You can feel when a photographer is something more than a person with a camera, in this case, there is an architect beyond the lens. Fred Guillaud is able to combine and redefine architecture in a way that, through his photographs, the different, gorgeous nuances and banalities of everyday places are suddenly visible. He has developed the subtle ability to create order out of the caos, to restructure the elements of a scene to obtain beauty. The composition of his photographs is overwhelming: the way he integrates different colors and shapes and patterns or lines that cross the image, all in perfect unison in order to define a whole. Barcelona is his setting and he knows how to create out of the quotidian, he does not need a huge architectural display, he uses the hidden, the non-obvious beauty instead.
How did the idea of taking photographs of architectural ensembles come up, instead of just work with them?
“It came out of the intention of building a visual journal, some kind of photographic notes to complete my activity as an architect. I started more than 15 years ago, back then I used to have disposable cameras with me.”
Why do you decide to shoot some of your series on film?
“I have never had a digital camera. All my photographs are analogue.
Which is your favourite roll-camera combination?
“I love compact cameras cause you can carry them with you anytime. Nowadays I have a medium format camera fujifilm645zi. About the rolls... I normally use fujifilm 160pro in summer and fijifilm 400h in winter.”
It is visible that your work is not only made of architectural studies. You transform everyday spaces into extremely gorgeous pictures, showing not only a great command of architecture, but also of photography, which passion developed first?
“Architecture. I started studying it in 1993. My interest in photography appeared while studying in Canada in 1997, when I first took photography lessons.”
-How photography and architecture complement one another?
“I have realized that beyond the photographic reports that capture some situations or the state of things, photography can be itself a tool of diagnose with its own project and narrative dimension...”
Regarding these two disciplines that you master, do you have any preference?
“I have found a kind of balance in which, as an architect, my knowledge on the complexity of the making of a city enriches my vision as a photographer. At the same time, my photographic works enrich my perception of the city as a living element.”
What do you think about the future of analogue photography?
“I think it is the same as the future of analogue music. The sales curves switch, the vinyls are in vogue again due to their sound quality and depth. The nuances that you can perceive with a disc does not appear in a CD. The same happens with photography, even if I admit that this phenomenon coincides with the “post digital” era, which makes analogue photography be in fashion nowadays.”
What does architecture mean to you?
"That's a very difficult question! In short, I would say that architecture is our collective ability to think, coordinate and build the different enviroments of our life."
How do you think that living in Barcelona has influenced your career?
"Barcelona is a very photogenic city that combines working-class neighbourhoods and modern architecture, masive turism and everyday life, all in an intense palimpsest. This is why one has to be always on the lookout, you could want to photograph something anywhere!"
Which is the process that you follow in order to choose the locations?
"The spaces and buildings that I photograph are part of my everyday enviroment. During my commute or just strolling and discovering new neighbourhoods. I love to see beauty where there is not, at least apparently. I never go out without my camera."
What catches your attention the most while creating your photographs?
"I try to organise the caos that surrounds us in an inclusive way. I like the evolution of the spaces so much, the use that people makes of the city and, obviously, architecture. I feel particularly fascinated by the scenes that all of a sudden make up some kind of order, the colors, geometry, lights or even the action of the people in the scene."