biography

Jean-François Campos was born in Aix-en-Provence, France.  He began his professional photography career in 1988 during a visit to Berlin, where he returned regularly to continue this photo report before, during, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  

In 1990, these pictures were showcased in an exhibition at the FNAC Gallery called Berlin, a coeur ouvert (Berlin, with open heart).  That same year, he was awarded the Prix de la fondation Angenieux for his work.

In 1991, he joined French daily newspaper Libération as a correspondent covering political and social events -- from photographing Jacques Chirac during his presidential campaign to critical situations of Rwandan refugees in Northern Zaire and conflicts in the Middle East.  During his journalist career, which spanned almost 15 years, he earned eminent recognition for his captivating images, including the Prix moins trente given by the French National Center of Photography and the World Press Photo Masterclass award.  

It was after his last trip to Rwanda that Jean-François decided to stop his career as a photojournalist, and turn towards landscape photography and color portraits ‘a la chambre grand’ format.  

During that time that he created the series Portrait de la France en Hiver (1999) while traveling through the French countryside, photographing the places and people he encountered along his way.  

Between 2000-2002 he returned to his hometown, Port de Bouc, where his focus turned internal.  Finding Christine G., a series of portraits inspired by Jean-François’ search for his first love, was created and garnered tremendous attention from the worlds of advertising and fashion photography.   

With his extensive visual palette, from black and white to color and from reportage to narrative, Jean-François developed a highly sophisticated visual style that captivated the realms of luxury and high-end commercial fashion and beauty photography. His ability to create powerful, eye catching visuals led him to execute numerous award-winning campaigns and editorials.  Jean-François contributed to prestigious publications including various editions of Vogue, Italian Flair, Numero Tokyo, ELLE US, and V, and produced prestigious campaigns, as a photographer and as a director, for brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, and Shiseido.

Throughout his time in fashion, Jean-François remained devoted to exploring the "real world" through the lens of portraiture, and in 2013, started The Confession Album, a series focused around the youth of New York. This project sparked a continuous and undying inspiration -- the documentation of adolescences, and led Jean-François to produce a complimentary project about Los Angeles teens called LA Stories (2016-2017).

After an esteemed career as a photographer spanning almost 30 years, in 2017 Jean-François feels the need to discover new horizons as a creative director, and hence decides to turn a page, though this time with editorial and fashion photography.  

In 2018 he returns to New York, where with his wife art director Rachel Stein Campos, he establishes JFC Studio, a concept-driven design consultancy specializing in branding and visual identity.  

With the influence of New York City as his background, Jean-François instinctively returns to his artistic roots — photographing figures and places in black and white analogue photography with the same small Leica of his debuts.  This sparks a new personal project  The American Life  and  The American Beauty, a two chapter ongoing introspective journey combining text and images from past and present — an assemblage living somewhere between dreams and the world. 

Jean-François divides his time between his work as a creative director for JFC Studio, and his personal photography.


awards

• 2014:  Winner of American Photography 30 in the Editorial Portraiture category for portrait of Mary Ann Schoettly, an ordained priest
• 2012: Corporate Award at 27th Grand Prix de la Publicité Presse Magazine for LVMH; "Les Journées Particulières"
• 2004: 1st Prize Club des AD for Sony Playstation campaign
• 1997: HSBC Foundation for Photography winner
• 1997: Nominated for the AFP award
• 1997: Laureate World Press Photo Masterclass
• 1996: Prix Moins Trente from the Centre National de la Photographie
• 1991: Laureate of the Biennale des Jeunes Createurs de l’Europe de la Mediterranee
• 1990: Laureate of the Fondation Angenieux


exhibitions

• 2009: Sara, just Sara : in the mirror of my myths – Milk Gallery, New York
• 2006: Comment ça va avec l’amour – Maison de la Villette, Paris
• 2001: Le Collectif HSBC – Paris Photo, Paris
• 1999: Le Collectif Vu - Paris
• 1998: The French President - Mois de la Photo, Moscow
• 1997: Après la Pluie – Galerie Beaudoin Lebon, Paris
• 1997: Neighbours – Netherlands Institute for Photography, Rotterdam
• 1996: New Photography from France - International Center of Photography, New York
• 1996: Politique et Société – Centre National de la Photographie, Paris
• 1995: La Solitude du Candidat Chirac – Festival Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan
• 1991: Souvenirs de Berlin – Nuit de la photo, Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne
• 1991: Fragments - Musée de la Vieille Charité, Marseille • 1990: Berlin, à Coeur Ouvert – FNAC Galeries in Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Paris, Berlin


publications

• Unbalanced (Group64, 2014) 
• Sara, just Sara (Miedzy Nami Cafe, Issue #28, 2009)
• Photographies Contemporaines (Textuel, 2006) 
• Je ne vois pas ce qu'on me trouve (Actes Sud Collection Cinema et Photographie, 1997)
• Apres la Pluie (Actes Sud Monographie, 1997)