André Courville

André Courville is a photographer raised in Lafayette, LA, currently shooting in New Orleans. His work speaks to the contrast and dependence between humans and nature as well as light and darkness.


Instagram: @october_surprise

How did you interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?

My passion for photography began while I was getting my master’s degree in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, and decided I needed a new start after graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In reality, I moved to a city where I knew absolutely no one, which was one small sacrifice for wanting to “find myself.” I bought my first camera so I would have an excuse to walk around the city alone.

My camera sort of became my right-hand man and I never left home without him. In retrospect, my interest for photography definitely stems from my mother. She successfully cataloged my brother and I’s lives with pictures stored away in countless old shoe boxes. While in Boston, I tried taking photographs that I was being fed through sites like Tumblr and Instagram. My complete lack of any type of formal education in photography has forced me to evolve through independent research and my own creativity. Whether good or bad, I hope that my photography captures a moment in time that shouldn’t be forgotten. Something that is both intimately simple and intricately complex. 

How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?

Relationship with your surroundings is everything. I think being from Louisiana definitely gives me a great sense of comfort, a sense of “homeness.” Whether it’s just because Louisiana is, in fact, my home or it has something that no other place has. I tried explaining this feeling to some friends in Boston, and I never quite got the idea that they were following where I was coming from. I wouldn’t be the first to remark on the romance that many past artists have with Louisiana, and I won’t be the last. I definitely use this energy when taking pictures. Going into City Park in New Orleans instantly brings me back to my childhood and the freedom that I enjoyed. I only hope to portray this bond through my work.  

How do you choose your subjects?

I tend to go off intuition when photographing. I wouldn’t say that I have ever began a particular series knowing how I wanted the end result. I tend to go with what comes natural. Something simple and something natural.

Where do you go to draw inspiration?

I draw most of my inspiration from two things: nature and the street. Being in nature definitely provides me with a natural sense of curiosity with what grows around us. I particularly like the contrast of black and white photography with our natural world. At the same time, the street also provides the same inspiration tailored towards human interaction. So, naturally, I find immense inspiration in how human beings interact with nature. This interest probably stems from my degrees in political science where I mainly focused on the national security risks posed by climate change.

Do you feel creatively satisfied?

At the moment, no. I am at a crossroads in my career life, and this has caused some creative stagnation. Breaking into the art world and having no educational experience makes photography somewhat difficult financially. At the same time, I enjoy the fact that photography, at this point, is purely a hobby for me. In a sense, creatively, it makes the pressure of meeting deadlines and satisfying customers irrelevant. I’m hoping to embark on a new career adventure soon, and with that, I hope the creativity follows.