audrey bardou – brigitte et bernard

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Audrey Bardou

Brigitte et Bernard

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I’d like to introduce you to my parents Brigitte and Bernard; exceptional, yet anonymous

They aren’t exceptional in the sense that we hear about them in our society, but in the the values that they have infused in me: humanism, integrity, generosity, and courtesy.

On advice of Magnum Photos photographer David Alan Harvey, I started to photograph them: “I am thinking your parents to be perhaps the best of your two choices (other choice teenage friend)…first of all, photographing your parents cannot wait til later……you cannot take your parents for granted… should photograph them now…now is all we have… you can find another teenager, but you cannot find other parents…if your parents will let you really dig in and work, then i would say go with them for your essay….you have nothing to lose by trying….and the worst you will have is a nice family document…the best you can have will be a beautiful personal essay.”

My mother and my father don’t understand my interest in photographing them eating, sleeping or simply setting the table. Recently my Father fell ill, old age catching up with him. I love my parents. I love photographing them. My photographs aren’t about social issues. They are a work of love. But isn’t the act of love an underground fight for change?

translation : Erica McDonald


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Audrey Bardou


87 Responses to “audrey bardou – brigitte et bernard”

  • Wow. Where do I make my stupid pre-order for the book?

  • Excellent

  • Good stuff. Very inspiring. Maybe I should do the same :P

  • The best esoteric, “mirror”-work,
    up in here …
    by far…

  • David, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your time, your help for the edit and this big timeliness…

    Thank you Anton, Erica, Stupid Photographer and Panos

    Maybe my parents are going to be famous!!

    Amitiés, audrey

  • I adore this work, this love. I do not want to take it apart, to pick at it and say this is strong here this is weaker is all a monument of what your parents are and what they have given you..You, like them, are exceptional.

    J’adore ce travail, cet amour. Je ne veux pas le démonter pour et dire ceci est fort, ici est tout un monument de vos parents et de ce qu’ils t’ont donné. Tu, comme eux, est exceptionnelle.

  • yes i agree with the above. i love this work. its personal… its more than an essay… there is a strong connection here. especially in the first shot i think. very nice work. great stuff… more later…

  • they’ve raised you well audrey.

    thank you for this moving essay.

  • Brigitte

    I am absolutely bowled over. You are a master. I need to watch it again, and again and digest. And I’m with Stoop, please do a book, I’ll even pre-order.

  • thank you very much Jeroen, Mike, Gracie, Gordon

    merci encore Erica et toutes mes félicitations pour THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO EMERGING ART PHOTOGRAPHY!

  • to reply with many words would only disservice this work.

    so please just accept my applause and know that this experience made my heart flip more than once.

    i do, like everyone else, hope these images find their way into a book and i hope more that someday Audrey i might meet you, if only for you to sign my copy of your book.

  • AUDREY …

    I am sooooo incredibly happy to see the essay about your parents up here! And so many photographs among it which I did not know yet. Some of my favorits missing in this edit, but, that is how it is: you cannot put everything in a slideshow… So I am a witness that a lot of wonderful photographs are only waiting to be printed in the great book which eventually come out of it.

    You can put me on the preorder-list too.

    BTW I just sent DAH 5 or 6 pictures I did of your edit in the hotel in Perpignan last year. To trigger a nice memory. It was an amazing experience for all of us who were spectators.

    I am so very, very happy for you!
    Maybe you can join us for when we visit Eric and Anton in Brussels? We would then make a nice revival of our wild dinnerparty in Perpignan :D!

    Um abraço,

  • Audrey, great story! Thanks!


  • Dear Audrey,

    The word BEAUTIFUL is insufficient to describe what you have done. You brought tears to my eyes in the best possible way.

    Viva Brigitte + Bernard!

    Anna B.


    Brigitte et Bernard must be very proud..


  • Audrey,
    This morning, before getting BURNed, I was putting on my clothes in front of the mirror and I thought about photo #1. Your photos have been permanently burned into my brain – I recall your moments on a daily basis. An excellence to envy.

  • Dear Audrey,

    I love personal photography.
    For me this is the best reason to take camera out of bag.

