For the Paris native Nicolas Rachline, photography is about capturing moments of fleeting beauty. “Beauty moves me beyond words,” the self-proclaimed Romantic tells me over the phone from his home in Brussels. “I am a rather nostalgic person, which is what Romanticism is all about.”

Rachline’s background is in television, but he became disillusioned with the industry in the 90s and started doing, well, nothing. He was living, he says, “la dolce vita, la bella vita.” Alas, the dolce vita doesn’t pay the bills, and in 2008 Rachline founded the fashion magazine Above.

He sought the help of his friend Peter Beard, who “took one look at the issues and said, ‘Are you crazy? I don’t want to work for that. This is crap!’” He signed on anyway, and together the pair turned Above into a glossy editorial with an environmental focus, which eventually morphed into Aboveline, an online-only editorial platform.

When money for photographers went scarce and advertising began to decline, Rachline started taking pictures himself. Before long, the camera became an extension of his hand. “It’s become an addiction,” he says. “It’s a sickness … Now I can’t stop!”

Aboveline shuttered in 2013, but the photographer’s itch stayed. Over the last decade, Rachline says, he’s shot “around 20 pictures a day,” which range from sunsets in St. Tropez and late nights on Long Island to portraits of Beard, Jeff Goldblum, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Elle MacPherson, Jean Pigozzi, and Christopher Walken.

His photos don’t have a theme, “or a connecting metaphorical red tape,” he says. He just shoots “what’s on my mind.” —Elena Clavarino

Elena Clavarino is an Associate Editor for Air Mail