The People in the "Sweet Talker" Photo - Interview with Meg Buisson

After our interview with Greg Arnold discussing his photo's taken at Cuba Dupa, we were extremely fortunate to find the woman featured in the photo entitled 'Sweet Talker'. Turns out that she's a photographer herself and that looks can be deceiving!

Meg Buisson (Photo by Excio team)

Tell us a little about yourselves - We presume you're a couple?

Well, we’re actually not! Ed and I are friends. We share an amazing relationship full of affection, reciprocity and empathy for each other but we are not a couple! We met a bit more than a year ago, at Rogue & Vagabond (where this photo was taken). Ed is a musician and played a bit everywhere in NZ this summer, so we had not seen each other for a few months. I guess we were super happy to hang at Cuba Dupa!

Original photo "Sweet Talker" by Greg Arnold

Did you enjoy Cuba Dupa this year? What was your favourite part of it?

This year was a funny one. With the attack in Christchurch, the organisers decided to keep most of the shows and gigs “inside” so the festival had lost its spontaneity. I think the organisers did what they thought was best, and I bet it was a difficult decision to make. So even though Cuba Dupa was different this year for this reason, I still enjoyed a lot of the shows and gigs and general atmosphere.

I love the whole synergy and mood of music, arts and dance festivals and I’m so glad that Wellington is hosting many events along the year. As for my favourite part, I think it was on the Saturday night when I randomly went to a gig at the Opera House and discovered an Australian band called Hot Potatoes. Oh my god it was fabulous, the music, the audience, the venue, the artists… everything was there, vibrant, fun and so engaging - we danced so much!

Do you like the photo that Greg Arnold took of you? What was your reaction when you realised you were in NZP magazine and on the Excio blog?

Well I was very surprised especially because of the way I’ve discovered it. I work for PaperKite and my CEO, Nic Gibbens who happens to be friends with the photographer, sent me a message in our internal messaging tool saying that he saw a photo of me and my boyfriend in his Facebook feed, and attached a screenshot of the photo. It was so random but I was really amazed! I shared the story and the photo with Ed straight away. We both loved the photo, I think it depicts very well our interaction of the moment. Ed is incredibly loving and communicating and he is such a sensitive soul with an immense heart. I mean it’s pretty obvious isn’t it?

Did you notice the photographer in the crowd pointing his lens at you?

Absolutely not!

What are your thoughts on street photography and photographers posting those images for the world to see?

I like street photography. As a photographer, I like the idea of shooting and somehow stealing moments of life, and bring beauty out of them. As someone who’s been photographed, you feel a bit special and privileged perhaps. It must flatter our ego a lot! But it also demonstrates that you don’t have to be a model or to live the life of a star to inspire art and be in a magazine!

On another note, I must say that street photography requires a bit more rigour and communication from the photographer, specifically when you capture people who can clearly be identified in the photo. Even in a public place, there’s a level of privacy that should be respected, moreover if the photo is then posted on social media or published in a magazine.

I think a minimum good practice would be to go to the people you’ve captured, show them the picture and ask for permission. This hasn’t been done in my case and it’s all fine, Ed and I have nothing to hide. However, I can easily imagine this situation being a problem for someone else. I studied journalism in France and I can remember that image rights was quite an important law to understand and respect.

You mentioned you are interested in photography yourself - what is your style?

I’ve been practising photography for over 10 years, but it’s really been on and off. I enjoy travelling when I have the opportunity, and hiking during weekends and/or holiday, so I guess I’m more into travel/nature photography.

I also really enjoy music/gig photography but this is not something I have done for years.

I’ve tried a bit of portrait when I was in living in South India but I find it pretty intrusive in Western countries. Curiously, the photos that move me are far away from my style. Alain Laboile’s style amazes me - The very simple things of life, the play with light, speed, blur and clear, the composition… I find his work fascinating.

How did your photography journey start and where do you see it heading?

Meg Buisson (Photo by Excio team)

I bought my first camera 11 years ago, just before flying to NZ actually. I spent a month travelling in the North Island and I fell in love with the country and the energy there. I wanted to capture all of it and I took so many photos, but it was pretty boring to show. No one likes watching 320 holiday photos! This was when I realised that photography should show something, and not be a register of the different places you’ve been. Your photos are here to reflect an emotion, a message. A pretty tough breakup a couple months after I returned to France gave me the space to look into photography deeper and it became a sort of outlet. Today, I consider it as one of my favourite hobbies and a form of expression that is meant to share the beauty I see.

I don't consider myself being a professional photographer: I really don’t have the skills for it and somehow I love it too much to add any 'work commitments' to it.

I just practice when I want and sometimes I don’t touch my camera for months.

I’ve always dreamt of printing some shots - Perhaps I will in the future. I’m just back from a trip in Nepal and I’m in the middle of editing everything - it’s super exciting!

by Meg Buisson

by Meg Buisson

by Meg Buisson

My next step will be to build a website for my work: I’ve used Flickr for the last 10 years and I have my photos on 2 different accounts which is super annoying - I want to have everything in one place, and the option to add a bit more flavor and text if I want to.

© Excio