Hedi Slimane believes photography has been a ''natural and defining part'' in his life.

The 48-year-old fashion designer - who left his role as the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent last year after four years to embark on a career as a photographer - has admitted he is ''equally as fond of fashion'' but taking pictures has been a passion of his since he was a child, although he hasn't shot any fashion shoots since his departure yet.

He told new York Times Online: ''I started at 11 with black-and-white photography. It has always been a natural and defining part of my life, a personal, intimate process. I am deeply attached to each of the characters I depict, and to my photography archive.

''I am equally fond of fashion, however it is a different process, more analytic, drawn by the semiotic of fashion and individuality, the sense of personal style rather than fashion [design] standards.

''I haven't shot any fashion photography since I left Saint Laurent in March.''

And the creative mastermind has admitted attending a variety of concerts and enjoying an energetic nightlife ''defined fashion'' for him.

He explained: ''I guess I grew up in clubs from age 15 and concerts and night life defined fashion for me.''

Hedi has recently unveiled his portfolio of images for V Magazine, which he has titled ' Hedi Slimane's New York Diary', and includes shots of artists, musicians and writers.

Although the French star has embarked on a new path, he has vowed to ''never'' stop designing and creating show stopping garments.

He explained: ''Naturally, photography will always be there, however I never intended to stop designing. I never said I will stop designing in the future.''