Black hair, greying temples and a pipe in the mouth, the stature of a bon vivant, Jacques Aubert was a far cry from a "show-off" photographer. He hated feigned familiarity and carried out his work with passion. He was far from being big-headed. His friendships were sincere and considered, in a milieu where you can lose patience quickly. He said: «I speak with familiarity to Brassens, but it’s because he asked me to.» Born in Paris in 1920 his father was a head-waiter and his mother a dressmaker, he finished studying at 18 years old. Professionally he is successively a bank clerk, an accountant and a bulldozer driver in the public secteur… He goes to Youth Hostels with the Frères Jacques and Quatre Barbus whom he meets again later at Philips. He discovers photography at the end of the war, after one year’s military service in Germany. His cousin, a "sensitive plate" fanatic gives him the taste for it. Jacques Aubert had found his vocation. Genuinely self-taught at a time when photography encompasses several professions in one, that is, shots as well also the laboratory side, he is hired as a reporter for Vie Ouvrière, a union weekly. At this time, only black and white is used. He then joins the magazine Regards and after a brief period self-employed, Jacques Aubert joins the phonographic company Philips in January 1958. At this period, the photographic department depends upon 3 large sectors of activity: artistic advertising (record sleeves, posters, postcards etc.); public relations (events and concerts for classical and popular music); and commercial advertising (catalogues, displays etc.), which gives him the opportunity to reveal his talents. An amazing profession which encourages you to excel. Great sensitivity is required to capture the right moment. In a short space of time, it was necessary to put the artist at ease, to adjust the technical details, to take the wishes of the artist, the artistic director and the others involved into account, and especially, "not to mess it up." In contrast to current digital technology with instant results, it was necessary to wait for the development to know if the shot was good, and there was not always the chance to take it again. «There is very little room left to express your creativity» he bemoaned. About his job as a photographer at Philips, he said: «I love photography and theatre, I spend my life taking photos and never nearly go to the theatre anymore… What for? Since every day it comes to me! Isn’t it marvellous…?» Jacques Aubert retired at the end of 1980 after 22 years of good and loyal service, at a time when a huge transformation in the world of musical reproduction was already being anticipated. He passed away in September 1994.
COUNTRY : France