After studying film editing he did his military service with France's Armed Forces Film Unit. As a child he became acquainted with images and ways of seeing via the photographic work of his father, André Beau. But he only discovered hands-on photography in 1973, while working on a film being shot in Indonesia. In 1977 he began working as an editor on TV reports and documentaries. His editing work gave him a taste for still images and in 1980 he became a photographer. His first exhibition came in 1982 with Les Eclaireurs (The Trailblazers), a black and white series evocative of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies. In the same year he began directing films. There followed a number of exhibitions, including Les mythes de nos nippes (Clothes and Myths, 1983), at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, a black and white series on a clothes-making workshop for children; Un mariage juif (A Jewish Wedding, 1987), a black and white series, first prize in the international competition at the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv and Suerte (1997), a black and white series on apprentice bullfighters, shown in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. In 1995 Alain-Charles Beau began a personal project focusing on couturier Christian Lacroix. In the course of six years he accumulated almost ten thousand images; and in 1998, with the backing of the Ministry of Culture and the Visual Arts Delegation, a series of black and white photographs was exhibited as The History of a Haute Couture Garment by Christian Lacroix.