Jérémie Villet, the “rising star” of wildlife photography

Jérémie Villet , a wildlife photographer is nothing you have seen before; he spends up to one quarter of the year sleeping outdoors and taking pictures. Jérémie Villet is 26 years old; he grew up on a farm in the countryside near Paris, France, and his childhood dream had been to climb mountains and see a wild Alpine ibex. Each year, he went with his family skiing in the French Alps. His first-ever recognized photograph was taken in 2013 when he went to the Alps specifically to look for ibex. He set off on the four-hour climb in good time to catch the sunset, but a thick fog meant it took him several more hours to reach the summit. ‘When I emerged from the clouds,’ says Jérémie, ‘it was like entering a new world.’ But the real surprise was to see below him a male ibex. ‘It was more than I’d hoped for’, says Jérémie. ‘Just me and the ibex and the beauty of the Alpine scene.’

Jérémie believes that somewhere on Earth, what we imagine becomes real. He left his studies to travel alone by ski and sled. Over these long, solitary expeditions in remote places, Jérémie uses the pure snow as a painter uses a white canvas. All his white photos are published in an art book titled Neige, and his work is featured in art galleries around the world.

Why this passion for the white landscapes? 

Well, snow somehow works as a filter, as an anchor in reality. Because I never touch-up my photographs, it’s not out of proud or being posh or something, but I prefer to work on my settings beforehand and simply enjoy the overwhelming satisfaction of a good shot; but let’s be real it makes my job much harder. And when you are into wildlife photography, you feel lots of things, alone in the wilderness, you hear things, you see things and when you finally take that instant shot, obviously you are not able to convey all of these feelings. When I am in nature, I feel this sensation of greatness, of purity, aestheticism, graphism. Surrounded by snow, it’s like I am in a dream. It sorts of echoes my childhood dream of sleeping in the forest … 

Jérémie Villet

On the 15th of October 2019, French wildlife photographer Jérémie Villet (see some photos by clicking on its name) won the Rising Star Portfolio Award (Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition)

On ARTE TV the film “Yukon, un rêve blanc