“What I like about photography is making things more beautiful”


We went to meet Vincent Dirckx, who is currently exhibiting around fifteen photos in the Voyageurs du Monde agency in Brussels. Photographs made with flash that give a desire for elsewhere.

I was sitting in the back of a car when I saw this man on the side of the road. He had something that intrigued me, so I asked my driver to stop and went to meet him. When I got to his level, I showed him my camera, a way of asking him if I could take a picture of it. He then nodded to me to say yes, and I took this shot. I was seized by his intense gaze », Says Vincent Dirckx with fervor. This is how it all started less than 10 years ago for this Belgian photographer that nothing predestined for this activity. Business lawyer, Vincent Dirckx developed a passion for photography during a trip to India in 2011. It was the meeting with this man sitting on the edge of a highway that changed everything for him. “ Back in Belgium, I look at my photos and I find this shot successful. I then began to take an interest in photography. I study and learn a lot. Travel allows me to put all of this into practice.

Today, the amateur photographer exhibits as part of the PhotoBrussels Festival some of his photos at the agency World travelers in Brussels. Through his exhibition entitled Moments from elsewhere, Vincent Dirckx wishes to share his encounters with others during his travels in Africa and India. When asked if he prefers photography or traveling, his answer is final. ” Travel is not really a goal in itself, what I want is contact with people. I go to countries I would never have gone to if it weren’t to meet a particular tribe, such as Chad, South Sudan or Afghanistan. But what is photography for? ” What I like about photography is making things better », He confides.

It’s like scuba diving. When I dive, I forget everything.

These encounters completely disconnect him from the world. ” It’s like scuba diving. When I dive, I forget everything. ” All ? Not really. What he sees makes him think and is a source of questioning. ” It’s a terrible lesson in modesty. When we come home, we want to sell all our material goods, we tell ourselves that all this is superfluous and we want to concentrate on the essentials. After life takes over. Even though they don’t always speak the same language and it is difficult to communicate, the photographer draws a lot of inspiration from the people he meets. ” These are very enriching meetings. It is important to respect and preserve these tribes.

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Human stories behind photography

Although he loves each of his trips, some moments are stronger emotionally than others. While traveling in northern Ethiopia in 2014, he will have an encounter that will upset him. ” I went to Tigray to Maryam Korkor which is an Orthodox troglodyte church, in the rock. You have to do a long hike to get there, and even climb barefoot walls because it is a sacred place. I arrive and meet a monk who has never come down from his mountain since he was 8 years old. We discuss and I burst into tears in front of this man so kind and so tender.

Meeting with Vincent Dirckx who is exhibiting Instants elsewhere at Voyageurs du Monde, as part of the PhotoBrussels Festival.
After hours of hiking, the Belgian photographer met this man in Maryam Korkor in northern Ethiopia. © Vincent Dirckx

There is no shortage of travel anecdotes. In eight years of experience, there is plenty to tell. ” Still in northern Ethiopia, I went to meet the Dassanechs to meet more particularly a lady that I had already seen in photos. When I arrive in the village, I am told that this old lady is dead. I am sad and a little disappointed, but I go to meet the inhabitants and I start to take pictures of them. And all of a sudden I see the lady in front of me (who wasn’t dead at all at the time). I meet her and she invites me to come into her hut. We exchanged and it was a very touching moment.

For this exhibition, Moments from elsewhere, Vincent Dirckx has chosen, in conjunction with Voyageurs du Monde, some fifteen photographs, including five photos for which he feels “ a particular tenderness “. We find in particular the photograph at the head of the article, that of the man on the side of the road in India, or a superb photo taken with a flash on a boat. ” This photograph was taken in the early morning, on a boat. We don’t see it in the photo, but on the right side, I have like an assistant who holds the light to me. »Forget about camera flashes. Here the flash is an external light, like a kind of small “ portable studio “. ” It is a lot of material which imposes a certain organization and logistics. This technique allows to give a look and a softness to the photo “.

Meeting with Vincent Dirckx who is exhibiting Instants elsewhere at Voyageurs du Monde, as part of the PhotoBrussels Festival.
The use of the flash gives “a look and a softness” to the photo. © Vincent Dirckx

Moments from elsewhere of Vincent Dirckx

From November 15 to December 21

Travelers of the World, Chaussée de Charleroi, 23, 1060 Brussels


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