You must like people and let them know it.
After a humanitarian cooperation in Calcutta, Sylvain Savolainen began his activity as a photographer and reporter. His work is regularly published by famous international newspapers and magazines. In Paris, he worked with Sygma and Gamma agencies. Today, Cosmos in Paris partly distributes his work.
At the same time, he contributes to the French and Swiss national radios. His features and documentaries are broadcast by France Inter, France Culture and the Radio Suisse Romande. He’s working for television as well.
This is how Sylvain sees his work as a reporter : “I look for what I consider are places of vulnerability, fight and hope. I try to trigger emotions and reflection in the reader or the listener. Making people aware and launching a debate is the goal that lies behind my work. A reporter’s job is to testify on the world. It is also to express his own interpretation."
Régis Debray used to say that "no photo can get rid of an aesthetic or moral point of view". I believe this statement applies not only to the person who looks at a picture, but also to the photographer who takes it. Photography is writing with light. Whatever the instrument – a camera, a microphone or a video camera – writing, expressing oneself is at the heart of a reporter’s work. This is not only about the act of expressing oneself, but about what is actually said.
Just like a journalist who chooses the angle of his article, a photographer makes his story interesting by taking a stance and expressing an opinion. This is how he finds out what he thinks, what he wants to convey and how he intends to do it: basically, the subject of his story. In my opinion, a feature story must be a discovery, and should provide information, explanations, and testimonies, ideally trigger emotions. Its purpose is to share knowledge.”
For some time now, Sylvain has been focusing on issues of justice, international justice and the written expression of memory.
In 2007, he won the Swiss Press Photo award for the best foreign feature of the year.
He currently lives in Geneva.