If you haven’t already heard of Felix Forest, you’ve probably seen some of his beautiful interiors shots without realising. He really does know how to capture the essence of a home. When I look at his images I start imagining who lives in the home and how they might hang out there. It’s a real skill.
Coming from a creative family, he’s been passionate about furniture, interiors and design for many years and taking photographs since he was very young. “I go to auctions on a weekly basis and revamp pieces. I studied and trained in film photography. After assisting for a short time in still life and fashion, I started documenting some of my creative friends’ spaces, which opened opportunities with magazines.” Now his work’s been featured everywhere, including Belle, Vogue Living, (inside), Inside Out, AD Mexico, Real Living and Vogue Australia. He regularly gets to work alongside his partner, interior designer and stylist Dina Broadhurst.
Like me, the Sydney-based Frenchman loves discovering new interiors and meeting the people who live in them. Lucky enough to travel extensively for work, he enjoys the constant change of scenery and learning about art and design pieces from passionate homeowners. The hardest part is finding new and unpublished homes and persuading people to let him shoot them. “The owners always feel they are not ready or finished.” And let’s face it, what home is ever really finished?
Felix strives to be unobtrusive in his work. “It doesn’t feel like you’re exposing your home,” he says. “It feels natural. I have a love for great designers, for great furniture and for people’s personal style and collections and I harness this in my photographs. I like my houses to feel natural, undressed and as authentic as possible.”
He doesn’t really have a favourite project, as it tends to be the latest one he is working on (currently an almost 20-page commission for Belle). But he is excited about shooting three “amazing apartments” in Europe for Spanish AD. Tough gig, but someone’s got to do it.
Although everyone thinks they can take a half decent photo these days, capturing interiors isn’t easy. “It’s about proportion and just having an eye for what works as a frame or a page, not necessarily what works well in real life,” says Felix. “The difficulty is to show off both the interior design and decorating detail as well as the flow of the space.” He adds: “We live in an era where everybody thinks they can take photos. It is true to an extent; as true as I can screw a tap back on if it leaks but if I need a job well done, I’ll call a plumber…”
Currently in between homes, Felix is looking forward to setting up properly soon and having a base for his collection of chairs, books and art. “I always like raw materials like aged leathers, timber and marble; things that show history and life.”
Felix’s latest art series, The Doors, is currently showing at one of my favourite furniture and homewares stores, Becker Minty, in Sydney’s Potts Point.
All images by Felix Forest, except the portrait of him, which is by Dina Broadhurst.