Based in Brussels, Belgium, Jules Emile is a freelance documentary photographer. Working on personal long-term projects in Belgium as well as abroad in the United States of America and other countries, the 24-year-old creative has gotten to experience different world views and cultures. His projects are socially layered, and carry a strong sense of community.
The foundation of my practice finds its origin in street- and documentary photography but it has grown in many different directions since. I feel the most comfortable when wandering through unfamiliar environments. The unexplored has always had its grasp on me, and invited me to investigate and document with curiosity.
Nowadays, within my practice, I am particularly interested in looking up the boundaries of fact and fiction. The place where these both meet, and clash together like the waves of the ocean crash into monumental cliffs. I am not interested in manipulating the scenes I photograph, but I strive to attain a seemingly calculated composition of the visual elements in my imagery. The way these all come together is very fortuitous and poetic, the outcome of a good amount of patient observation. I have an admiration for the random that brings forth an intimate and delicate scene.
Though I do not orchestrate my photographs, I realize that I take on the role of director. I decide what piece of reality to show, as I have perceived it. Through juxtaposing images of different origins, I try to spark wonderment for the viewer. I appreciate how the ones observing with different perspectives, come up with different narratives and give essence to what they see in my body of work. Just like waves that hit the cliffs on the edge of a vast ocean. Over time they chisel away a new rockface, like fresh perspectives on an alternate reality.
The way I practice photography can be seen as the process of searching for something precious that is not easily found. When it is found, it causes exhilaration, feeding the will to look for more. Similar to a quest for small clumps of gold. Or like looking for shark teeth.
2017 - Grant Pascal Decroos fund for photojournalism
2017 - Mo.be - 'Nepal na het breken van de dijken'
2019 - Solo expo 'Bobo et moi' - Zinnema, Brussels
2019 - Feature in Stopmotion DC Vol.5
2019 - Feature in Stopmotion DC Vol.6
2019 - Hampden on VICE Belgium
2019 - Group exhibition ‘Opus One’ by Breedbeeld
2020 - Arte Antwerp x Vice x Jules Emile