Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Conversation with Béatrice de Géa

© Béatrice de Géa

Béatrice de Géa's work came to my attention by way of The New York Times cover. I was deeply moved by an image taken by Beatrice in Tanzania of a family of women burying a still-born baby.
It was part of story & photo essay about Childbirth in Tanzania, which you can see by clicking here.
Béatrice depicts all aspects of life in her work and I was thrilled when Beatrice agreed to a conversation.

© Béatrice de Géa

NP: Tell us a little about yourself.

BDG: I was born in the French Alps and partially raised in the U.A.E. I studied Art and Fashion Design in Paris. I met my first love in an airplane flying to California and few months later told my father I wanted to go study in California. I moved to Los Angeles in 1994. My desire was to become a reporter, but fell in love with photography after my first class. It was my way of writing.

© Béatrice de Géa

NP: How did you discover photography?

BDG: By accident. I was under pressure to get a work permit so I had to quickly get my degree. I picked a photography class, remembering how much pleasure it was to use my mother's Foca camera when I was 13 to snap pictures of our family pets. I got an F on my first class. I didn't speak English well enough. The Depth of Field concept was first a grammatical mystery before a technical one. I met my mentor, a local photojournalist, when I was at school. He taught me a lot without telling me what to do...respecting my stubborn personality. I became very passionate about it, realizing I was really meant to do this. I felt constantly challenged and satisfied.

© Béatrice de Géa

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

BDG: In other people's culture and life. And the fantastic work of photojournalists around the world.

© Béatrice de Géa

NP: How do your projects come about?

BDG: I've been pretty spoiled. Working on staff at the Los Angeles Times for seven years took me to great places and great stories. Working in New York City as a freelancer is a completely different life. Thanks to Michele McNally and Patrick Witty of the New York Times, I got to do my latest project in Tanzania on maternal mortality. It was the assignment of my dreams. Very emotional. I will never forget it.

© Béatrice de Géa

NP: What’s next?
BDG: I just want to keep on trying to do my best telling great stories. I absolutely love working for newspapers, but I found myself eager to experience new avenues.

NP: Thank you so much!

To see more of Béatrice's work please visit:


Eduardo said...

I'm a big fan of Ms. de Géa!!! Great article and interview and thank you for showing all of her wonderful work. Hope to see more of her photos in the pages of The New York Times. Maybe one of these days I will get to meet her in person!

Anonymous said...

fantastic work!

Michelle Brea said...

great interview!