French wedding photographer Jérémie Sangare grew up outside Paris and now lives outside Nantes (Vendée), where he makes his home with his wife and two young children. After 15 years living in Paris, Jérémie in enjoying his return to small-town life, in the place where his wife grew up. And while he appreciates being just an hour from an international airport, most of all he loves the sun! “In Paris, we rarely got to see it,” he says. “The western seaside of France has the second most sun in the country—after the French Riviera.
” While Jérémie says he doesn’t have a favorite quote, some words that resonate with him come from the German philosopher Hegel: “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” This is a lesson he witnessed firsthand. “My father, a young boy with 15 brothers and sisters, grew up in the second poorest country in the world in Africa—in a town with no running water and no electricity. He had to walk five miles barefoot to go to school everyday until he was eighteen. He had nothing and no future whatsoever, but with hard work he still ended up with a physics PhD and a high-level managing career in one of the richest countries in the world,” Jérémie says. “I know this sounds cheesy, but when those stories are actually close to you, it really makes you think and put things into perspective.”
Given this pedigree, it’s not surprising that Jérémie values both education and persistence. “I love learning new things and getting better. After graduating college and getting my first job as an aerospace engineer, I registered for a totally unrelated curriculum (philosophy) and kept on studying for several years—just because I enjoyed it. I love learning new tricks, techniques, and understanding how something has been made, whether it’s the full flow staged combustion cycle of a mid twentieth century Russian rocket engine or a beautiful, impactful, carefully lit and composed storytelling wedding photograph.”
Another value Jérémie holds dear is equality. “I hate any form of injustice, and what is great about wedding photography is that it’s the great equalizer. Human emotions are universal, and wedding reportage all over the world can be incredibly striking, moving, and powerful—regardless of wealth or status. I love that,” he says.
Above all, he loves having a career that feels more meaningful than his previous work as an engineer. “As a photographer, my clients are not countries or huge faceless companies, they are real people. We can talk, shake hands, and smile at each other. Moreover, documenting the most beautiful day of someone’s life makes them happy. In my previous career, none of my studies, reports, meetings, or presentations ever made anyone ‘happy,” he says.
To Jérémie, being fearless means trying to be authentic, compassionate, empathic, selfless, humble, bold, playful, and quirky. “No one needs photos to live—it is something more. You want beautiful photos to capture beautiful memories, and your photographer participates to your happiness to create images you’ll cherish forever,” he says. “There’s something poetic about doing that, and it’s why I decided to do what I do.”
Jérémie Sangare | France | Fearless since 2019