    But more than personal photography I love very well done personal photography.
    Just like yours.
    Excellent work.

    Say hello to your parents from me.

    best :)

  • Audrey,

    Your eyes transform reality in poetry. Sometimes it is difficult to make family understand why we photograph them, but it is worth to insist, I also do. I love intimacy, and love to see how people live their love and their lifes. I am deeply touched, moved and inspired by your work. Simple can be so beautiful. I will look at you essay many times and show other people I also love. There is something else I like: this feminine subtle and deep look, I love this.


  • Thank you for sharing this.

  • My father often says me: “it is normal that you do not succeed, you photograph us but we are not beautiful!”

    I’m going to say them all your kind words… THANKS EVERYONE !!

    Lassal, Marcin, and all, see you soon at Rencontres d’Arles or Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan?!

  • Bravo Audrey, very moving, very personal; thank you for sharing and thank you Erica for the translation.

    But not only a moving essay Audrey; good photography too. Do you find it easier or more difficult to concentrate on photographic technique when your parents are your subject?

    Best wishes,


  • Mike r

    if you aren’t familiar, see Audrey’s amazing work about Rose’t answer for Audrey if it is easier or not to work with people who are close, but she is in my eyes equally adept at both..

  • Mike R,

    I have never been very concentrated on technique or the light, still more the subject, I try to make my adjustments before and I wait…

  • but sometimes, my negative are too black or too clear…

  • “La photographie est pour moi de prendre un moment qui passe….et Je prendre des photos avec l’amour, j’essaie de rendre les objets d’art. Mais je faire pour moi-même d’abord et avant tout – ce qui est important..”-Jacques-Henri Lartigue


    Tout d’abord, permettez-moi de dire que je reste maintenant. J’ai finalement attendu assez longtemps pour voir ce magnifique et très belle histoire floraison. Il est sans faille. Comme une histoire, que la poésie, comme un morceau de musique de la musique de disparaître de nos vies, cette histoire est une belle méditation et la célébration de ce qui est vraiment important dans la vie. Pour la soudure et la couture à partir d’un moment de la disparition, la belle tepestry de la vie vécue avec amour.

    Je suis tellement heureux de voir que vous avez compris mon bien-aimé (vraiment votre bien-aimé) chat noir, qui pour moi, comme toujours été l’un des angles du tuteur dans cette histoire. Ce que j’aime à propos du travail est qu’il est courageux et honnête et courageux, plein de tendresse et de joie, de surprise et de l’honnêteté, la tristesse, la douleur et l’acceptation. J’aime que tes parents sont si forts et réels qu’ils ont permis d’être révélé. Certaines de ces photographies vient briser mon coeur, profondément, car il est en vérité l’histoire de nos vies à tous. Nous grandissons, nous disperser, nous nous aimons, nous perdre, et pourtant nous sommes privés de cette vie, mais nous avons aussi bien des semences.

    Je ne veux pas écrire quelque chose de plus. En fait, pour vous j’ai cassé mon silence sur les commentaires. Je me sens joyeux et privledged que j’ai eu l’occasion de répondre à vos parents par le biais de la chanson de votre voix et d’avoir rencontré vous. Nous ne sommes rien sans l’autre. Nous apprenons que la part de ceux qui, plutôt que de nous enseigner, nous guider plutôt par la façon dont ils ont eux-mêmes la vie.

    Tous les cas de maturité. Il n’y a rien d’autre dans cette vie.

    Une belle histoire et seemless et je vous remercie pour le partage.



  • P.S.

    Je voulais dire: Je suis de disparaître ….

    Pas vous! ;))))


  • Incredible. After a five-minute slideshow, I can’t help but feel like I’ve met them before. Incredible. The warmth and love jumps out at you instantly. Incredible.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • AKAKY: Audrey, I agree with everything Bob said.

    AKAKY IRL: What did Bob say anyway?

    AKAKY: I don’t know, I don’t speak French, but I’m sure I agree with him.

    AKAKY IRL: You’re nuts, aren’t you?

    AKAKY: No, although as I am writing this I am listening to a guy who is talking about his problems with the Church of Jesus Christ of Bladder Day Saints. (no, to quote Dave barry, I am not making this up.)

