Violaine Chapallaz (1969) is a photographer based in Haarlem, the Netherlands. She specialises in portrait and fashion photography in which nature plays an important part.

Analogue photography is her preferred mode of work, because of its slow process and the knowhow that is required to execute it perfectly. Within Chapallaz’ work, natural light is leading, as she is enamoured by the way it carefully caresses the subject, and the challenge its changeability poses to the photographer. Her work is often staged in nature or in deserted and decaying places, juxtaposing perfect high fashion with the reality of life. She does not believe in ‘picture perfect’ – because life is not picture perfect – instead, she likes to work with what is, guided by her documentary style intuition.

Chapallaz was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and spent her formative years in several different countries around the world, such as Australia, the Philippines and Costa Rica. Her many travels inspired her to take up the camera, as she was eager to explore and document the new experiences that were waiting for her just around the corner. This great unknown instilled in her an open mind and an ever burning curiosity for her surroundings, while her passion for photography quickly became her way of thinking and communicating, like a diary or a secondary brain. Inspired by her travels, she is interested in the unpolished, overlooked and misunderstood. From this standpoint, she explores themes as femininity and intimacy.

Brought on by a confrontation with her own mortality, honesty and introspection are even more important to her nowadays. In her personal work, Chapallaz takes her time to thoroughly research and reflect on her practice, and to capture her own emotions before they have fleeted. This fascination with the transience of life and emotion comes to light in her ongoing project about the coming of age of the friends of her own teenage kids.