Meet Antoine Truchet

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Earlier this summer, I logged onto Skype and rang up Antoine Truchet, a nineteen-year-old French photographer. Cue Skype's infamous ringtone - you know the one: the sweet sound of being summoned by aliens! At 70.4k followers and counting, Antoine is what you might call Insta-famous. And something of a globe-trotter. He lives in the French Alps and is but minutes from Geneva, Switzerland. He has just got back from a grad-trip to Ios and Mykonos and a family road-trip down to the South of France and the Cinque Terre in Italy. He plans to move to London this coming year. And he spent his early teens in Jakarta, Indonesia, a place which kindled his love of film and photography and which he still holds very close. The man is no sloth!


Antoine first set up an Instagram account three or four years ago, when he was still in Indonesia and living in Jakarta, a bustling metropolis which - with a population of nearly 10 million - is the largest city in South-East Asia. At an hour and a half from Bali, Jakarta is but a stone's throw from volcanoes, mountains, turquoise lagoons, and sandy beaches. The stuff of nightmares! He admits, grinning sheepishly, that in the beginning he posted 'mostly selfies'. But he grew up and the selfies slowly dwindled to a trickle. Now his photos are mostly landscapes, but he insists that "having tiny people in my photos makes them so much more interesting". Often, he'll stick in the silhouette of a sibling to give an otherwise simple photo a bit of human interest. Scroll through his feed and you'll see that his style is distinctive: clean and minimalist, his photos have lots of white space, and use a recurring palette of greens, blues, and turquoise. Each upload is striking, yes, but a single puzzle piece won't make a jigsaw; they're at their best as a set, their colours complementing and their tiny figures trying to tell a story. If Antoine describes himself as a 'visual storyteller', then we, his followers, must be his 'readers', tuning in each day to Instagram to find out what happens next.


You can buy followers, but you can't buy their loyalty, and Antoine admits that finding an audience on the platform took time. "I started slowly gaining more and more followers, but I still stayed around the 2000-mark for like, 2 years", he says. And then Instagram suddenly found his account: "I woke up, my notifications going crazy. The whole thing completely blew up overnight, I was gaining new followers every second", he explains, astounded. He was chosen as one of Instagram's 'Suggested Users'. If you live and you breathe, then you will know that Instagram's 'Suggested Users' feature is so sought-after that it now has the power to kickstart a budding photographer's career. For Antoine, it surely has.


Whether on the road or at home in the French Alps, Antoine is always shooting, posting new content almost daily. What keeps him motivated? "Of course it's super motivating to have this audience", he says, referring to his tidy count of 70,000 followers. But he is keen to emphasise the role of other online creators in keeping him motivated: "The main thing, I guess, is trying to find your own style... I'm still trying". He finds storytelling inspiration "everywhere" on the Internet and cites YouTube extraordinaires Jack and Finn Harries, Casey Neistat, Ben Brown, and Louis Cole among his idols. As for photography, he finds 'the whole lifestyle' of Instagrammers Chris Burkard and Alex Strohl 'really appealing' and loves the crisp and clean minimalism of Cereal Magazine. People spark off ideas, but travelling, 'exploring new places, new cultures' really keeps the flame burning. It's no coincidence that he's set aside this next year - a post-IB gap year - for just that. After that, he wants to come to London to study film: "But I need to be sure about the university. I don’t want to spend three years there and then at the end of it realise I'm not happy". Looking further into the future, nothing is set in stone - but neither is it for you or I. I can give you no spoilers because his next chapter is still unwritten; all I know is we'll be logging on, hungry for the next episode in his string of adventures. Patience - each 1:1 square at a time.












Check out Antoine's website: antoinetruchet.com
Follow him on Instagram: instagram.com/antoinetruchet
Follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/antoinetruchet

1 comment :

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