  • Very nice series,Audrey.
    You’ve managed,very well, to let us share a very basic, and often overlooked story,
    warts and all but with an understanding eye.

    Have you seen the following series ?

    The navigation is a bit funky to figure out.You have to mouseover the bottom of the image to
    prompt the next.
    That aside, I find it one of the more compelling series on the topic of ‘family’ that I have seen.

    What helped ‘sell’ this story to me was the color and for my personal taste that aspect was lacking
    for me in your piece. The dulled colors somehow seemed to reinforce the familiarity.
    Somehow color, for me, helps support a mood where, with black and white, I feel as if I am viewing
    an ‘interpreted’ frame of a moment.

  • Antonia

    Thankyou for your beautiful response to this work. I can only nod in agreement.

    So many powerful beautiful tender images. Charming, story-telling images. Such love. I’m very moved and inspired. Thankyou also for David Alans quote, great advice for us all.

    Thankyou again Audrey.

  • Audrey,
    merci beaucpup pour ces photos magnifique! J’aime ta facon de prier des images!
    Excusez moi pour tous les erreurs, mais je voudrais prier l’occasion d’écrire en francais, quand meme J’ai oublié beaucoup des mots et je ne sais pas où je trouve tous les signes a l’ordinateur.
    Je crois que c’est une très bonne ideé de prier des photos des tes parents. C’est comme une hommage pour eux.
    Moi meme j’avoir pries beaucoup des photos de ma mère, mais elle refuse de montrer les moments personelle.
    J avoir l’impression que tes parents ont beaucoup d’joie de vivre! Et pour moi ils sont très, très jolie! L’image 11 et 12 j’aime beaucoup parce que la composition est superbe!
    J’espère que tu peux prier encore beaucoup des photos des tes parents!
    Merci beaucoup et bonne chance!

  • Audrey,
    You were right to follow a simple advice as it showed how well it worked. We don’t have to travel miles away to look for subjects when they can be just right next to us. Love the shot and expression of your parents in their bed. Tell your dad that we enjoyed looking at his beautiful images :))

  • Bob, s’il vous plait, ne disparaissez pas, vous m’apprenez tellement… par vos connaissances et votre photographie…

    thanks Laura, Akaky, Brian, Reimar, Gordon and Mark, I don’t know Phillip Toledano’s work, it’s very beautiful and very poignant, thank your for the sharing…

  • Audrey,
    I am traveling with no ability to post any comments except with my blackberry but I wanted you to know how happy I am to see your essay posted and to have your talent visible by all.

    A bientot Audrey. Ton ami.

  • What a great essay. I thank you very much for sharing this.

  • Lassal,

    I do not want to highjack Audrey ‘s thread but I am indeed in Brussels and would love to get together when we can. I am a bit of a gypsie right now living in a hotel for 2 weeks and then will go back to cinci. If you need to reach me you can call me at 513 550 4007 or send me a message at

  • Audrey,

    many compliments for this essay. There are many strong images here and a great storytelling (I literally held my breath when the picture with the shadows on the cemetery’s wall appeared on the screen). I consider photographing one’s own parents or close relatives a really tough task (imo, besides typical family snapshots, which by the way are a real treasure in the long run), and you showed here a great equilibrum between love and detachment.

  • I enjoyed this essay a lot. I am reminded of a really great story done by Pat Davison as his mother was dying of alzheimer’s – I am glad you’re parents still seem to be healthy. May you enjoy them many many more years.

    One of my very first photo stories as a student was on a great guy who didn’t seem near death, just struggling with a degenerative muscle disease. Soon after I finished the story he passed away and the story became so much even more special.

  • Wow.

    A year or so ago I started to photograph my Grandmother, who’s now senile and in a nursing home. I wish I would have started earlier, not so that I’d have a great essay, but so that I could remember her better — in better times.

    I had better get started on my own parents.

    Thanks for this.

  • Audery, what a beautiful declaration of love! Very moving and engaging. Bravo! Amicalement, Y.

  • Audrey, I’m reminded of a quote from W Eugene Smith in which he says that he sometimes took photographs with no film in his cameras for a number of weeks until his subjects became so used to his presence that they just, eventually, ignored him entirely. Keep shooting Audrey!!



