With our series On that Day, photographers are invited to go behind the scenes of one of their photographs. Today, Yan Morvan recounts his beginnings as a photographer on an assignment in Lourdes.

Joseph, Lourdes, April 1979 © Yan Morvan

“I was born on April 4, 1954 and I was in Lourdes on that particular day, photographing the annual pilgrimage for a Parisian magazine.

If you have never faced death and distress, I warmly recommend this place, where people travel to in order to connect with each other and pray, where the faithful come hoping for redemption and healing.

Photographing with a Leica has always been an aesthete's exercise, and I worked like a participant in a workshop, paying careful attention to my framing and to the play between light and shadow.

The qualifier of vulture was perfectly appropriate for my "oeuvre" in progress and I imagined myself soon covered with awards and distinctions for having “sublimated” tragedy!

Foolishness has no age; I went home proud of the work I had accomplished but nevertheless feeling a little uneasy."

By Yan Morvan

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