Parisian photographer Melchior Tersen became interested in photography when he was around 18. He started by documenting his own life, in a pre-selfie era, and quickly found that to be a bit boring. So he decided to go to concerts, most metal and French rap to capture the atmosphere and the people. His portraits, shot with a Yashica T4, rather than your typical digital camera, of devoted music fans are striking, and engaging.
You can see the influences of Ryan McGinley, Peter Sutherland, Mary Ellen Mark and Wolfgang Tillmans, in his work. But there’s a unique quality to Melchior’s photos. Especially in his fan portraits or portraits of anonymous members of a particular scene of tribe, from Marilyn Manson fans to Gaga’s Little Monsters. There’s never any kind of judgement, but rather, a strong empathy. "I like to be part of the groups I’m photographing, not to be on the fringe of them", he explains.
"Recently I went to this erotic festival, Eropolis, to take pictures, and I got some incredible pics of strippers" he smiles. Taking pictures takes him out of his comfort zone and helps him immerse himself into amazing subcultures around the world. "Photographing forced me to go out, in a period of my life where my social relations were very quiet. I was working the nightshift in a supermarket and rarely saw my friends. Taking pictures made me go out and discover Paris", the Parisian native says.
Today, at 26, Tersen collaborates with many magazines including Vice, Jalouse and Neon and keeps eyes and ears wide open to find the next community he is going to follow with his camera. "I really need my pictures to mean something" he keeps saying. We think they already do, but hope you keep them coming.