  • Audrey, what else can I say? Some of my favourite are in this edit, but also missing as Lassal noticed :)
    And the new photographs are special!
    Don’t worry…your negatives are perfect: they contains not only great picure but .. something more.
    A bientot!

  • Audrey,
    tu montre toutes les facettes d’une famille ( le chat noir inclus :) et tu reussis si bien a faire cela qu’on pense de l’ avoir rencontree dans la vie reelle.

  • There is certain work that one has to respond to even if just to say how great it is, without anything much more to say. This really kept my attention from start to finish and I have to go back again.

    Just like there are no redundant moments in one’s life, there are no redundant pictures in this essay.

    Great work Audrey!


  • Congratulation for this essay! It’s generous, tender and intimate. I love the photos. For me it’s very hard to photograph those near me. I can not explain why, but I photograph better strangers. You are very brave in doing such an emotional story and share it with us. N’arrête pas de photographier!

  • Audrey,

    As I wrote you earlier, this work is so beautiful. To be treasured now by all of us and as a piece of personal family history for decades to come.

    Charming, quirky (LOVE the “hold up”) :))

  • Audrey

    Love is a wonderful, wonderful thing..surpassed only by life itself.

    What a gift you have brought to Burn..for parents and kids alike.



  • AUDREY – you know how much i love this essay. i first saw it in perpignan – and was just as moved as i was seeing it again. nice new images and tight edit. there are too many that i love to single out – just a wonderful, moving, personal essay. you should be proud!!

  • Audrey,

    I love this. I felt (and feel!) such a connection with your family, a lump formed in my throat on seeing the gravestone reflection.



  • Audrey,

    Un grand merci pour le partage de ces instants tellement intimes, forts, perturbants car ils nous ramènent à notre propre vie, notre propre relation à nos parents.
    La distance géographique qui existe aujourd’hui avec mes propres parents et moi même rend votre essai certainement encore plus émouvant, touchant me faisant une nouvelle fois tourner mes pensées vers ma propre famille.
    C’est pour moi bien là la force de La photographie, tellement intime pour vous mais finalement tellement proche de nous, de ceux qui regardent vos images.

    J’aime à imaginer ce chat (évoquer par Bob et Katharina) comme un témoin discret mais bien présent comme en témoigne certaines photographie de la vie de vos parents.

    Très bonne continuation.

  • Audrey, I add my compliments in equal strength to those above. Additional accolades should go as well to your family, who display a naturalness and an elegance that is every bit your equal partner in this essay.
    I question though, how much the foreignness of this essay impacts my North-American sensibilities. If this were an American family, would I be as drawn in as I am here? I see a Ricard water pitcher, and I want to have breakfast with your family; I see Manet’s cat several times, and I desire to fly over to pet it. Would I feel as strongly if this were a family here in Anytown, North America?
    Would I feel the same way if Hassoun’s Israeli reservists were instead ordinary Americans temporarily drafted to fight a forest fire? Probably not – the foreign context is an additive quality which shouldn’t interfere with our notions of a work, but it does anyway. Your country honours Jerry Lewis…
    I am utterly enchanted with the timelessness of this essay, and would appreciate it if it were photographed here – just less so. But I do think those of us that are not of your culture are also drawn in, in part, by the nature of your wonderful cultural capture as well.

  • Audrey,

    This is an unbelievably beautiful work. Touching, personal and I think universal. Through your photographs, I can feel my parents too.

  • **
    I’m late to the party…
    what can I say that hasn’t been said?
    I like Jeff H’s comment;
    thought provoking…
    What I especially liked was~
    through your imagery I got a sense of
    what you DIDN’T photograph,
    and that is quite a challenge…
    beautiful work,
    beautiful spirit
    in all your

  • Thank you Gina, Laura, Christina, Wendy, Katharina, Sophia, Cathy, Kathleen, Jeff, Subhrajit, Vincent, Eric, Andrew, Abele, A Photojournalist Who Blogs, Jared, Yury, Srinivas, Ben, Velibor…

    I didn’t think that my parents would please so much… Jeff, yes, I asked myself the same question, maybe it is the ” French touch ” whose speaks Raymond Depardon…

    Jared, my first work was my grandfather at the end of life… it was very difficult, I was angry, powerless… today, I’ll photograph differently….

