Death of Roland Michaud, traveling photographer

Little Turkmen from Afghanistan, 1967. © Roland & Sabrina Michaud / akg-images

Text by: Isabelle Chenu Follow

Photographer Roland Michaud died on May 25 in Paris at the age of 89. With his wife Sabrina, he had trained a couple of traveling photographers who surveyed the world for almost 60 years, notably Afghanistan, but also India and China.


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The taste for others and the journey fueled Roland Michaud's photographic passion. Born in 1930 in Clermont-Ferrand, he left for Lapland at the age of 20 with a touring bike and his grandfather's old camera. A few years later, it will be the Middle East hitchhiking with his brother and his first color photos in Iran.

► Listen again So far, so close  : Sabrina and Roland Michaud: a life of travel and images

But it is in Morocco, where he is sent to do his military service, that Roland Michaud will meet his double, Sabrina, who will become his wife and his traveling and working companion. Together, the couple embarked in the early 1960s on photographic expeditions to East Africa, to Yemen. They publish in the press, set course for Singapore, Asia, an 85,000 km loop, of which they report 34,000 negatives.

"Afghanistan" , an aesthetic shock and an editorial success

In 1969, having become traveling photographer parents, they published after a long journey a book, Afghanistan , whose release was an aesthetic shock and an editorial success. This success opens up new projects for them. They leave to document Islamic art through Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Egypt or Syria, with their family camper.

Their books make you dream and the photographic exhibitions are linked. At the beginning of the 1980s, Roland Michaud specialized in India, then it was China. The photographer had remained faithful to film photography all his life.

In images, in pictures


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So far so close

Sabrina and Roland Michaud: a life of travel and images