Interview with Valentin Folliet
Question 1: What is your name?
Valentin: “My real name is Valentin Folliet, but I choose to call myself Odák when I started my photography project.”
Question 2: Where are you from?
Valentin: “I’m from the South East of France, more precisely from Chambéry.”
Question 3: When did you start taking pictures?
Valentin: “Actually, I first started taking pictures in middle school with a cellphone and some friends. I remember Instagram had just came out and I was having fun messing with and over editing pictures I took of my everyday life. It’s only when I entered high school that I bought my first ever camera for art class. By the time I also started dealing with some personal issues and I decided to start Odák as a way of escapism.
Question 4: What are techniques that you picked up over the years?
Valentin: “To be honest, I’m still learning a lot about techniques to this day. I’ve never really learned how to take pictures as I learned photography entirely by myself and I’ve always favored the feeling over the technique. I’m not afraid to blaspheme some photographic rules to reach a certain outcome hahah! For example, I’ve put oil on my 50mm and used the free lensing technique to achieve this kind of underwater/dreamy effect on my picture "Shine For You.”
Question 5: What is your end goal with photography?
Valentin: “I don’t really know yet, I still have a long way to go, and a lot to experiment until I’m fully satisfied with what I do. One thing is certain, I’d like to be able to expand my work to multiple mediums. Lately, I’ve been really passionate about sound, and more precisely electronic and classical music. I’d love to mix pictures with music in the future.”
Question 6: The field scene is very interesting! How did you envision that picture?
Valentin: “Thank you so much! Usually when I take pictures, I do not know exactly what I’m going to take pictures of. I only have a vague idea of what I want to do and I let the hazard of the moment happen. I like what comes naturally. In that case, I was on vacation in the South West of France with my best friend, to whom I was introducing photography at the time. It was our last day here and a friend of mine who lived there decided to take us to this desert place near the ocean to make a campfire. While we went out to look for firewood, we came across this scenery of a strange warehouse in the middle of nowhere, skirting the horizon. This moment really marked me and I really wanted to remember it, so I showed my best friend what I wanted to take a picture of and asked her to take this picture for me. The fact that this picture was taken by her is really important to me.”
Question 7: Do you find quality or quantity more important?
Valentin: “Quality over quantity of course, hahah! I prefer to create and publish pictures that I’m really proud of and that means a lot to me. I’m always REALLY picky about everything I do, to the point where it becomes a flaw, and I always end up doubting myself. Lately I’ve had a hard time releasing anything because of that.”
Question 8: What is your definition of passion?
Valentin: “I think passion is one of the most important things that can ever exist. And without it, existence would be meaningless. To open your heart to someone, or to share something you feel as a part of you is, to me, one of the most beautiful and vulnerable acts that can be. I’ve always been passionate about a lot of things, and especially about Art as a whole. It’s always been a way for me to tell what I have trouble expressing, a way for me to connect with others. So just know that if I ever shared something with you or made something about you it’s because you mean something to me in a way that I cannot express enough otherwise. I like to think of life as a journey to become a You you can really be proud of in the end. There are times where I lost, still lose and will surely lose purpose but I've made myself a promise to never stop showing love, sincerity and passion in what I'm doing and if I ever move someone with my devotion then I can disappear peacefully.hat this picture was taken by her is really important to me.”