Diamond dealer, Rodolphe Sebbah has developed a passion since many years for street photography. His work in the street and the subway has already been shown in several publications in France and abroad.
Strongly influenced by street photographers of the "New York School" of the 50’s/60’s such as Helen Levitt, Garry Winogrand, Vivian Maïer and Robert Frank, he defines himself as a photographer "at the level of the sidewalk ". He favors a direct and objective photography based on the immediate grasp of reality, instead of style and aesthetics.
When he begins to be interested in photography a few years ago, he is immediately and naturally drawn to the streets. Only the street “show” attracts and fascinates him.
Little by little, Rodolphe will discover the work of famous street photographers such as Robert Franck, Helen Levitt, Vivian Maïer, Elliott Erwitt, Saül Leiter or Garry Winogrand. Very fast, he understands that he is taking part in a photographic tradition, that he is a member of a "family", that of the urban reporters, " street photographers ".
From this moment, self-taught but hungry for knowledge, he reads everything he can find about those that he considers as his masters, sees all their exhibits, buys their books, learns about the technique and spends time every day on the street
In the pure tradition of this genre, he only shoots "snapshots".
Manuel Bidermanas, the son of the famous photographer IZIS, himself recognized photographer, to whom Rodolphe showed one day his photos, encouraged him to continue whilst warning him against the difficulties of this occupation.
Encouraged by the enthusiasm coming from the street itself, Rodolphe posts his photos on specialized websites. Less than year later, a Chinese journalist notices his work about the Paris subway and makes an interview and four double pages in the Chinese magazine Vision, beside the famous New York street photographer Markus Hartel.
Regularly, blogs administrators from around the world ask for the authorization to use such or such photo and recently Will Prinn, a young American painter in Baltimore, created a work inspired by one of Rodolphe's photos
January, 2012 three of Rodolphe Sebbah's photos were used by the Science Museum of United Kingdom in the book published for the Museum’s 100th anniversary : Who am I ?
July, 2012 the French magazine Competence Photo wrote a long article on its website, in the "The Revelation " category, dedicated to new talents. www.competencephoto.com/La-rue-Rodolphe-Sebbah-serie-couleur_a2095.html
September, 2012 the magazine Vivre Paris published six pages about Rodolphe’s work.
April, 2013: exhibition "Je salue ma rue " in the Rotonde de la Villette (Paris, France) organized by MyPhotoAgencyOctober 2013 : an article and a portfolio on WebMagazine La Chaîne Photo. http://dl.lachainephoto.com/wp-content/uploads/magazines/la_chaine_photo_numero4_001.pdf
" I consider myself as a photo-reporter in urban environment. My original approach is not aesthetic, I do not specially try to take a "beautiful photo " but try and to capture a beautiful or strong moment of urban life.
To those who often ask me what is the meaning of a picture, I answer what Helen Levitt used to answer: "what you see what is what you see, there's nothing to see or to understand beyond what is shown ".
" As all the street photographers, I shoot on the moment, there are inevitably some misses, due either to a bad apprehension of the event, to clumsiness, or to precipitation. But as said Willy Ronis "It is at the same time the greatness and the servitude of the task … it is the permanent risk of failure, the constant uncertainty of the result that make me love so much that dubious battle”
My subject it is the street, the street where everything is a plea to shoot. I photograph men, women, things, the anonymous in their everyday life, I try to record the complexity but also the commonness of urban life and human condition in a fraction of a second.
I try hard to capture the street’s “theatre” without caring of what is beautiful or ugly, comfortable or disturbing. My only requirement is spontaneity.
I look at humanity such as it shows itself for us, every day, without make-up. I am a "pavement level” photographer, and I leave the viewer to his imagination.
Unlike other photographers who will mention “the direction of their work", I do not particularly try to compose a portfolio which has a sense, I want to remain a spectator