About a year ago, I suffered a serious knee injury attending a punk rock show. Acting my age, I stood in the heart of the mosh pit for old time sake and once the action started, slipped on some beer, got pushed forward and my knee went beyond full extension and I fell to the ground in a stampede of testosterone. I stood back up only to fall again as I had absolutely no strength left, my muscles being unresponsive to any signal my brain would toss their way. I crawled out to enjoy the sweet rhythms of my teen years and ended the night in a drunken stupor.
A year later, my knee is fully rehabilitated. After a year without activity, I started going back to deck hockey Tuesdays with the boys, finding out how quickly one loses cardio and synchronism. A couple of weeks into the season, I finally found today my usual pace, passing a couple of balls by the goalie with swag, top corner style.
Somehow, I feel the same when it comes to my photography. Ever since we formed Consulat, it feels like I’ve connected back with something, shooting in a more precise orientation, finding my pace. Some kind of natural selection occurred and the projects I am currently shooting help me build the career I wish for myself. Most of those shoots are ad campaigns but I also got to shoot more personal material. Projects I wish to pursue during 2014. I’ve also started to connect with people, making myself more accessible, not relying on others to let my personality come across.
A big transition year will soon be behind me. A new company, a new partnership solidifying with every decision we make. Studios that should be up to par by early January after 2 years of construction and a house where the kids will grow happy (this project will never be over but at least it’s getting comfy). All the tough choices were made, all the good decisions were taken. Now it’s time to deliver and I’m looking forward to a great year of creation. Expect me to score a few more top shelf glove side, after all, it’s my signature move!
Since June, I have been working on a special project. The opportunity to shape the company that I wanted to build from day1. Associating myself with Made of Stills partner Maxyme G. Delisle, we joined forces with photographers Jocelyn Michel and Guillaume Simoneau to form Consulat, our brand new photo agency. Sébastien Boyer who was my producer for more than a year joined the team and so did photographer Alexi Hobbs! Three months of meetings led to Consulat. Three months during which we developed the thinking behind this company, a company who’s primary role is not all about making profits but rather about developing careers and artists, one leading to the other.
So what’s the idea behind Consulat? The idea is all about being in charge and taking responsibility for our careers, getting in touch with people and creating strong and personal ties to the industry. We are not bound by any system, we can create our own business model and adapt it to further our career as artists. Defining ourselves and presenting ourselves to better exploit our stengths and personalities.
The response so far as been amazing. We’ve received a lot of support both from the industry and fellow photographers. We’ve lay down the foundation of the company, launched so it could be operational and now we are making our marks, putting everything in place to bring it up to pace. We’ve invested Made of Stills, now having our own private office within its walls. We are now putting the finishing touches to the studio to create a unique client experience.
It’s nice to be back on the saddle. I kind of missed being more involved in the core business side of things. I guess I’ve learned a lot from my experience as President of Made of Stills. After four years, overviewing the construction 2 studios from the ground up and building a team of creatives to share a space with, it was time for me to invest all that energy directly into my career. Teaming up with such a talented photographers who share a common vision is truly inspiring. And yet again, it feels like everything is still to be done…
So what can you expect from me in the next year? A lot of personal work. I feel like it’s time to step it up a notch, bring my photo game to a new level, making more personal and changing slightly my playing field. Now back to work!
A career is shaped by a series of events and decisions. It’s pretty incredible how one evolves through many varied experiences. I graduated in 2006 with ambition. For the last 7 years I have been taking the decisions that have led me here. Renting my first loft slash studio. Moving to my 800sq ft studio next to a dancing class with Nik Mirus over at 24 Mont-Royal was a stepping stone. One that led to a major move, joining forces with Maxyme G. Delisle and Simon Couturier to form Made of Stills and build our own 2300sq ft studio. We got to design everything from the ground up: space, electricity, cyclo. We took part in the branding of Made of Stills, putting up a statement that would define the years to come. We introduced many new members to the family to an extent where the studio wasn’t big enough anymore. So we moved once more into a space we could design and once again call home. An expansion that led to a partnership of 12 creative individuals aspiring for more. For the past two years now we have been shaping the place at a pace only our commonly growing careers could handle. And now that everything seemed in place, yet another career changing decision had to be made.
For the past three years, I have been represented. A lot of people ask me about representation. For me, it’s been an incredible experience. No doubt having representation helped my career soar. What I benefited the most from was production services. Not having to make phone calls, schedules, negotiations and hustles improved my quality of life and allowed me to focus on creativity. I also enjoyed having an outside point of view on my career. But after more than three years, I felt like taking back control over my career. I needed to be part of every aspect of the decision process and felt like my career needed a true sense of direction.
So I left what a lot would consider a good situation to embark on a new venture, the next logical step. A great opportunity to step back and think about how things can be done differently. Making it more personal. Making it count. A cycle has ended and a new one is about to begin. Change is a wonderful thing.
Scanning portraits have been around for a while, but it’s the first time I see a full body scan like this and the resulsts are pretty interesting. Great use of an alternative photographic solution by artist Till Könneker.
I have a really hard time being assigned a title. I much rather consider them as functions. For instance, it took me years to accept to consider myself as an « artist ». I considered myself more of a technician performing « artistry »! I’ve dealt with it and the more I develop a personal approach to my photography, the more the title seem to be fit. I lately reluctantly gave an interview about my work as director of photography. I believe it takes years, decades before one can pretend to such a title. I still have so much to learn technically speaking before presenting myself as a DOP. But I do perform direction of photography on projects within my reach, often very commercial and slick, which is close to my photographic style. I wish to pursue in this direction, broadening the spectrum of my talent, but I do it at my own pace, choosing wisely the projects I dedicate myself to. I prefer to stay humble and impress! Being a DOP is about having a vision. I can offer this. But the team is what drives the projects forward and above all, I am a team player. One thing is for sure, I’m passionate about lighting. From there, all I can do is learn and apply what I learn to whatever line of work I land.
Years of shooting slick installation and graphic product work has led me to a very high key look, which is most of the work I attract. But at the root of my lighting, I was somebody who was much more nuanced, much more on the low key side of things. As I grow as a commercial photographer, I am looking for a just balance between both as I am still perfecting my lighting vision. Photographer, DOP, at the end of the day, it’s all the same to me: making beautiful, meaningful images.
Bottom line, all that matters to me is the quality of the work produced and that it was produced in a proactive work environment. Who cares about the titles, really!?
Tequila, Heineken, pas l’temps d’niaiser! This viral video was the talk of the town when it surfaced the web and made Momo and instant star. The National Film Board of Canada decided to make a web documentary to discuss how the new Myths 2.0 are created and Momo was our case study. I was approached by Folklore art director Marc-Antoine Jacques to create a series of visuals portraying Momo, the Tequila Heineken guy into a greek statue! The idea sounded crazy, so of course I was in!
We ended up shoot color pigments, messing up the whole studio. Momo was a classy guy and played along.
We even have a trailer for it!
Please take the time to check out this crazy venture! The webdoc is waiting for you here!
Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet young photographers either graduating or still in the midst of their photographic studies for a portfolio critique organized by CAPIC. Throughout the evening, we met and discussed photo with them in s speed dating fashion. I was pretty impressed by the quality of the work presented. It seems decades away from what I was doing as a student! This goes to show how digital photography allows you to boost up your learning curve! Even if it’s a tough business to breakthrough, a lot of these new faces have something to look forward too. But talent isn’t everything and they still have a lot of work ahead of them! Good luck guys!
Thanks to Shoot Studio for being such great hosts!