of inspiration?
Gaëlle: One of the major assets of Grenoble is its diversity. You can easily take pictures of a brand new glass building and an hour later photograph a landscape with mountains in the background. But when it comes to photography, I must admit I’m usually more interested in modern buildings than nature!
GL: I often hear people say that Grenoble is not a beautiful city. What do you say to them?
Gaëlle: I often tell them not to be so categorical, even if I can understand why they tend to say that. I’m originally from Grenoble but have lived in other cities and other countries as well and it’s true that my hometown may not be that appealing at first sight! But as soon as you take some time to explore it, you inevitably discover areas, streets, buildings, that are interesting and even beautiful sometimes!
Some people might not agree with me but I also think that the public works done over the past few years have contributed to improve the general appearance of Grenoble (I’m thinking about the stadium, the works on Boulevard Joseph Vallier, the surroundings of the train station and the whole Europole neighbourhood, the Mistral area etc…).
GL: You also specialise in music photography (concerts, festivals etc.). Tell us about that.
Gaëlle: I’ve always been interested in both music and photography. Before I became a photographer I was working in a record shop. When I made the transition between these two jobs music photography naturally came as a good option for me and I now work with a photo-agency exclusively specialised in that field.
Taking pictures during concerts is very different from taking pictures outside or in a studio. You have no control on what is happening on stage, or on the lights for example. It’s an endless challenge! And I like that because it’s very stimulating.
GL: You’ll be exhibiting some photos at Musée Dauphinois soon – tell us more!
Gaëlle: Yes, I’ll be exhibiting some photos from the new black and white series I’ve been working on since last June.
It will be a collective exhibition, with works from artists living or working in the St Laurent/Right Bank area. The opening of the exhibition will take place during the European Heritage Days (September, 18) and our photos and videos will remain visible at Musée Dauphinois until the end of the month. You can find all the details on this website: www.quartierdesarts.org
GL: Do you have any tips for other amateur photographers in Grenoble: associations to join, galleries to visit etc.?
Gaëlle: Well I know that some photographers gather regularly and organise what they have called Grenoble Photo Walks all around town but I’ve never joined them.
I don’t think Grenoble’s got galleries specialised in photography (I might be wrong) but if you’re hungry for art in general, there are a lot of places you can visit : Le Magasin, Spacejunk Gallery, CAB (Centre d’Art Bastille) among others. You can also find interesting exhibitions in a few cafés and restaurant like DiFérenT (4, place Sainte Claire).
GL: Do you ever get tired of taking pictures of Grenoble?
Gaëlle: Sometimes, yes. But I’m not running out of subjects to photograph yet so it never lasts very long. And I also regularly take pictures in other cities and countries just for a pleasant change!
GL: How have your pictures changed since you started the blog?
Gaëlle: Honestly, I can’t really tell. Some things haven’t changed. I’m still interested in architecture photography, I’m still hunting graffiti, stencils and all kinds of street art on the walls of the city for example. But I hope the quality of my pictures is better now!