How did you get started with flash photography?
My father always had a camera in his hands, for as long as I can remember, so image has always been a part of me. My grandfather painted, my father was also a musician, so art has always been a part of my life. And today, I try to keep this family tradition alive with my daughters.
I started out with photography thanks to a friend of mine. Little by little, I posted results of my photo shoots on social media and met individuals who allowed me to discover more about lighting.
These other photographers showed me the basics of flash photography, not as tool to light up a subject, but rather as a technique allowing you to transmit an emotion and capture an atmosphere.
Tell us more about your work and your photography style.
My photographs are very different from one another, I do not like to be labelled with one specific style, as I try to innovate as much as I can.
I like to get out of my comfort zone and try out whatever I want! I’ve immediately been attracted to portrait photography and I really like the closeness and complicity you’re developing with your subjects.
Moreover, the relationship the photographer has with his subject can easily be seen in the photograph itself. If the model is bored, you will never obtain great results!
I think that children are my favourite subjects to photograph, their spontaneity is a blessing!
What attracted you to our products?
I wanted a serious brand, with good quality products. I wanted an equipment that was trustworthy, reliable and durable.
Many users have advised me to go for Elinchrom, directly through the end-result of their images. The name, the reputation, the quality of their equipment, were the most determining factors in my final choice, and today I wouldn’t know how to upgrade my equipment with something else than Elinchrom’s flashes!
Could you describe us your equipment?
I own a simple equipment, to which I feel very compassionately about: my Canon 5D Mark II for its image quality and the softness of the end-result, my Tamron SP (the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70/200, f2.8) allowing me to cover the entire zoom of portraits.
I also own a tripod Vanguard Alt Pro that I use for specific focusing ranges. In terms of lighting equipment, I own two D-Lite RX4 kits, which do marvels! I do not lack any space, nor light, and it’s perfectly suited for my needs during indoor photoshoots. I would like to buy an ELB 400 with one or two Quadra Action or ideally the HS heads. After trying out this set for 2 weeks, it was hard for me to part with it! test in french on Phototrend.fr
For light shapers, I’m truly fond of my Octabox Rotalux 135cm, I also use the Portalite softbox, the Beauty Dish Softlite 44cm, and lastly a Phottix stripbox 34×140.
What is your basic set up, the one you use most frequently and the one that appears most effective to you?
My set up, just like my images, always change. But the two set ups I use the most are:
Rotalux 135cm in primary light, inclined to 45°, to project a soft shadow and mark contrasts without diffusers, it’s ideal for black and white photography.
The other setup is; 1 or 2 Portalite 66×66, inclined to 45° to light a subject’s face and and a soft falling light across the subject’s body.
This gives a very soft and diffusing light, perfect for portraits with warm contrasts.
How would you describe your approach to lighting?
I like to think that I’m controlling the light, and not the opposite.
Contrarily to photographers who compose with ambient natural light, I have the luxury to use light as much as I want to! Without light, photography wouldn’t exist. I like to shape certain atmospheres, bodies, faces, or facial expressions. With lighting, you can do everything!
What is your relationship with your photographic gear? Are you a “technophiliac”?
I truly like my equipment and I try to take care of it as much as I can. But new products are always attracting, and the latest technologies or the new functionalities are always tempting to try out.
When I see the most recent advances in softboxes or continuous lights, it can be frustrating to not be able to upgrade my equipment as much as I want to!
I’m always interested in new products, but I’m less interested in purchasing them. In the end, it’s also a budgetary constraint.
Flash photography can be quite scary for beginners, what would you say to them to make it easier?
To try! We only understand how lighting works by trying out various set ups; and we learn more from our failures than our successes. There’s a certain logic in lighting that you have to understand and master before completely delving into flash photography.
By first learning the main lighting techniques, you can start taking great images. Once you’re in the middle or at the end of a photo shoot, you can try out other techniques, that way you do not put your whole shooting in jeopardy.
Why do you think media is an important tool for photographers nowadays?
I tend to use social media in a meaningful way. I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube for tutorials.
To see and be seen, that’s the whole point of social networks! I use it both to show my work to others, but also to learn from fellow photographers.
I do not use websites such as Flickr, 500px and 1x, because their purpose seduces me less than before, and image theft has cost me, especially when it came to photographs of my children! Contrarily to my former habits, I’m not focusing on “likes”, today I want to build an online community and have followers faithful to my posts, with whom I truly interact.
Tell us about your next projects
I’d like to keep learning more about flash photography and master other lighting techniques. I want to continue to have a diversified portfolio.
I would also like to focus a bit more on my Youtube channel, that I use as an educational tool for retouching and angle shooting tutorials.
And in terms of photo shoots, I’d like to take advantage of the versatility of my equipment to take more photographs outside my studio!
The most powerful and portable TTL light ever designed for adventurous portrait photographers shooting both in studio and on location.
A portable and dependable off-camera flash equipped for your next adventure. 131Ws of power including a sealed Li-ion battery, TTL, HSS, bi-color LED and a touch interface.
Available in 12 different shapes and sizes, the Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox will quickly become your main light shaper whether you’re in a studio or on location.