Baptiste Lignel

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Paris based free-lance photographer. Specialized in long terms social reportage and portraiture, both for news magazines and corporate clients.


1974 – Born in Neuilly sur Seine, France.

1994 – Two year College degree from the University of Nanterre in History. Nanterre, France.

1997 – BFA with honors from Parsons School of Design, majoring in Photography. New York, USA.

1999-2002 – Art director at Ogilvy Interactive, Paris, France.

2002- … – Free lance photographer based in Paris, France.



Taina worked as a journalist with a photographer friend of mine, who kept telling me about how constructive their collaboration was. After working 6 months in a pediatric cancer ward i came to find her and ask her if she'd be willing to accompany me for the rest of this project which i felt required some texts to complement my images. She did come and got shaken up by the experience, as i had. THe texts are poignant, and the resulting book, "Face à la vie" is probably the best thing i've done so far.


This was a wonderful encounter. I saw Malik's work in the photo festival "Promenades Photographiques" in Vendôme, and fell dumbstruck. It was both intelligent, sensitive and powerful. A little later i met the man, who could be qualified similarly, adding a talent in the kitchen. I approached Malik because i want to give some visibility to his work in a Malian orphanage, using the "Trimester Print" format that i set up to promote other photographers' work. We created a small exhibition set up of three elements (one traditional print, a facsimile of a polaroid, and a cartel with a quote from one of the nurses). It remains to this day one of the productions i am most proud of.


Julien and I met when we were both working on similar book projects about our own families. What i find extraordinary is that with such similar a topic, our intentions were radically different, and consequently our books have little in common. Yet another example of how it's all about the ideas the author wants to convey and not so much about the subject matter.
I enjoy his taste for sharing photography, via teaching and direct relationships with other photographers, established or budding ones.


I met Vincent J. Stoker as we both tought at the same school. I tought graphic design, while he tought english. One day some of his photos ended up on the wall of the cafeteria, which is probably one of the saddest and least flattering places to show work. Yet there was the work! His "Heterotopia" project was already taking shape, and some of his key landscape images were already there.
From then on we became friends (and stopped both teaching in this place and hanging works in cafeterias...). I enjoy greatly seeing him carry a vision very distant from mine, a very precise vision about the world. And even though his images are visually attractive, it would be a mistake to remain on their surface. They are very strong comments about the world we live in and its destructive nature.


John and I were in College together, in mid 90's, in New York. At that time we setup informal presentations of our work in friends' houses, so we could be critiqued by our peers outside of the school environment. When i returned to France after graduation we decided to keep this idea alive in spite of the distance, and that is how the website Otra Vista was created, with another former student, Fico Farias. Since then John has gone in another direction of photography, and this "label" has pretty much become my sandbox.
Of course it was to him that i turned when i started photographing in Coney Island, and i felt that my "people" images only told part of the story of that place. He started producing still lives of objects he found on location, which we could pair. This led to our very first book, "Coney Island".


Mari is intelligent and brave. She will not turn away from complexity, nor danger. But most of all she will not turn away from work, when she dives into such terribly difficult project such as abductions in Northern Caucasus, or arms trades in the world.
Most of all she produces meaning, incidentally using photography along the way. She refuses the be labeled as a photographer. Which leads to very deep and long term projects which can take shape as articles, as images, and idealy as books or exhibitions, combining texts, photos and other artifacts.


Over the years, Denis' work has evolved towards the concept, yet not letting go of a direct connection to people, to society and its issues. Which make for powerful work: strong non documentary images conveying important questions/messages about the world we live in today.
Denis was kind enough to support the project "Trimester Prints" when it was launched in 2010, and be its godfather of sorts. I enjoy the intelligence of his work and his kindness.


I was really intimidated to meet with Bruce Gilden, legendary for his harsh criticism, and his loud mouth. The introduction was made by Susan Meseilas at a Magnum General Meeting in Paris, the day before my son Lucien was born. I had just completed a series of images about Coney Island that was going to be published as a book in France. I wanted his opinion, and possibly ask him to write a bit of text as a preface. His own version of "Coney Island", so beautifully put together by Browns Design was such a major landmark in the -so many- representations of that beachfront.

He liked the work, and said he would write a piece if i "told him what to write". It turned out he wrote it with his wife Sophie, and the final text remains a very adequate piece of writing, and a very dear present that they both gave me.


I met Roger Ballen as a fan at one of his exhibition openings, and we got to talking. It turned out we both have twins, a boy and a girl. Our conversations about photography had also brought to light some similarities in our intentions -as there are none in our images-. For both those reasons, i asked him to write a little text for the book i published about my children in 2010.

His unique vision remains an inspiration, even if only for my difficulty to grasp it, yet my love for it.