Carte blanche to Yann Levy

yann levy
© Stade Rennais F.C.

As the Rouge et Noir prepare for their third European match of the season, get a glimpse of the atmosphere at Roazhon Park thanks to the work of photographer Yann Levy, who was given carte blanche on 15 September.

A well-known photographer and reporter who started out as an amateur and semi-professional in Rennes, Yann Levy took his camera to the stands of Roazhon Park to capture the emotions of the stadium and its supporters during the Stade Rennais F.C. / Fenerbahçe SK match. Find out more at the end of the slideshow.

Yann, how did you feel about being invited to practice your passion at Roazhon Park?
I was very flattered, especially as I was asked to work on an area that is at the heart of my work, namely the stands. Being given carte blanche allowed me to find out what I like to capture in the fans. Although I'm not an ultra supporter, I always follow the results of Stade Rennais because it's a town I've lived in for a very long time, and I'm attached to it. For me, Stade Rennais means great memories with the supporters, derbies, all sorts of things... This invitation was both unexpected and very rewarding. It's a good initiative if we have different things to say. Poch  is a good friend of mine, I've taken part in some of his books and exhibitions, and it's funny to find ourselves not far from his work at the stadium.

You like to capture human emotions, and a stadium is a good playground for that?
Football is one of the social events that most channels and catalyses emotions, thanks to its collective feeling. From that point of view, it's very interesting. All of a sudden, thousands of people are in unison. We have all this diversity, which makes it a real treat photographically. Everyone is vibrating at the same moment and at the same time there are all sorts of different emotions that I go looking for, like a face, a look, an expression?

You have to go looking for these emotions?
They don't come to me in the sense that I'm not the one who provokes them. Photography is about taking the time to understand, to feel what's happening and to be in tune with it. Sometimes I'll stay in one place and wait, it might be 30 seconds or 10 minutes, because I've spotted something and I want it to happen again. The idea is to make people forget about the camera so that they're not posing or playing games. The environment has to take over and that's where I take the picture.

What would you say about Rennes and its club?
Rennes is a really nice place to live. The people of Rennes are cool, and I've always felt at home here. I didn't know the Roazhon Park, I only knew the Stade de la Route de Lorient. There's still a certain closeness to the pitch and I was impressed by the size of the kop today. It's a very pleasant family atmosphere. It's a good atmosphere.