    Gina, the beautiful edit is David, not me, I do not arrive it, it is really difficult for me

    Thanks Anonyme Photojournalist, I like to discover new works… I bought “The Fat Baby” by Eugene Richards, there is a story moving of his parents…

    Amicalement, audrey

  • Audrey, These are really wonderful. I think the moments are wonderful and the compositions really compliment the images by adding a soft grace. Nice work.


  • Audrey,

    You give an older child’s view of one’s parents. Not to say that you are a child, (yet in the eyes of our parents we always are :) ), but it is to say that this view comes with maturity… the view that we are a product of our parents, and there are traits of them that we very much see in ourselves. For this, we curse them and love them. Who would we be if not for them? And I know this is very dependent upon one’s individual circumstances, but for those of us who grew up with two parents, or single parents, whether biological or otherwise, this is a story with which we can assimilate. We are them, and we love them with every thread of our being.

    It is an occurance that creeps up on you, like a yellow light screeching to red in our adolescence…there are always these lessons to be learned, friends from which to withdraw, friends to encircle ever closer, and practices that will ever echo the characteristics of our parents. These are the lessons of life, and the reactions to which are based upon our parents. They are forever enticing, loving, intriguing, and infuriating…and we are those reflections and love. Thank you for this journey into my feelings of my own family…fantastic use of depth of field, btw. I love this. How should I say? Magnifique.

  • Audrey, congratulations from me too.

    I must say some images touch me less than others, I sometimes sense too much of the photographer and less of the daughter, and that is probably why it is so difficult to bring one’s family as a photographic essay. A terribly difficult balancing act, between the eye and the heart, between knowledge and intuition.

  • thank you again…

    Hervé, it is very difficult to judge my own photographs, there is too much feeling, you are right, je regrette de ne pas vous avoir rencontré à Paris en juin dernier.

  • Audrey,

    Very lovery and touching story.:)))
    I love your works very much.

    Many families In Korea, was very big… mom, dad, grandma, grandfa, and children lived together.
    But nowadays it is changing…. They live very near as a neighborhood and helps each other… Because of working mom.

    Your woprks make me reminding very valued family and love.
    Thank you very much.

  • Audrey,

    Quelle bonne surprise de découvrir (ou de redécouvrir) cet essai sur tes parents… Je trouve qu’il a pris une forme très émouvante depuis les premières sélections que j’avais vues à Perpignan. Il me semble que les photos prises au cimetière donnent de la profondeur aux autres.

    J’imagine, et j’espère, que tu continues à photographier tes parents.

    A bientôt.

  • Salut Audrey, eh oui David avait raison (David was right…). Excelent et profond travail sur des gens proches, je crois que on peut faire des pures photos avec des gens que on connait tres bien et on a confiance.
    J’aime aussi “15mn”, que j’ai vu publie sur Reponses Photo et que je viens de le revoir.

    Keep going, peut etre on se verra a Perpignan en Septembre,
    A+ Patricio

  • I feel as if I was this children. I was partially raised by my grandfather and grandmother and I can see my childhood with them in so many of these pictures. Every morning when he opens the door….. that has always been a ritual…this essay inspire me in many ways.

  • A wonderful beautiful and in the end moving essay. I esp like the picture of your mother cleaning the shower (how she must hate that photo!).

    The only picture that doesn’t work for me is the girl on the bed with dolls (and maybe the girl on the slide) in that I don’t see your parents in the photograph and I don’t want to lose focus on them.

    All the best,


  • Kyunghee Lee, thank you very much, I hope one day to have a book so beautiful as your…

    Pierre-Yves, merci bq, j’espère qu’on se verra très bientôt

    Patricio, je serai ravie de vous rencontrer à Perpignan, j’ai justement travaillé aujourd’hui sur mon exposition à venir de 15 mn au fepn 2009

    Thank you Antonia, Charles… Yes, I hesitated with this image during my selection, because there are not my parents, but my parents live only for their children, their grandchildren and their cats! I find myself in it playing with dolls in my room… it is necessary to make choices and I did that…

  • audrey–

    i adore this essay. it’s my favorite kind- the kind that makes me feeeel. lots.
    tres bien! encore! keep going, sister. xo

  • Very nice, Audrey! My mum would kill me if I did the same ;-)

  • Thanks a lot katia and Joni, I also hope to see your works very soon!!

