Noel Da Silva Lundgren won Campus France’s “Ma plus belle expérience” competition

Each month, discover a student story highlighting the initiatives of one or several IÉSEG students.  This month, we have met Noel Da Silva Lundgren, an international student who won the Campus France photography competition called “Ma plus belle experience”.

Could you tell us a few words about the Campus France’s “Ma plus belle experience” photo contest?

It is a competition open to all university students and alumni in France. The idea was to take a picture about a visit to a place you particularly liked, an unforgettable event experienced with friends, an activity that particularly marked you, a moment related to your studies, etc. and tell a little story about it. After launching the competition, Campus France arranged a photo exhibition with the best  pictures that they selected. As I won, mine was put on a little pedestal and I had to hold a speech during the exhibition. I also gave an interview to Campus France. For the record, I have never taken a photography class in my life, I’ve just taught myself, and I don’t consider myself as a professional photographer, even though I am passionate about photography. In total, there were more than 300 entries for the contest, so I really didn’t expect to win! It was a big surprise.

Can you tell us the story behind the picture that had you win?

©Noel Da Silva Lundgren

I find Paris absolutely beautiful, so every now and then I just take my camera with me to take some pictures. I like to identify places that would look good in pictures at a specific time of the day/night. I found that street close to Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement and I decided to come back with my camera as I thought it was one of the most beautiful streets in the city. So, when I came back, I marveled at the street for a while because it looked amazing with the sunset. While I was taking photos of several subjects, I saw that motorcycle coming down – the way it reflected the light from the headlamp to the street looked fantastic to me, so I wanted to capture that moment. The day after, I had a look at all the photos on my computer as I usually edit them in “lightroom” and I immediately knew that this one was my favorite. I really wanted to accentuate the reflection that the headlight created in the ground, in the picture as a foreground, without making it too bombastic. I wanted the photo to stay natural, authentic and calm, that’s my photography style, which is also a reflection of my personality and my lifestyle. The day after I took this photo, I heard about the Campus France competition thanks to an email sent by IÉSEG. I thought that my picture would be perfect for the theme of the contest and I decided to try my luck.

How about your passion for photography?

I got into photography when I got into filmmaking – when I was about 9. A lot of photos I take are taken with the idea of being a film or a still from a film rather than a photo itself. I like to imagine my photos as a part of a movie, giving the spirit of the place you’re in. I think my winning picture is a very Parisian picture and that’s what I wanted to communicate about.

After travelling a lot and being in a lot of nice places, I wanted to capture memories and make those memories as authentic as how I saw them in my head. I love taking photos, I take tons of photos every time I go somewhere new.

I have five key hobbies: photography, filmmaking, food, design and fashion. What’s interesting is how all of these hobbies are connected together in any way. They’re all forms of arts that allow to express something and are ways of viewing and experiencing life. I would say that photography captures all of these other hobbies.

Could you tell us a few words about your experience in France and at IÉSEG as an international student?

First of all, I’ve had a very positive experience in France, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Paris. I recently found an internship in Paris so I will be staying longer. Even if I’m Swedish and worked for a British and a Danish company, I feel at home here. I think Paris is a perfect place for someone like me – who enjoys arts so much. There’s always something to do and experience, and that’s how I like to live my life.

IÉSEG has been a fantastic opportunity to meet people and I would recommend to anyone to do an academic exchange – it makes you grow both academically and as a person. It teaches you how to break out of your comfort zone. At IÉSEG, there are people from all over the world and that is amazing.

How does photography help you in your studies and what does it bring to your life in general?

When it comes to projects in school, I have always wanted to incorporate that artistic touch to be able to tell a full story. For example, for the marketing course, which I love, when I present a project, this artistic viewpoint helps me in telling a full coherent story and have everything that works together. Photography is a big part of that. I think that the things I’ve learned from photography help me excel in creating understandable visual mediums in school, but also the other way around, what I’ve learned academically influences how I take photos because I learn a lot about different things that inspire me.

Photography in general is a big part of my life because it is my main way of remembering, experiencing and sharing things. It is a constant part of my life, I don’t take pictures for others, I do it for myself essentially. For now, I am not planning on taking part in other competitions but I am definitely open to future opportunities…



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