THE FANTASTIC LIVES OF CLAUDE RODRIGUEZ
Claude Rodriguez was born on January 31st 1932 in Brussels, to a baritone father and a seamstress mother. He took his first photograph at the age of 17. “The Little Belgian” as he was known at the time, arrived in Paris when he was 18 and worked in a photo lab for two years. In 1954 he made his first cover with a photo of the beautiful French actress, Marina Vlady.
In 1955, he was set photographer on “And God Created Woman”. Meeting Brigitte Bardot would change his life. The great producer and director, Raoul Lévy hired him as Brigitte Bardot’s official photographer. He became photographer to the stars.
In 1956 Françoise Giroud hired him for the French magazine, L’Express, and he photographed Général de Gaulle and André Malraux amongst others. Raoul Lévy took him on again for the movie, “In Case of Adversity” with Jean Gabin and Brigitte Bardot, with whom he became friends and who often invited him to her home, La Madrague. He regularly worked with Hélène Lazareff, the creator of Elle magazine, and rubbed shoulders with Georges Craven, the great cinema publicist.
In 1959 he was set photographer on “Babette Goes to War” by director Christian Jaque and met a certain Jacques Charrier on set, who went on to marry Brigitte Bardot. Claude was the official photographer for the wedding on June 18th 1959. The sale of these exclusive photos to the world’s press made him almost 1.3 million dollars!
He was then set photographer on “Love on a Pillow” by Roger Vadim starring Robert Hossein. It was on set that he took the photo of Brigitte Bardot backlit and smoking, which was published in Marie-Claire and in the world’s press.
In 1960 he finished with the movie industry and started a new career as a freelance advertising photographer, firstly for J. Walter Thomson. He was in high demand in Paris. Pierre Lecoeur, the agency’s art director entrusted him with the Courtelle campaign and there followed work for Crédit Lyonnais, PEER Export Cigarettes, Xerox, Kodak, Kronenbourg, Kiri and many others…
Claude went from photography to filming advertisements and created his company, “Suresnes Production”. He then headed to Canada, “this America that speaks French” to start a new professional life. He was taken on by Canada’s largest gas supplier and made 3 million dollars annual turnover in 1976 and 1977. He bought a 600-hectare farm.
Claude Rodriguez returned to his Kodak cameras after that and went back into advertising photography. He even won an award in Chicago for his work on “les violoneux de Rémigny”, a children’s violin group, then worked on BELL’s great telephone campaigns.
In 1979 Claude invested in his first panoramic camera, the FUJI 6X17, thinking he could be Canada’s national park photographer. One day, while out walking, he stumbled on his first golf course completely by chance: the Gray Rocks course in the Laurentian region of Quebec. The emotion he felt on seeing the spectacle offered up by nature at dawn was similar to that on discovering Brigitte Bardot.
It was a revelation.
Claude was to become the golf course photographer.
The owner of the Gray Rocks course bought his photos to turn into postcards. In 1993, Michèle Gignac was looking for someone to create the Blue Green photo library. Claude was commissioned to photograph 16 golf courses. He then met Laurent Boissonnas of the Open Golf Club, for whom he photographed six golf courses.
He is now 85, has photographed 150 courses and has just finished his 151st, the Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, home to the 2018 Ryder Cup.
COMMENTS FROM THE FIRST READERS
“It is a beautiful present which will have a place in my, as well many of my friends, homes.”
“Claude Rodriguez’s gentle gaze can be found in every one of his images. It is magnificent.”
“The present for anyone who loves golf and who, like me, will be closely following the Ryder Cup in 2018.”
BUY YOUR BOOK IN ITS CUSTOM-MADE BOX RIGHT NOW
“Fairways of Light” is available at 55€.
Delivery within France: 10€
Available to pre-order until 30th September and we will include delivery costs as well as a free, 32×49 cm golf bag towel worth 15 €, printed in the colors of “Fairways of Light”.
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