Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world.
From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente. In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months.
In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside. While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d'Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books.
Source: Magnum Photos
Raymond Depardon (born 6 July 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France) is a French photographer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Depardon is for the most part a self-taught photographer, as he began taking pictures on his family's farm when he was 12. He apprenticed with a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône before he moved to Paris in 1958. He began his career as a photojournalist in the early 1960s. He travelled to conflict zones including Algeria, Vietnam, Biafra and Chad. In 1966, Depardon co-founded the photojournalism agency Gamma, and he became its director in 1974. In 1973 he became Gamma’s director. From 1975 to 1977 Depardon traveled in Chad and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1977. The next year he left Gamma to become a Magnum associate, then a full member in 1979. In the 1990s, Depardon went back to his parents’ farm to photograph rural landscapes in color, and then in 1996 published a black-and-white road journal, In Africa. In May 2012, he took the official portrait of French President François Hollande.