Chatting With JC Pieri

6/27/2018Jake Ryan

JC Pieri is an incredible photographer who I discovered one afternoon while scrolling through Instagram, JC has travelled around the world documenting his travels in some of the most amazing photographs. 

I recently got to ask JC a few questions about his travels and photography. See everything JC had to say below. 

Hey, first of all can you tell us a little about yourselves?
Hi, my name is JC Pieri. I’m a french director and photographer from Marseille in south of France. I started filming thanks to my first passion, I use to be a professional bmx rider for 11 years. That’s how I started to travel around the world and film some friends and riders. 

I decided few years later to film something new such as parties, music clips, weddings etc. 

A good way to learn a lot. Today I try to do more advertising and travel videos for companies. 

Looks like you’ve been on some incredible adventures, what’s been the craziest trip you’ve taken so far?
I didn’t expect that at all when I started to make videos. But thanks to BMX I got contacts around the world that’s how I got some contracts with BMX in some amazing countries first and now I’m traveling the world doing different content. 

I did some crazy trips. I remember a really good one with my friend Arthur Dietrich when we did a kind of world BMX tour. We went to Shanghai, Tokyo, Hawa├», Mexico and New York in 1 month to create 5 videos of the trip. A unique trip where we met so many amazing locals. People who showed us the best spots of their cities. A crazy experience for sure. 

But the craziest one was with my friend Noel Bauza in Svalbard. An island located next to Greenland where we slept in a tent at -35C and we almost got attacked by a polar bear. This is not a joke at all. The most beautiful night of my life because of the northern lights but the scariest at the same time. 

Your photos are incredible, did you study photography? 
Thanks a lot. No I’m a self taught director and photographer. The passion pushed me to learn everyday using my camera. 
Some friends told me some important point about technique but you learn a lot doing mistake. And you see them really fast. Everytime I do a video I watch it maybe 4 times in a raw some weeks later and I see what I could do better. And there is always something you can do better. That’s how you learn from yourself. 

What equipment do you currently use? 
Ahhhhh this is a question I used to answer but even if I think the camera I use today is the best for what I want to do I won’t do more free advertising for them. You know we all love our equipment and we like to share our equipment with people. But the brand doesn’t realise how much money they got from free advertising we give them everyday. I didn’t have any problem with that until I got a problem with my camera and the brand told me “sorry we can’t help you you have to pay because we don’t know this problem" even though my camera was still guaranteed. So no more advertising for them. 

The camera doesn’t make the filmmaker or photographer. Some settings like slowmotion can help you but you make the frame, you make the montage. So you are the one able to make the good content not the camera. 

By the way I am supported by GoPro and I really appreciate that. I have the GoPro 6 that I bring everywhere with me. I try to use it and show you can create some good memories with it. 

How important do you think the equipment is when it comes to capturing a moment?
As I said before the camera doesn’t make the frame or the story. You are the most important part of the content. 

But it’s true a good steady cam is important. But today I mostly film everything with my hands. No more tripod or steady cam except for some action clips. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to take awesome travel photos?
Ok so first please it’s time to stop picture with the horizon not right haha
This is a huge mistake I see. 

Secondly you have to be creative but this is the hardest part. This is why not everyone is able to be photographer or able to be good for any other job. 
It’s not because you have a camera that you are photographer. 
I’m not professionnel driver because I have a car haha. 
So you have to work on your creativity to show the most beautiful part of a landscape. You have to find a way to frame the main character in the landscape if you have one. The color correction is also important. Try to find something nice. For me I like to have dark black in my picture but everyone has his own style. This is creativity one more time :)

You’ve had some pretty surreal experiences, do you have a favourite?
Definitely the one I told you before with the polar bear attack. We did 3 jours of sledding dogs to sleep in middle of nowhere in Svalbard.  And during the night a polar bear came close to our tent and the dogs where screaming. The guide told us we got lucky because the polar bear was maybe just curious and not hungry. This saved us for sure. 

Has travelling taught you anything about yourself?
Absolutely. You know people dream to travel to famous cities like New York and  Dubai ... but you don’t really learn anything about life. It’s good to visit those places because you see something different but I had another amazing trip I took recently with two friends FunForLouis and The Candourist. They did a world tour with a small private plane and I joined them during 3 weeks around Asia. It was for me one of the greatest experiences. We did Dubai, Abu dabhi, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bali. 

It’s when you visit some countries like that that you really understand many things about life and about yourself. When we went to Pakistan. I was scared about getting there. I thought it was dangerous but we went in the city with all our camera equipment. And you know what, everyone wanted to take a picture with us. Everyone came to shake our hands and they invited us to play cricket in the middle of the street with them. At this moment you realise media show you what they want and you learn a lot. 

People are amazing around the world. 
Discovering different cultures make you understand who you are. 

What’s your favourite thing about travelling?
Definitely meeting new people. Everyone has a different way to live and vision. This is this difference who make grow faster. 

What/Who inspires you?
My friends inspire me, my family also. 
I think you learn more from people you use to see everyday. 
People who make thier life better inspire me. I have many people doing great content that I follow but you don’t inspire me by what you do for you but what you do for others. That’s what I wanna try to do more. 

Outside of adventuring, what else makes you happy?
I think I spent too much time working. but at the same time you have to. 
Now I feel like I need a little bit of time for myself and spend more time with my family and my friends. I need to do simple things like playing soccer with my friends or do some BMX like I used to do before. Simple things are the best. 

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
You never know, but my dream is to make a feature length movie for cinema. 
I wrote 2 movies but you know it’s hard to find someone who wants to trust you to create a movie. 
This is definitely my goal. I don’t know when I will make it but I will make it for sure. I promised it to one of my really close friend who passed away this year and we had projects together that I will make for sure. 

Thanks to JC for taking the time 
to speak with TravelFoodFilm. 

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