Real estate agent by day and portrait photographer by night. Nicolas Hermann unveils his dark side through a series of portraits exclusively for Alter Ego.
He is not the typical real estate agent who bores you with endless descriptions of high ceilings and south facing windows. If you invite him into your home be prepared to release your soul into his camera.
As a real estate agent I was always in the street to find new clients and in apartments to estimate their value. This influenced my way of doing street photography and portraiting. (…) my job allows me to meet many people with very different backgrounds. I am fascinated by this diversity and the connection between the person and his home.
He meets his victims on the streets of Paris or in bars and years of dealing with clients makes the approach fairly simple: “Bonjour Monsieur/Madame, je voulais vous dire que je vous trouve très intéressant…“. Originally from the south of France he moved north to pursue language studies and theater before opening the agency with his partner.
Years ago a close family friend encouraged him to pick up the camera and very soon Nicolas chose black and white auteur photography. Luckily the agency does not stand in his way and gives him freedom to continue.
Here Nicolas Herman will show a series of portraits exclusively for Alter Ego. These were shot at various locations around France in 2015. The selected photographs are presented by French writer Johanna Melchiorre:
Photographer since five years, Nicolas Hermann travelled India, Cuba, USA, and allover Europe to seek for faces, and develop his eye to embrace beauty in its purest approach : the capture of emotions – not only in the wrinkle of a smile, the fierce of a facial expression, but in the unseen of the soul, the inner struggle of the mind – to reveal the deepest mysteries of the individual.
Nicolas Hermann’s artwork takes mostly place in particular atmospheres, sometimes flirting with the frontiers of oddness, over boundaries of time and space. The use of black-and-white transcends the loss of abstract borders and control over temporality.
This series could represent the different phases of mind apprehension regards adversity. Turning the back to threat and refuse to face the fears, seeking for the comforting presence, or letting go, abandoning yourself, your naked soul and jump into the void.
The walls. In history and in the world, they have been erected in times of conflicts, to separate, protect people or defend from the enemies.
Here, stones, mineral, abstract or tumbledown walls take a major part in the composition of the picture and expression of inner feelings.
In the one representing an embracing couple, the background outlines this feeling of soft envelop protecting the intimacy of those New world lovers.
The man covering his ears not to listen, avoids a situation, tries to get away from his fears and mind tricks but faces a fence.
The naked woman holds herself to the wall, hesitating to let go and show her real self, or stay hidden, and appear as the delineation of superficial attributes.
The child is bold, impulsive, confronting. Is it because of his innocence that he is not afraid to take the plunge even if there is a wall ahead ?
Through those four captivating pictures, Nicolas Hermann finds the perfect balance between form and substance, feeding our eye with a series combining poetry and inner reality.
Nicolas Hermann was previously featured on Alter Ego with an intense photo series from Distortion 2015 – See his photo series here. Follow Nicolas Hermann on his personal blog and go to Paris this fall for a special event in collaboration with jazz ensamble Trio Pericopes+1, where the music and his photography will merge into large projections.
Alter Ego’s Proust-questionnaire: Who is Nicolas Hermann
Analog or digital?
Will there ever be colour in your photos?
– If you get closer, you will see lots of colours.
A very difficult subject.
Your favourite author?
– The Dalai Lama.
Where do you get your ideas?
– When I meet others.
Do you have a mentor or a guide?
– French photographer Hergo is my mentor and life is my guide.
– Being obsessed.
Where is your base?
A melody stuck in your head?
– Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum by Claude Debussy.
A bold dream.
– The gift of ubiquity.
who: Nicolas Hermann
what: real estate agent & portrait photographer
Alter Ego Portraits features stories and works of selected individuals around the world that have an alterego in their lives. Based on the definition of the Latin term alterego as a person’s secondary or alternative personality we focus on their profile uncovering their alterego; our candidates perform a task (job or activity) that is not their primary occupation/education and the tension between original and new self influences their work in unexpected ways.
We are interested in people and projects that cross boundaries between arts and crafts, abstract and concrete, ordinary and bold. In uncertain times of deep crisis, fast change, fierce competition we believe in people that can inspire us to go beyond ourselves.