S4YL Interview / Bereflex
(photography by Arnaud Sommier)
One of the main reasons why the BMX world is still rising, 30 years after it began, is because it has been documented by BMX lovers, journalists, photographers and video makers always creating material and memories for us to have a sense of movement through its own history. Without them not much history or news about the BMX world would come to us and stay with us. Focusing on the visual aspect of it, a few photographers seem to be able to tell us stories and transcribe emotions through their pictures not only documenting but opening the doors of a more artistic world. Among those photographers, I had the chance to meet Bereflex, Paris based photographer that has been for a year now releasing some pretty heavy photos.
So Bereflex, How did you come to BMX photography ?
It was a total accident at first…I heard that near by there was about to be a event for the BMX French Cup, so I though I could try to see what it was to do sports photography. I tried to get a pass in order to take pictures, and somehow succeeded. I suddenly was standing right in front of a track where 8 insane riders, where going at a mad speed on bumbs, pushing each other ! I loved it, and shot as many pics possible trying to stay faithful to the feeling of speed, the strenght the contact with the ground etc… Then I published the pics on a few BMX websites. People seemed to like it because ART BMX, offered me the opportunity to publish a portfolio, then invited me to do the recap of an event, that is how I ended up stepping on the BMX Planet !
What do you feel is your job as BMX photographer ?
What I try to do as a sport photographer, it is to transcribe both the environment of the sport as well as the spirit of the rider. most of the time, I mean to learn from this environment, ending shooting in different ways, a street rider, a dirt rider or a race rider. I mean to approach the specificities of each environment… I take the time that I need to observe, and usually take the shot when he is not paying attention.
How important is your relationship to the BMX ?
My story with the BMX world did not start when I started to shoot them, it started a long time ago at the end of the 80’s when our dad would take us, my brother and I to see Bicross Indoor of Tours (France). We use to by the mythicals mag Bicross & Sk8 magazine … I am talking about the ancient times of BMX. Thinking of it, I realize how impressive it is to see that all the structure was already there. Brands, riders, (who are today the one designing the bikes that the younger generation uses) It is a faithfull family !
What is missing to the world of BMX photography ?
I don’t know that there is anything missing in the BMX world, we discover ( thanks to magazines such as Sparks) new spots everyday, new moves, new tricks, it is a daily discovery !
Do other photographers inspire you ?
Of course, in France and in the rest of the world, there are people such as Hadrien Picard obviously of whom I love the work. I like to believe that we share common stantards in term of the sensitivity and the quality of a photography. I’ve had the chance to chat with him here and there, and he owns one of my photos which makes me very proud. In the sport photography world, I’m also a big fan of Gérard Vandystadt
Being french, what is your perception of the french BMX world ?
I believe it is a true nest of talents, with a whole lot of gifted riders, and a graphic expectation that makes France a country where a lot of beautiful video and photo production are made. I believe in that regard France holds its french touch attitude once again