When people leave on a holiday trip they naturally assume it should be a time to remember. They go see famous places, they have so much fun they just can’t forget, they buy souvenirs and they take pictures. We used to write the story in albums, or in today’s instant fashion, we post on our social medias. We repeat this process everytime we have fun in our casual lives too, everytime we go out, to see friends, to party, to spend time with our families…
My name is Lucas Mathis. I was born the 28th of April 1991. I grew up in the eastern countryside of France, a place called Alsace with a mixed French and German culture. I feel grateful for having a loving and devoted family, as well as for the education I received & the inspiring teachers which I came across during my early years. I believe them to be absolutely essential in the way they prepare your mind to think the world. They are however, some of these things we simply can’t control. We start our journey through life but we do not decide who we are from the very beginning.
I started photography when I already had 22 years of life behind me. This life has been made of happiness and of sorrow. Of excitement, of pride and frustration. I remember boring days when you just want to go home and wonderful moments you wish would never end. I remember beeing so afraid of days when I had to deliver a presentation, or when I decided to tell a girl I was in love. At a relatively young age for a human beeing, I know I already went through storms of emotions. We all did. And yet, so much of what felt like it mattered to the utmost is now on the way of oblivion. I think there is one of the greatest tragedy of life: As wonderful as it is, we do let it fade.
A friend of mine recently asked me what is the sadest picture I had ever taken. I was a bit surprised because no one had ever asked me this question and I just did not know. I have plenty of pictures with a sad story of course but I believe the sadest are the ones I wish I had taken and have not. After years of passionately taking photographs I only start to understand their most precious quality: they make fragments of this experience we call life immortal. They can be the keys to unlock entire rooms in our memories.
On my photographic journey, I have spent the last 5 years beeing increasingly attentive to the details that make life beautiful and interresting. And as life is unpredictable and you just dont know in advance what will be worth remembering, you will probably never see me without a camera. The photograph above was taken when I was in Germany with my parents. We used to do a lot of hiking in the summer time and this trip was no particular exception. As we were walking down a valley, my attention was briefly caught by a wavy sight on the right and I took the picture. One more frame on the serie of the day. How could I even think that years later, I would present it at an Art constest on the theme of nature and be awarded the first prize and a memorable exhibition in Strasbourg? This experienced has definitly convinced me of the power of life when we look at it from an artistic point of view.
Even when life is to be taken seriously, it can still be seen as a game, as a unique experience, because we are only blessed to be here for some time. We can either enjoy or endure it, but we will die anyway. Once I realized it, life itself has become the main source of my inspiration: The simple course of my life which I voluntarily lead out of my comfort zone to accomplish an unregrettable experience.
However, living without regrets also mean accepting that pain will happen. The most daring enterprises will inevitably crash at some level, because as light is tied to shadow, success is tied to failure. It is a natural part of life. Our most instinctive behaviour in photography is to capture the happy moment, to make up and to smile for the picture. I believe there is a lot to celebrate in the entire reality of our lives. With my images and my words I want to witness life as it is and tell our story. The joy as much as the pain, the peace as well as the toil, for they all constitute life in its entirety, its reality.
The pictures of myself in this article were taken by someone I loved and whom I do not see anymore. Should I simply forget it for he sake of moving on? These were some of my best years on earth. I have been transformed by all the people I knew and the dreams I accomplished in their company. I believe there is no reason to think loving your past is at the expense of your present or future. Actually, your past put you on the way you presently are to your future. And as a student majoring in History, I know what I am talking about.
My present is currently written in the United Kingdom where I study at the University of Leicester. I moved in this country in September 2017 as part of the Erasmus European exchange program and so much has already happened between then and now. Life has followed its usual course, all the instruments have played the music, the same lot of emotions, new friends, new places that have become familiar. It is a wonderful experience and I sometimes wish time would freeze but I know that eventually, everything will come to an end. No matter how deeply we live and cherish a moment, it constantly moves on, because such is the essence of time.
Photography is my answer to that fugitive nature of life, not to emprison it or because I am afraid to die, but to celebrate it, by making sure I will be able to remember it when the time will come to sit and look back.