Raphael Olivier is a French photographer based in Shanghai, China. He started photography in his early 20’s while traveling, to capture and remember the people and places he encountered through years of backpacking around the world. Some of his most memorable experiences included hitch-hiking from Paris to Bamako and from Paris to Istanbul, as well as extensive travels trough Asia including places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Southeast Asia.
After shortly going back to studies between 2004 and 2006, he got a degree in graphic production and then found work in Vietnam where he started living off his photography in 2007. There he joined the photography agency Noi Pictures and co-founded an art collective named the Almaz Collective.
Only recently, in 2011, he felt the need to move forward in his career and decided to relocate to Shanghai, a vibrant city that seemed to offer more excitement and opportunities than any other place in the world.
Today his work is mainly focused on urban photography, exploring the complex relationship between people and their urban environment, especially in the rapidly changing contexts found all over Asia. This includes photographing cityscapes, environmental portraits, street photography, as well as various stories of social documentary.
Over the past few years, some of his subjects have included the underground hip-hop culture in Myanmar (Burma), the urban transformation of Hanoi, the construction workers in Vietnam, urban landscapes in China and daily life scenes in Shanghai. His personal projects for the future are mainly architectural, he is now preparing various travels around China to document the unique urbanization process of selected cities in remote areas of central and northern China.
He is also working more and more on commercial projects including industrial and corporate shootings, editorial portraits and advertising campaigns. He will soon be represented in India by the newly-born agency Epoque, and currently seeking representation in Europe. You can learn more about him on his website/portfolio or ask for online printing of his work.
Raphael’s Portfolio – People and Places