In spite of this, Nicolas is aware of the dangers of this approach, and makes an attempt to avoid falling into the trope of cliched images that we see so often these days. “I know that I don’t want to fall into what pseudo street photographers do after watching too much Alex Webb, whose work I admire but who has messed up some people’s brains a little too much. Instagram is full of these images that don’t tell a story and are satisfied with a very strong contrast or an element that comes out of a wall plunged in shadow, or, with a small coloured graphic effect. It all seems very hollow to me.”
Long been interested in Iran, Nicolas decided it was somewhere he needed to go, and over multiple visits he managed to cover both the tourist trail as well as rarely covered areas. These more difficult regions included former war zones, and while shooting here was much more of an ordeal, as you can expect, it provided him with some of his favourite images. “I was the only foreigner for a month everywhere I went, so it was difficult to blend in. That’s why I was arrested 2-3 times (in Abadan or in the southern districts of Tehran in particular) to check my identity or my photos,” says the photographer.
One of the benefits that Nicolas found in these untouched areas was the remoteness, which in such a large country, was not difficult to find: “The emptiness created in many of my images allows me to focus on certain urban elements or social archetypes.”
Having just published a book on Japan, Nicolas hopes to interest a publisher to turn these images into a book too, emphasising a desire to ensure that they do not just stay in the digital sphere. “The tangible support of a book as an object seems important to me,” he says. “This is in order to fight against an increasingly virtual world.