Made For Bulleit, January 2016

Inspired by his surroundings and those closest to him, this photographer deals only in genuine flashes

Flickers of embers rising from a campfire, amber rays of fluid sunlight hitting the windscreen of a beat-up van, a road less travelled, shadows across a concrete wall, bodies asleep on the tousled sheets of an unmade bed… if you had to sum up the work of French photographer Theo Gosselin in a word, it would be wanderlustful.

There’s a fantastic passage in the Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, where he references the Elvis track Mystery Train. Richards points out how the train-like rhythmic succession of the beat – ka-dunk, ka-dunk, ka-dunk – evokes a feeling of movement in the body. “There’s something primordial in the way we react to pulses without even knowing it,” writes the Rolling Stones guitarist. “It echoes something in the human body… One of the great rock-and-roll tracks of all time, not a drum on it. It’s just a suggestion, because the body will provide the rhythm. Rhythm really only has to be suggested.”

Gosselin’s work reminds me of this passage. His use of youth, movement, light and romance stirs the human mind. Take a look at his cinematic and adventure-soaked imagery and try not to imagine yourself in a warm cascade of sunlight, breathing in crisp mountain air, feeling sleepy on a forest bed, or caught in a joke with friends. It’s evocative, poetic and intentional, however, the beauty of it is, Gosselin merely provides a suggestion, a universal rhythm, and our minds make up the rest.

Having grown up in Normandy and now based in Amiens, in the north of France, Gosselin has been curious about photography since a young age. He has almost always been the “guy with the camera” among his pals, aiming to capture moments as they happen; real life, he says, the kind that cannot be faked. Travelling the world with his closest and shooting their adventures, Gosselin’s dreamscapes capture both the city and the countryside with a sense of grace, combining a love of music, film and design, while reflecting a heightened idea of youth.

Ultimately, however, it’s people who move him the most, specifically his friends when absorbed in a moment. “I just make all these things to be happy and to share my happiness with my friends,” he shrugs, humbly. “The picture is not very important, I think if the picture is nice then the moment was nice. And if the moment was nice, then I’m happy. The picture is just here for the memory.”

Made for Friendship from MadeFor on Vimeo.

Made Foris a branded content series for Bulleit Bourbon. Photography by Katrina Parker, video directed by David Child.