Updated: Dec 15, 2019
-By Anshul Raj Khurana
My name is Marji Lang. I‘m a photographer from France currently based in California. My documentary work focuses mostly on the human condition through various angles, such as daily life and culture. I also have a passion for shapes and colors, that I developed during my journeys to Asia and India, where I lived for some years. My photographs have appeared on several websites, travel and cultural magazines, books, newspapers, NGO reports, and other documentary media.
I started photography more seriously while I was away from home, mostly in the south and south-east Asia, where I was studying traditional medicines a few years ago. It came naturally to me, along with my fascination for Asian cultures and ways of life. I started to shoot people, street scenes, rural life, pilgrimages, everything I came across. I was attracted by the beauty in everyday life, by authentic people in their natural environment, by the vibrant and intense colors. I wanted to capture and freeze moments and emotions I felt at a particular moment, and I wanted to share it with the world.
Nowadays, I am more and more attracted by the fine art side of photography, by an atmosphere, by particular color palettes. I've always been an art lover as well, which leads me towards any media that brings emotion to me: not only photography but paintings, music, cinema... All artistic mediums have always been my inspiration in everything I do since the beginning.
Anshul- You have traveled to many places, which has been your favorite, and why?
Marji- It's a tough question, I've been to so many amazing destinations, and loved most of them... I've always had a particular bond with India, where I kept going year after year and ended up living in the country, so there's no doubt that it is my second home. I love Asia in general, I love all of its countries, this continent and its populations had regenerated me when I needed it the most and when I was lost in life.
Anshul- I see you travel a lot. Tell us about your photography gear when you are on the go?
Marji- It's been effortless and straightforward from the start: my trusty Canon 5DMII with the 24-70mm. That's it! A laptop to empty my card, and I'm good to go.
Anshul- Do you post-process your pictures, and if yes, how?
Marji- Of course, nowadays, I believe everyone does because digital photography gives you very bland pictures (I shoot in neutral mode), so it's essential to up the contrast and tunes everything fit reality or your vision of it. I've used Lightroom from the start till now. And more rarely Photoshop when Lightroom doesn't satisfy me enough.
Anshul- Who is your favorite travel photographer, and why?
Marji- It's my mentor and best friend, a French photographer called Claude Renault. I crossed his path many many times in India, and he taught me a lot. I can almost say that I picked up photography because of him! Not only he is the most inspirational photographer out there for me, but he is also a very humble human, and that is a quality I highly value.
Anshul- How do you plan your travel? Are you an intuitive traveler, or you go by the book?
Marji- Intuitive, always. Never booked a hotel, never knew where I'd go in advance... Totally unpredictable in my travels. And that's the way I like it, and that's how I got to experience the most exciting and fascinating things I could ever imagine.
Anshul- You have a quirky way of shooting your pictures. What’s your take on it?
Marji- I have no idea! That's just the way I am, I guess. Everyone develops his own style over time, and that's a very unconscious thing.
Anshul- You have established yourself well on social media. Where would you see yourself in the next three years?
Marji- I wouldn't say that my social media presence isn't so influential and pretty modest compared to many. Which is okay, because I prefer to have a small pool of people who genuinely like my work than a massive following with almost nobody really into it, that would be worse. I really have no idea where I'll be in the next three years, as I said, I am not a planning kind of person, I prefer to stay flexible and ready for changes. You never know where life will lead you, be confident and open to possibilities. I've moved a lot in recent years and I had no idea about that! There is still uncertainty about where I will settle for good. I do have goals in life, but they are more in the personal field.
Anshul- Travel photography is one of the most done genres, how do you suggest one can be unique in his/her own style?
Marji- It became such a thing because of the travel boom plus the digital photography boom at the same time, and I benefited from it as much as anyone else. I can't blame anything for that, the world is beautiful, and we all want to capture its beauty. To be unique is to show what really brings emotion to you, personally. Don't try to imitate, don't fall for Instagram trendy picture styles. You won't grow from it, plus that's the most annoying thing in the world. Just be you! And I know, it's not even easy at all to first understand what is "you," it takes a long time to discover yourself, and your own style. Just keep going, it will eventually show up.
You can see more of Marji's work here: