I am a photographer and a young director.
But, I was previously a model and actress. Through these combined experiences, my relationship with images has evolved a lot.
When I started as a model
When I started to pose in front of the lens, I felt a lot of pressure … I thought that it was my duty to make suggestions about poses and angles.
I felt responsible for the success of the shoot.
It was only after several photo shoots that I realized that fashion was really an industry.
An industry in the sense that although photography is an artistic discipline, the more you acquire experience, the more your body poses automatically. It’s a little mechanical.
During shoots, body movements look a little like a choreography.
The body moves to the rhythm of the trigger; you synchronize your poses to the rhythm of the flashes …
One day, I had the chance to make a decisive encounter that transformed my way of seeing things. This trigger, I had it while discovering the universe of Gilad Sasporta, a talented photographer for whom I posed.
I started to pose, as usual. But at some point and against the odds, Gilad “jostled” me asking me to break this somewhat cold image that I got from high fashion. That shook me in a way because it was not really the attitude that I’d always been asked to adopt.
Indeed, I belonged to a category called “gueules” in French, which also applies in the sector of editorial fashion. In other words, I had a very gendered image, something a little dark, and a somewhat inaccessible attitude. For me, I was confined to this style and this mood.
Control your image and challenge the standards
This image, despite being heavily criticized by some, creates a certain fascination in the world of fashion. I also understood that day that fashion was made to sell desire.
Before I realized that, I had a complicated relationship with my role as a model. It is sometimes difficult as a model to sell and play with your body in front of a stranger, a camera and much of the time, a whole crew of strangers.
But finally, once you understand that all this is nothing but an exercise, an artistic performance, everything becomes simpler.
Every physique and face creates an individual response, specific to its image. I had a hard, cold face. Gilad taught me to open my face and change my attitude to achieve this goal.
I then realized that rather than stay in this closed style, I had to work instead on opening my eyes and my personality; become more accessible, give some joy, counter-balance the coldness of the architecture of my face with a moral positivism; add a smile to my eyes, relax my jaw … Play a multitude of subtleties to create deeper and more captivating visuals.
A subtle look in the eyes
The problem is that I could not do it! So I asked for a break and I went out for a smoke. As soon as I lit my cigarette, Gilad stopped me and said, “I want this look! “.
There, I understood that everything resided in the relaxation of the glance. The photo freezes reality and models respond to this. Thus, the model tends to freeze her or his gaze, while in everyday life, your gaze looks different at every moment. It was then that I discovered the essence and the secret of the subtlety of a look.
An exchange between the model and the photographer
The photographer gives directions, the model must understand them, find them
deep inside of her and then make his/her own suggestions.
But the model alone does not necessarily realize how she or he looks. She/he needs an
outside eye to understand where and how she/he has to work. If the direction of the photographer is very skilled, then it shows in the photograph. If the direction of the model is an art and a pillar of the profession of the photographer.
Fascinated by this dynamic between the model and the photographer, I decided to go behind the lens. My passion is capturing looks and personalities rather than playing with my image.
The photographer’s perspective
I understood the magnitude of this thought around the eyes since I passed behind the lens.
When I shoot models, they may be beautiful, if I don’t direct them well the photograph ends up being flat and shallow.
In addition, it is necessary to observe the model, understand where he/she takes the best light and which profiles and axes are the most advantageous for her.
In a collaboration for a shoot, some kind of magic happens between the two personalities respond to each other.
The role of the photographer is to be the outside eye that reveals the model.
An exchange beyond appearances
It goes without saying, but the personality of the subject is very important. It is the element that will inspire the photographer and give depth to the visuals.
For me, photography is a mix of special moments, the direction of the photographer and
the model’s personality. It is an infinite quest in which each encounter allows one to grow and to question oneself.
What are the experiences that helped you grow the most?
Share your experience with us by comment or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.