Born in Indiana, Larry French is a writer and photographic artist based in Los Angeles, California. He first studied photography during the early years of UCLA’s fine art photography program, primarily under Robert Heinecken but also briefly with Robert Fichter. He continued his photographic studies at Art Center College of Design under Max Yavno.
His essays and short stories have been widely published appearing in many publications and anthologies including the Harper Collins Guide to College Reading and the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.
His photographs have been exhibited at group exhibitions throughout the United States and also, internationally, in Moscow, Budapest, Simferopol, Rome and Berlin.
He currently represents the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation in America.
I was a hunter, born and raised in the farm country of Indiana. When I was 10 or 11 my father began taking me target shooting. By the time I was twelve I was hunting by my fathers side with my own rifle and shotgun. We hunted as far south as Kentucky and up through the length of Indiana and into upper Michigan. I was good at it. Not just the shooting, but moving quietly through the woods and fields, all senses alert, looking, hearing, even smelling. I never felt more alive than when I was hunting. I loved it and, for about five years, I lived for it. Then just after I turned seventeen something happened. It had been building and one afternoon after a day in the field I realized I didn’t like the killing. And I never hunted again. But I missed everything about it, everything except the killing.
Years passed. I married, divorced, married again, moved to California and began to study photography. First at UCLA and then at Art Center College of design. But it was many, many years before I finally made a connection between hunting and my photography. It happened in Chinatown. There was a strange light on an old rusted door in an abandoned warehouse. I was worried the light would change so I literally ran to get the shot.
And it was then; right after taking that particular photograph that I begin to understand. I was once again wildly happy. I felt alive and alert in all my senses. I may have been a grown man moving quickly down an alley in Chinatown but I was also a 14-year boy walking in the Indiana woods with his father. I was hunting again.
My hunting ground is different now. Instead of the hills, woods and fields of the Midwest I find myself moving quietly through the early morning light in a cemetery in Taos, a boulevard in Paris or a back alley in LA’s Chinatown. The animals I am hunting now are made of wild light and long shadows and most important for me, nothing ever dies.