01 June 2011

2nd attempt

Jacques Henri Lartigue (my guru)

"i was born happy. That helps, doesn´t it?"

Jacques Henri Lartigue was born near Paris in 1894. At an early age he recognized that life was made up of beautiful moments, but at the same time he was aware that these moments were fleeting.  As a way to try to capture them, he turned to photography. Lartigue was eight. At around the same time he started to keep journals, which he wrote in throughout his life. One such journal was titled "the book of my dreams" and another "reasons why I´m so happy". Here is an excerpt of an interview with an 88 year old Lartigue on photography, life, and passion. Enjoy!

JHL ....As a little boy I had the passion for preserving the fleeting images of life so I took photographs... I want to catch time as it passes.
Do you find your subjects or do they find you?
JHL The subject always finds me. I am only a spectator. I don´t run after it.
Are there subjects that cry out to be photographed?
JHL They all cry out... and often very fast... I have a quick eye. I react quickly.
Is everything worth photographing?
JHL Everything that pleases me, fills me with enthusiasm, delight, and wonder. The rest I let pass by.
Is it an act of love?
JHL Absolutely!... Of passion! Everything is passion- writing, painting, photography. All you have to do is choose.
An invitation to dream?
JHL To dream to see reality when it´s beautiful.... An invitation to rejoice... to love. Everything is fascinating... nature... the talent of others... Music above all!
Your enthusiasm has become legendary. Did you acquire it or were you born with it?
JHLThere was a fairy at my cradle. I have looked after her gifts. I have tended them well. Life is a garden.
They also grow through suffering?
JHL Through suffering and through all other means. All you need is passion.
Is there a decisive moment for a photograph?
JHL Definitely. But it´s a reaction to a second.
How does one recognize it?
JHL It´s like a tennis match. You anticipate the moment. You do it before you´ve had time to think. 
Do you look at your photographs?
JHL I never do. There are cooks who pick cherries to preserve them and make jam. I am a cook who makes jam, but I prefer to eat fresh fruit.

Finding the courage to be truly happy can be daunting. A little Lartigue seems to help. ;)

P.S. Thank you for your get well wishes! Turns out I wasn´t dying after all. And Jorge was right again... ;)


le blÖg d'Ötli said...

One of mine too :)
Have a beautiful day.

ibb said...

Great to hear you are ok!
Is there a book I can read and learn about? I try...but...how are you this weekend?

Anonymous said...

wonderful! thank you for sharing, Jane :) that has made my evening.


The Tame Lion said...

I smiled, because of you.

Sherlyn said...

Simply loved the clever saying of JHL about cook and cherries! What perspective he got ! Coming to photography I must admit I'm bad at it.Great post:)
Your Current Emotion
What is your current emotional condition?

Anonymous said...

he never looks at his photos? really? i guess thats a bit like not wanting to read our own writing... hmmm.. makes sense.

Joy said...

Thankyou! I did not know of him, and he seems to be a delight!

PS Glad you are feeling better!

Anne said...

Lovely interview!

Zosia said...

Hi Jane, something seems to be wrong with the post. I see it in a weird format and don't see the photos.
When I was still in Canada, I read about JHL somewhere and went to the library to borrow a book about him and his photos. I was enchanted.
Hope I can see this post in the usual format.

KathyA said...

Zosia is right -- weird font and no pics!
But I'm glad you're still with us.

likeschocolate said...

I am so glad you didn't die. Hope you have a fantastic week.

jgy said...

So positive and inspiring!
Like you Jane, like you:))

L'Atelier said...

what an amazing inspiring man!

Glad you better! xo

DAKOTA said...

Thank you so much Jane!! I definitely have to visit!! And you know – I really love Spain. I could even live there for a while!! Hope I get to Madrid/Barcelona sometime before I travel out of Europe. I love Spain, the culture, the people, food, history, art, design ++

Have a great weekend! :) :)

p.s lOOOOOVED the photo of the goldfish in a previous post.

p.s.s Thanks again for commenting on my blog :) :) :)

likeschocolate said...

Thanks for reposting, so that we could see his work and what is inspiring you at this moment. What classic photos. I love them!

Leslie said...

well, i'm glad you didn't die ;)

and thanks for the words of wisdom from an amazing artist! i agree, it can take courage to be truly happy...

stay warm - wish i could send you some florida sunshine...

Virginia said...

Cuánto talento. Interesante entrevista, me gusta su forma de entender la fotografía y la vida en general, la pasión por el trabajo bien hecho.
Un abrazo.

Zosia said...

Thanks for the repost with photos. The third photo: personification of youth: beautiful young women on holidays, tanned legs, sitting, chatting, laughing. They are probably gone by now, yet here they will be young and beautiful and happy for ever.

juanita de la vega said...

Art is the best medicine. I know people who not only reach happiness throught it; but saved their lives.
Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

So great to hear you will live to delight us all with your photos!

Isabelle said...

great quote , great shots ... now I want to learn more about his work

tanïa said...

Thanks for this interesting and inspiring interview! Beautiful photos, too!

I'm so glad you beat the cold!
Now that you're sane again: we have regrettably no extra ticket, but two extra seats in our car on our way to Morrissey. Wanna come with us? ;o)

♥ w o o l f ♥ said...

ha. the fleeting moments/movements of lartigue. i am in awe of his 'flying' people...
yeah, yeah, yeah, i see it in ya.


I knew a girl who was blue. So she painted her world pink. xoxo