  • Audrey… This is a great essay. It is like a melody and it spreads sweetness. You should be proud and your parents too, as there is so much love in it.

    Congratulations and love,


  • Congratulations on a wonderful piece. For me, a very impressive display of photographic talent that managed to touch.

  • Tres, tres bien. Just lovely.

    Thank you Audrey!


    YES!!!! You did it. This is the most powerful edit of what to me is a touchingly intimate view of a marriage. There are some new images–love the frying pan!–but even the ones I’ve seen before take on nw meaning in this new sequence. Congratulations, my dear friend. I know you’ve put your heart and soul into this project and it shows. Now I look forward to the book…


  • Hi Audrey! Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment on your essay. I watched it a couple of days ago and was so touched. It really is a very intimate and sensitive piece. You have such a gentle style about your work, which I really love. Well done this is a really wonderful piece!

  • Have to disagree with Charles re. girl on bed…

    Although I understand you point Charles about moving away from the parents with that shot, it is such a beautiful image. It would be a real shame to lose it. Its one of the frames that I remember most.

  • Merci beaucoup, Ana, Gustav, Michael, James

    James, I apologize for not having recognized you in Perpignan last year, I hope that you will come this year and that we will meet us..

    Dear Partricia, thanks a lot for your help, your encouragements, I doubt a lot as you know, and you make me to ask me the good questions, I always feel you at my side when I work… merci à vous

    your friend, audrey

  • Pas de problème mon ami! J’espère que je peux visite Perpignan cette année! ($$$!!??)

  • I’ve seen this essay on your website before and fall in love with it from the first glance. It’s very beautiful: the intimacy, the playfulness, the sadness and humour of being alive. I like the subtle interplay of your characters in the story like ,for example, i believe, in the 12 image? -black cat, little girl and you dad – a love triangle, all independent yet connected. All seem at ease with you photographing them. what a great story, Audrey !

  • je crois que on peut faire des pures photos avec des gens que on connait tres bien et on a confiance.

    Pas vrai du tout. Qu’ est ce que c’ est, pure photo?

  • Thanks Marina, it is an image which I like very much, I like this movement in the image…

    Have to go her English lesson!

  • Pinoy Photographer

    OMG! It’s one of the top 3 best essays so far in Burn!! Absolutely truthful, heartfelt, genuine essay. That’s because you know the subjects so well….

  • Eduardo Sepulveda


    Choisir l’acte d’amour comme le ‘underground’ de l’essai, toucher comme ça a chacun qui l’a vu …

    Après de le revisiter quelques fois, de rester en silence, de lire encore une fois les mots de présentation, ce ‘fight for change’ caché, ou les mots de David ‘you have nothing to lose by trying’…

    …rappeler à ma propre grand-mère se plaindre chaque fois qu’elle voit apparaître un appareil photographique ou pis encore, chaque fois qu’il voit ses photos, avec la déception -peut-être- de ne pas trouver une image plus ‘fantastique’ d’elle…

    Lire les commentaires et voir la réception… c’est d’assister à un changement du lieu dans lequel se trouve le courage, l’exceptionnel ou la beauté, tout à fait.

  • Très beau travail, touchant.

    Bonne continuation.


  • a very warm-hearted nod and applause to you Audrey for this essay. i would love this little book on my table. bravo! bravo!

    – lance

  • Thanks so much… it means a lot for me…

  • jenny lynn walker

    thank you so much audrey,

    your essay has me close to tears. the love and honesty of it, and each and every photograph. and reminds me, in an almost painful way because of the magnitude of it, how much i love and miss my own parents

    i was SO happy to see you the bathroom mirror!… you are inextricably connected to the subjects and to the whole spirit of the piece… love it!

    jenny : )

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