His subject is the ordinary days of family life. And yet his photographs capture something so deeply beautiful and vulnerable it hurts a little.
Alain Laboile is a French photographer I have discovered very recently, and I am absolutely smitten by his work. Living in an old house in rural France with his wife, six children, and no telly, he skillfully captures the fleeting beauty of childhood, the simple happiness of being together, the quiet connectedness to nature.
As I look at his pictures, I feel like some of that primal happiness is brushing against me, too. But I also feel a tinge of sadness. Sadness about the life that seems so simple and doable, and yet nigh impossible, lost in all our civilized urban existence. I feel like it is right here, at the very tip of my fingers, but yet just slightly outside my grasp. A life so deep in its simplicity, so beautiful in its trueness, connected to some primal force. A life where days are longer, laughter is deeper, and everything seems to be in just the right places.
As I look at these pictures, I am strangely reminded of my own childhood. Of endless days wandering freely with gangs of other kids, of our family’s camping trips – misty mornings when you step out of a warm tent and onto a fresh grass… Of simple joys taken for granted because, of course, they were just a part of life. I feel like I got to taste that life and can still feel the memory of it on my tongue. A life that my girl will probably never have, because the world has moved on, hasn’t it?.. Thus the little tiny sadness, perhaps. But also the inspiration. And yet another reminder – we create our lives with our choices. And knowing what kind of life you want is already one step towards it.
As for now, I cannot get enough of Alain Laboile‘s pictures of life. You can find more of them here and here. Or else just google him yourself. And I strongly suggest that you do. Take time to look at these pictures, to feel the life they portray. And maybe come back here and share what you think of them. I would be very interested to here what effect they have on you.
This post is the first in my new series that I have decided to call Tickle My Soul. I have been thinking about it for a while now. Alain Laboile has kicked me into action. This will be a series of posts to share things and people that in one way or the other inspire me. You know those moments when you hear or see something and just go: ‘Wow, this is amazing! That’s the way to live/work/create!’ It is about things that make you stop in your tracks with awe, jump with amazement, and just give a round of applause in admiration. Things that i n s p i r e. Not necessarily to do the same. But often to stop and have a look at yourself. And maybe, just maybe, make a little change.