I can’t remember the first time I came in contact with Fabien, but it had to be about a year ago when I came across one of his edits or photos. It’s funny how you can come into contact with somebody on the complete other side of the world because of something as simple as that. Either way, since then, we’ve featured a lot of Fabien’s work on our site between the edits he has produced or the photogalleries he shot photos of.
We were talking recently about getting another photogallery together and I figured it was beyond time we got to know this guy a little better! So check out this fresh Photos: interview to learn all about him, then check out 30 of his photos from a recent Greece trip in this new PHOTOGALLERY! Check it!
Name: Fabien Lefevre
Location: Le Havre, Normandie
Years riding: 13 sweet years
Years shooting photos: 17 maybe haha! But only 5 years in the BMX game.
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories come to mind?
My first introduction to BMX was when I was like 8-9. I remember cruising on the ramp just near my house on my white Motobecane… That feeling… Then I stopped for like 3 or 4 years and just really got into it when my parents bought me my beautiful second hand Dyno…Hey, that was nice.
What about photography? Was it due to BMX at all?
I got my 1st camera, a Canon Ae1 when I was about 10 years old. It was a present from my father, which was stolen during a break in 2 years after… I started shooting BMX when I met Fab Dulong & Clem Carpentier. This changed everything to me. At this time, I already started to film with a little HD video camera but with those guys, you want to do both! I would say that it’s a normal evolution of my passion for BMX and Photography. Added to good meetings that makes the thing! From that time on we have been at it and each year it is just getting better and better.
What was your first camera setup?
As I say my first Camera was a nice AE-1 with a 50 1.8. My first digital camera was an Eos 350D.
How about these days? What are you working with?
I’m workin with a Canon 7D with a 8mm Samyang Fisheye, a Tokina 11-16 2.8, a Canon 24-70 2.8L, a Sigma 30mm 1.4, a Canon 70-200 4L.
With that I have a Einstein 640 strobes with a mini vagabond, some canon Flashes with some Cactus V5 Radio Trigger, some Manfrotto Tripod and stands and two lowepro Bag.
I have a Canon 550D for the Second angle when I film.
A Macbook and and Imac, but trust me or not, I only use Photoshop when I have to do some sequences. I don’t understand the guys that spend all LOT of time on that thing to add some blue sky or remove something from the shot…
I have some film cameras too: I’m in love with my Mamiya 645 Super, I have a 45mm,a 80mm, a 150mm and an Ukrainian Arsat 30mm fisheye to go with it, and I mainly Shoot with some Kodak Portra and Ilford Film.
I also have a Yashica Electro 35GSN, a rangefinder with a nice 45mm 1.7 lens.Some Russian Zenit 122 and ET bodies and I’m always looking at my Canon AE-1, I know he is somewhere!!! Haha
Do you have a dream setup or are you pretty content with what you have?
I’m pretty content with what I have, but we can always have more right?
So a full frame Camera with 8fps and a 1/500 Flash Sync would be nice or a nice Blad with some big ass 60 MP Digital back… Or an XPAN or some Leica…And a second Einstein Strobe. Most importantly, a Sherpa to Help Me with all that heavy Stuff during our street cruisin.
I’m sure over the years you have had the opportunity to shoot with a ton of riders. Who are some of your favorite people you have had the chance to shoot with?
I consider myself lucky. Over the years, I have had the chance to shoot with some of my favorite riders. Ben Hittle, Kriss Kyle, Darryl Tocco, Alex Donnachie, Mike Miller, Max Wood or Dan Paley. At the end of the day, I consider myself VERY lucky to shoot with my friends like Clément Baes, Fab Dulong, Luc Legrand, Flanvien Langlois, Camille Levasseur, Guillaume Marie Sosnowski, Fred Moulec or my Man Clement Carpentier who scared me doing big stuff everytimes we go out!
Who are 5 people you really hope you get the chance to shoot photos with some day?
