Delphine Blast (IG: @delphine_blast is a French documentary and portrait photographer known for her intimate, stunning depictions of subjects in their private lives. Her photographs seem to draw on a shared human experience while still managing to celebrate the individual.
She is based between Paris and South America, and is often on the road for work, shooting for the press, NGOs and various other global institutions. We caught up with this road warrior with a laser eye and asked her how she got to where she is (and how she keeps her hair in check on long journeys).
Here’s what she said:
T’zikal: Your photographs are so emotive. When did you start taking pictures and what inspired you to pick up the camera?
Delphine: I got my first camera at 18. But I actually started taking pictures on my first trip to Bolivia in 2006. I was so inspired by the amazing colors of the country, the beautiful light and, of course, the Bolivian people. It was at the time something very new for me and I wanted to share it. Pictures were the best way for me to do so.
T’zikal: What is your connection to South America? Where are your favorite places to travel there?
Delphine: I started to travel to South America more than 12 years ago. I went there one day, on my own, without speaking one single word of Spanish. I wanted to have a cultural shock. And I did! I have been traveling there ever since. I love the Latin American people, their kindness and simplicity. They have a special connection to nature and the mother earth that resonates with me. I feel more at home there now than in Europe.
I love getting lost in the forests of the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica, wandering around in the tropical region of the Yungas in Bolivia, or enjoying the seaside and its surroundings on the hidden Islands in the Yucátan, Mexico.
T’zikal: You seem to be able to capture a vulnerability in your subjects. How do you prepare them for a shoot?
Delphine: I take my time. I observe and talk to people. In the end, photography becomes nearly an excuse.
T’zikal: As someone who seems to travel a lot, what kinds of beauty or self-care routines do you maintain? How do you take care of your hair?
Delphine: During my trips, I try to have a good hygiene of life, drink a lot of water and use products as natural as possible. For my hair, I try to protect it from the sun with hats (I love hats!) and I moisturize it with oil-based masks or aloe vera.
T’zikal: Describe your perfect Sunday.
Delphine: Lazy morning waking up with the smell of freshly ground coffee, followed by a walk in the forest. Relaxing in a hot bath with a good book and classical music. Evening: chilling in front of a fire place with a good glass of wine and great company.
T’zikal: How was your experience with T’zikal?
Delphine: T’zikal products are all natural and made of high-quality ingredients like ojon oil from Honduras that I discovered thanks to this brand. I hadn’t heard about ojon oil but quickly noticed the benefits in my hair. There are no artificial colors or fragrance and the brand doesn’t animal test, which I like.
I also love the packaging. The size of some of the products is very convenient to carry on when I am traveling, and I love the wonderful story behind the brand - it is very inspiring to me, feeling myself very close to South America and its people.
Have we caught your attention? You can purchase the book 'cholitas' by Delphine Blast following this link (external website - not affiliated with T'zikal Beauty Group, Inc.)