top コラムRecommended photobook10 Léo Berne "Je t'aime - Je t'aime" レオ・ベルン『Je t'aime - Je t'aime』

Recommended photobook

10 Léo Berne "Je t'aime - Je t'aime"
レオ・ベルン『Je t'aime - Je t'aime』

John Sypal

On his website, French photographer Leo Berne says that he photographs “like a tourist”.

There’s something to this.


On vacation, free of “normal” we let ourselves look at the world afresh- life feels more vivid, more imperatively worthy to capture with a camera. Being a tourist is great. Novelty and interest abound- it’s the opposite of normal life.  “Normal” is always around- normal is in one way forgettable and, in another, (we think) unforgettable.  On vacation, people want to photograph the New stuff- the Special stuff- the New Experiences- the evidence that life as we know doesn’t always have to be as “normal” as we live it.

That desire to own a special moment for later (or forever, we hope) is at the core of humankind’s general photographic experience. If we can’t possess the time as it is, we can at least collect flattened rectangles of it. So, on vacation we snap what stands out and later put those rectangles into vacation albums. The pictures are to show and to help remember- this is where we went.  This is what we saw. This is what we were able to have as part of our lives for an afternoon.


Looking through the journey that makes up Je T’aime – Je T’aime,  I get the impression that Leo Berne is that rare sort of person for whom every day is a like a vacation. I don’t mean that he takes it easy-  Leo is a successful and very busy director. He’s not living a life of idle luxury. What I mean is, he’s got the ability to experience life like he’s on vacation- life as a journey- where every day shows something new, something interesting- something worth seeing, something worth sharing.



Published by Parisian gallery Echo 119 in 2021 Je T’aime – Je T’aime,  is a thick, 384 page full-color photobook that collects a decade’s worth of moments and people and frames from Leo’s life into one “day”. 

Sequenced from dusk to dawn and back again, it can be gone through frontwards or backwards to similar effect. This “day” stretches across years and continents, unravelling (or being knitted?) across Tokyo, dawn, Paris, winter, sunsets, Taipei streets, stony beaches, beds, long legs, sad eyes, through night and day-  Often accompanied by his friends and companions, Leo’s tour through time is also a voyage through love. 


A complete viewing of the book from cover to cover is quite an experience. I wondered at first what the feeling was that it left in me- certainly something about beauty of the world (and 35mm color film) but something else- then it hit me. While there might be moments of darkness, Leo’s book has not a shred of the pervasive, poisonous sarcasm of the day. In these pages there is no place for ironic self-awareness. Presented with absolute sincerity Leo’s book is a sprawling, glorious love letter to color, to light, to moments, to photography, to life.


  • Note:
  • I first met Leo on a street corner in Shibuya on a hot summer day in 2012.  I spotted his Leica M6 over his shoulder- he was surrounded by fashionable friends and I was soaked with sweat from walking around shooting all morning. Despite my appearance, he graciously let me get a snap of his camera.  Since then he’s gone on with the collective MEGAFORCE to direct music videos and award-winning short films. I also suggest visiting his website for a generous selection of his photography.
  • (
  • Those interested in ordering a copy of this book can do so from here
  • ( or, in Tokyo, from SO BOOKS.











今週の写真集『Je t'aime - Je t'aime』の旅路を見ていると、レオ・ベルンは毎日がバカンスのような稀有な人だという印象を受けます。レオは映画監督として成功し、多忙を極めていますが、決して贅沢をしているわけではありません。忙しい日々の中で、毎日、何か新しいもの、面白いもの、見る価値のあるもの、共有する価値のあるものを見せてくれるのです。


2021年にパリの「Galerie Écho 119」から出版された『Je T'aime - Je T'aime』は、レオ・ベルンの人生の10年分の瞬間や人物を「一日」としてまとめた、384ページフルカラーの分厚い写真集です。







  • メモ:
  • 実は一度だけ、レオと会ったことがあります。それは2012年、夏の暑い日、渋谷の街角で。 彼はおしゃれな友人たちに囲まれ、私は朝から撮影のために歩き回って汗びっしょりでした。そんな姿にもかかわらず、彼は快くカメラスタイルを撮らせてくれました。
  • 優しい人ですよ、レオさんは。
  • その後、彼はMEGAFORCEという集団でミュージックビデオや受賞歴のあるショートフィルムの監督をしています。彼のウェブサイトには、たくさんの写真作品が掲載されているので、ぜひご覧になってみてください。


Léo Berne "Je t'aime - Je t'aime"

Published by Galery &co 119, 2022

レオ・ベルン『Je t'aime - Je t'aime』

384ページ・270×210mm ・800部

出版=Galery &co 119(2022年)



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