I photograph people who live in the universe and cultures I'm from, everything from Hip Hop/Music, to Tattooing, Lowriding, MMA ... but I'm open minded and I adapt according to my meetings

Q: Hi Reda nice talking to you, how are you? Please introduce yourself quickly to our readers…

Hi Ivar, nice talking to you too! My name is Reda and I’m a street photographer from Paris/France.

Q: At what age and how did you first get into photography?

I got started shooting photos back when I was active in the music scene, 10 years ago, but more from the angle of creating memories of my encounters and experiences. Music, in turn, shaped my style of photography. I’ve been deeply involved in urban cultures since I was a teenager, and, in all those cultures, photography is an essential means of expression. So, it was a logical continuation for me, an extension of my involvement in the street.

Q: You’re always representing Joker Brand and recently you finally got to do an official project by doing the 2015 calendar with them. Can you tell us a bit about this project & how it came about?

Indeed, I often represent Joker Brand. Joker Brand InterviewIt all started because it’s a brand that I like and wear a lot, so I would order their stuff for myself and the guys in my hood. I photographed my homies regularly, and they’d often wear Joker clothes and at some point I thought, why not send those photos to Joker Brand, to show that we represent too, over here. One thing led to another, and I began to make friends with the people in the main office based in Germany, via e-mail. I’m a guy from the street and not connected to all those social networks, so I really appreciate it, when I can afford to go meet people and that’s what I finally did. Since then, the European guys have always given me much respect and naturally we talked about collaborations (clothes…), so that’s the context of how the calendar came about…

Reda Photography Interview

But, to tell the truth, this calendar is a project that was born following Joker Brand’s initiative. I shot a video for them “JOKER BRAND X REDA – from LA to Paris”, JOKER BRAND X REDA – from LA to Paris following a discussion I had with them last summer. It was kind of a challenge, because it was my first video. So I completed that project in three weeks in october 2K14, which led me to go to almost every last nook and cranny of Paris and its suburbs … I was helped by my Homies Forty Seven Director (my Bro Jorge “Taco” Simao had introduced me to him some time before), who assisted me with the editing, and the crazy producer Makavelik, who did the soundtrack. So in the end it was a real team effort, which I’m very proud of. While I was shooting the footage, I took pictures to have another source of visual aids during the production of the video. I sent them to Joker Brand, they liked them, and so they proposed a collaboration for a calendar.

Q: How do pick your subjects to shoot? I mean what makes you decide; okay this guy or these buildings and those girls are interesting enough to shoot and those others are not.. What is (if any) your criteria?

In fact I don’t really have any criteria, except that of having in front of my camera lens, people who are themselves! I never ask people I photograph to put on a show. Anyway, for me, the most important thing is the human experience. I like the interaction and sharing. I like to have a story behind every photo.

Of course, I photograph people who live in the universe and cultures I’m from, everything from Hip Hop/Music, to Tattooing, Lowriding, MMA … but I’m open minded and I adapt according to my meetings. My way of working is based on forging partnership, so I’m always listening to people’s ideas! I love walking around the streets and I stop when it feels right. So it’s not just a photoshoot, we share a slice of life… In the end, I want them to be happy as I am. In terms of location, the street is full of surprising places and you can always find a nice spot for photography! As I am quite often out in the streets, I know many good places…

Danny Diablo in Barcelona - Violent Voices Tour

Sick Jacken in Barcelona - Violent Voices Tour

Q: You’re from Paris.. Do you like shooting in the infamous banlieues, and does this sometimes creates dangerous situations?

I’m not from Paris exactly but from what you call the “infamous banlieues”, what I call my Hood. Article – “The heat rises in France’s banlieues”I live about 45 minutes from Paris. I’m used to say I’m from Paris because it’s part of the wider area that includes the suburbs. I grew up here, it’s not worse than another place. To be honest, it’s like everywhere, if you come with respect, you will have respect in return, otherwise, it’s “Street Life” lol More seriously, these are hard times in France at the moment, and more so in the surbubs. I say this because, people in other countries often have an inaccurate view of France and its suburbs. France is not just the Eiffel Tower and the Parisian bobos… but even if living conditions are becoming tougher, people keep going because there are courageous people in our ghettos. I dream, even if I know it will never happen, of the day the media focus more on the positive than the negative aspects…

Q: You do it purely as an passion right? I mean not as a job? What is your regular job and what keeps you motivated to keep shooting all those crazy artists, girls, tattoos, ghettos and what not…

Yes, I do it purely as a passion today, but I’m getting more and more deals with various brands … and I hope to do it as a full time job one day, even if it’s not so easy… Otherwise, I work in sales, and that allows me to feed my family. Photography is an outlet for me, a way to externalize my feelings and express myself. So, I know that, whether I become more visible or not, I will still be taking pictures!

Photography is an outlet for me, a way to externalize my feelings and express myself. So, I know that, whether I become more visible or not, I will still be taking pictures!

Q: What was your favorite shoot ever, what was the most difficult? And what or who would still like to work with that you haven’t yet?

I don’t really have a favorite shoot, but I have many good memories. Thinking about it a little more, each time I have a photoshoot with my kids, I’m reminded of me why I’m doing this: for the Love of it. You know, my Fam is the most important thing in my life. That being said, some shoots have left a more lasting impression on me than others, but there’s a story behind every single photo, as I wrote above. Whether you are famous or not, I do not care, I’ll treat you the same way, so for me everything has the same importance. I never had to deal with any real problems… Sometimes you can take photos in hostile places you don’t know, but it’s the price you have to pay when you really want to capture the street, and not a watered down version of it. Anyway, I never intentionally put myself in potentially dangerous situations.

IMG_059222 (Copier)

As for people I like to work with… there are so many! Especially, I would love to travel and meet other cultures, and more people, in France of course, but also in Europe and the rest of the world. I hope to do more exhibitions in galleries to show my vision of the street and street arts, have more collaborations in several areas, and publish books in a few years’ time. So as you can see, I have a lot of things to do yet…


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