Jean-Luc Thibault. Photographer

24 August, 2014
  • Jazz, Photography, Jean-Luc Thibault 1
  • Jazz, Photography, Jean-Luc Thibault 2
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Date and place of birth :
I was born in Dijon (Burgondy, France) in 1961
Place of residence :
I live on the French Riviera  in Golfe Juan. 
Website :
For further details on my work, please consult my website.
How did you ended up in jazz photography, starting from jazz or from photography itself?
I started  photography when I was 14 with a Miranda RE II. I like different styles of music ; I wanted to take pictures of musicians and I have thought that it  would be easier to begin with jazz than with rock and roll. I was quite accidentally accredited for my first jazz festival.The first gig of this festival was China Moses ; how great to begin with this singer whom I had the opportunity to meet three years after. The whole festival  was a good show and I had a great time (Ron carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ibrahim Maalouf, Doctor John..).
Is jazz your main activity as a photographer?
Music (jazz, pop, funk, soul, rock and roll) is my main activity but I also cover circus shows and political meetings.
Do you have any other activities related to jazz?
I am a columnist in a cultural magazine.
Do you stay in touch with the musicians that you photograph?
It is today more difficult to have contacts with musicians during  big festivals. It’s different when you work in a music club ; It is then possible to discuss and exchange with the musicans before or after soundchecks for example.
How important are social networks in your work?
I only use facebook. It’s a good showcase to exhibit your work and to meet people with the same passion. There are two disadvantages : the use of pictures without agreement and the trend for pictures  to be forgotten after a few days.
In jazz words, how would you label your most recent work: mainstream, fusion, free, avant-garde…?  
It’s difficult to define your own work because your glance is not objective. Perhaps free with classical basis. 
Can you tell me 3 features of jazz photography that make it so interesting to your eyes?  
Direct and strong light, beauty of the artist’s hands and the strength emanating from faces.
Do you think that there’s a relationship between the quality of the music in a concert and the quality of the photographs you take there?
I’m going to be honest. When i take pictures, it’s difficult for me to listen to music at the same time. I always avoid taking pictures during silent or quiet moments. I took beautiful pictures at not interesting concerts  and not interesting pictures at beautiful concerts. In France, the photographer is generally only allowed to take pictures during the three first songs or the first ten minutes in order not to disturb the audience and the artists ; it’s ok for me because i can enjoy the concert without thinking of the best light.
What side of jazz photography is more attractive to you, the creative side or being a jazz reporter?
I wish I can take beautiful artistic pictures, not like a reporter. My dream is to take ‘THE picture’ but  with an unknown jazzman.
Some so called ‘jazz festivals’ diversify their offer in favor of other styles of music. Do you think that this trend is a thread for the consistency of jazz photography?  
As i photograph pop or rock and roll artists, it’s not a problem for me to have Deep Purple or Sting in a jazz festival. I think that it is a chance for the audience and for photographers to have this diversity. When I listen to Ibrahim Maalouf or Nik Bärsch’s Ronin, i first of all listen to good music and my mind escapes when I close my eyes.
Can you recommend a contemporary jazz photographer?
I would recommend for their approach and style  Italian photographers like Riccardo Crimi, Andrea Rotili, Sandro Niboli, Andrea Boccalini, Roberto Cifarelli, Vierre… A beautiful team !
Merçi,  Jean-Luc