This is a hard question. I would say Dennis Ennarson, Dave Thompson, Van Homan, Sean Burns, Calvin Kosovich, Reed Stark and Tom Dugan. Yes, I gave 7 Names, but hey, it’s not a big deal, right?
Where are some of the places you have had the chance to travel to take photos?
On a BMX side I move to Barcelona and Girona in Spain, Thessaloniki and Volos in Greece, Brussels in Belgium, at the Burrows in the Dorset Woods to chill with the Yeah Roy Crew and a lot in the North and South of France.
Outside of BMX I have been to Hong kong , New York, Turkey, a lot of European Country: Sweden, Italy,Germany, Portugal, Netherland Etc…
Where are some of the places you haven’t been but really want to get to someday?
I really wanna go to Iceland, South America, Russia, Japan, Austalia and Oregon! I don’t know why but I really want to see that North West coast.
Let’s say you got a huge budget to take 5 riders anywhere in the world for a week to shoot photos for some sort of magazine or something. Who would you bring, where would you go and why?
Haha! 5 is too short! But we won’t change a winning team… So I will bring Clem Carpentier, Clem Baes, Luc Legrand, Fab Dulong and Flavien Langlois to some sort of exotic country like the BSD Team in Puerto Rico or maybe even in Russia or Argentina because they are inspiring countries I wanna see. I know that no matter where I am with this dudes, it will be a lot of fun!!!
Who are some of the photographers that really inspire you?
BMX: Vince Fuckin Perraud, Rob Dolecki, Jeff Z and Manu Sanz!
Non Bmx: Henri Cartier Bresson, My Dad, Jowana Lofti and a lot of War Photographer.
Do you shoot photos for a living these days or are you working another job to pay the bills?
No, No, I don’t shoot for a living, It’s kinda impossible in France if you don’t have a big name like Vince or Hadrien Picard.
People always want you to work for free, and all the big companies only have money for the U.S things.
I remember some years ago I got some good photos in a big companies catalog, with my name next to Walter Pieringer or Jeff Z. At the end when all the stuff was printed, The T.M (that asshole) told me “Sorry. We don’t give anything for that kind of stuff”….. Fuck that guy and the fuck company, they know who they are.
So I’m working as a logistics forwarder to pay the bills and I earn little money with my photo and video work from the good guys like Unleaded or Clandé distro in France.
Did you go to school for photography at all or was it something you taught yourself?
Not at all! My Father and my pratice taught me a lot. The more you practice better you are and it’s work for a lot of thing! For me, if you don’t make any mistakes, you can’t become better.
Do you feel like college is necessary for becoming a professional photographer?
NOT AT ALL. It will give you a background and some tips but it will take you a lot of money (in France where the education is “free”) it’s like 8000€ for a year in that kind of school and you have to do 3 years to get the degree!!! Instead of 24000€ in a school, just spend 200 or 300€ in a nice old Canon or Mamiya camera and a lot of film or a cheap digital Camera and take it where ever you want and learn by yourself.
Where do you hope to take things in the next 5 years?
ON ANOTHER LEVEL!
How can people keep up with you and check out more of your work? Do you have a portfolio site, Instagram, Twitter, etc?
Vimeo: YORDA LHB
I will try to have a real portfolio site one day! ahah
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Of course yes! My Parents for always supporting me and for being the best Dad and Mom ever, my friends (they know who they are) for all the good times and for always being down to ride and shoot with me. Jeff, Nils and Pef @Unleaded and the man, the Legend, Thomas Caillard @Clandé, for the help. Dimitri Ivanov for what he do for us. And you Kurt for always be down to work with me and for running this very good website.
I know I will forget a lot of people but hey nobody’s perfect right?
Anything else you want to say?
Keep your eyes open for my new video project “THE NORMAN HOLE”, A 10min Mixtape. Volume 1 will be out soon with a lot of riding and party footage from us and our beautiful Normandy!
“L’important c’est pas de s’en foutre, c’est de s’en foutre de tout.”