“Click and braaap” this is the mantra of Jean-François Muguet, the french photographer has two great passions: photography and two wheels…a perfect combination!
His artistic gaze on the two wheels world will certainly conquer you! So enjoy my interview to the talented photographer and…braaap!
Jean François Muguet
Jean, please introduce you, where are you from and what about your background?
I come from Bourgogne in France, in the country side. I do Motorcycle photography. I worked for Off road magazines and also ran Freestyle Motocross magazine few years as photographer and editor. Now I mostly shoot for the excellent Cafe Racer magazine. Also advertising sometimes. Any kind of Motorcycle photography, action sports MX, FMX or Endurance, Cafe Racers, portraits, studio… I did other things too, maybe too much to tell.
When you started with photography and what fascinates you in this form of art?
Usual thing, I guess, I didn’t knew why at first I was attracted to it but kind of forced my parents offer me a camera when I was 14th, it was an Olympus OM-10. When I start using it I think I realized what a cool way to meet people it was, to discover many so many different things around the world.
What about your love for motorcycles? Are you a biker? What are the sensations connected with it?
No one in the family was envolve in photography or motorbike…. Worked as a mason a summer to get a Motocross bike a Yamaha YZ 125 1986. But I just crashed every time I could rode it. And I finally broke it (haha)… As a grown up now I ride road bikes as soon as I can and still crash and injured myself.. I particularly enjoy riding with my friends in the Pyrenees. If I can, I absolutely love to ride to a photoshoot. When it’s done you just ride back home remembering your pictures and enjoying the roads, winter time or summer time, sometimes with a sunset, it’s the best feeling ever… Sound cheezy but something like freedom…
When you started motorcycles photography?
Teenager, I just started taking pictures of my friends riding Motocross. From that I discovered many things in many different areas of motorcycle. Some people don’t get it but Freestyle Motocross rider, Endurance racer, vintage bike lover, Motocross rider, Builder, they all are dedicated hundred percent to their own thing, they all got that craziness, that kind of desire to be different, some kind of rebellion. Some might say mother issues…
What about your main collaborations in two wheels world?
I work a lot with Cafe Racer magazine in France which is very cool, it’s the radest magazine, and it allows personal photographic vison of Motorbikes. I also work with Yamaha and Kawasaki a lot on very different kind of photography like Endurance with the GMT94 or custom bikes. As I also used to run Freestyle Motocross magazine years ago, I still really enjoy shooting with my friends the Pagès Brothers and Jey Rouanet they are the best riders, I admire their dedication and their spirit so much. Well I guess it might not sound very trendy or arty, because it’s only pure motorbike but I like it…
Black and white or colors?
I can’t say really, both are cool from time to time. The subject drive the all way I take the pictures. I don’t want to force some kind of treatment on the photos that would show me more than what I am shooting.
What’s your equipment?
As I shoot many different things, from sports to studio, I use Canon 1DX and Profoto lights it’s versatile as I need. I almost only use prime lenses, quality is better, I hate zooms, it makes you lazy. I wish I could work more with argentic or Polaroid but it’s quite impossible now.
Is the motorcyclist scene in your country exciting? What are the events you can’t miss?
For sure there is many exiting Motorcycle events!! 24H Le Mans are next week, the sport part is incredible. The vintage regularity Rally organized by my friend Cyril Desprès the Dakar master, is gonna be great on the Andorran roads from the 2d to the 5th june. On the 18/19th of june the Cafe Racer Festival will be a place to be for sure, vintage bikes, Cafe Racer, builders, expos, demos at the Historical Autodrome de Monthléry and very close to Paris. And by the end of the summer, if you like Freestyle Motocross, you’ll have to go close to Quimper in Bretagne (western France) to see some of the best riders of the world. Tom Pagès, Sheehan, Moore, Higashino and Rouanet should be there!!
A builder or a garage that you consider really interesting and that you think will be very successful…
Sadly I can’t predict the future… There is many very interesting builders and who are very different from each other… Clutch, Zen, MRS, Praem, Crazy Racer, Tredici, are killing it in different ways. There are more I forgot I am sorry… The answer should be in every issue of Cafe Racer magazine…
What are your current projects and what about your future plans?
I can’t talk to much about it, but there is gonna be many very interesting things coming! Involving Cafe Racers, FMX, trips, Endurance. I’m working with “La Galerie Virtuelle”, a pretty young online gallery dedicated to different kind of photography. I’m exposing there three series; “Bitume”series about Cafe Racers, “Horizon” about smoggy and deistical landscapes, “Sombre” about some micro dark landscapes.
Check it there:
Ah! I also plan on keep doing many more pictures of my kids but no one’s ever gonna see that!
A MOTORCYCLE IS…
Best way to feel alive, meet cool people and necessary to my survival.
Best way express anything and meet cool people and necessary to my survival.
Where can we follow you and admire your art?
Facebook: Jean-François Muguet