We discovered the amazing fashion pictures of photographer Loïc Brohard on Flickr. He was sharing some of his photos in Streetfashion MagZZine's Flickr group. Meanwhile we share some of our posts also in his facebook group 'Portrait and Fashion Photography'. Beginning of this week we were lucky to get an interview with him and are able to share some of his great photos with you here in Streetfashion MagZZine.
I am a French amateur photographer aged 45, based in London since 12 years. When not doing photography or spending time with my family, I am working in finance in one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets (including digital camera… I let you guess which company!)
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Not really. My daily job in finance is supposed to be more axed on logic, analytics, maths (the “left-brain”, as they said).
I suppose my hobby had to balance this and use my right-brain functions like intuition, creativity and art/music, and I have oriented myself towards photography since an early age.
I like design, modern art and architecture, but have never been involved as such.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
I don’t know !
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
I remember using a camera from the age of seven, my father’s Kodak Instamatic 155x126 film cartridge camera. The only adjustment possible was by rotating the lens ring between symbols for Sunny and Cloudy/Flash which change the shutter speed. I remember being quite fascinated at that age by that “sense of time stopping and a moment being preserved” as Mary Ellen Mark said. Since then, I have never really stopped taking photographs, moving with technology from one camera to another.
I have started with Travel photography (when I was travelling more frequently around the world), then Architecture, and slowly moved towards Street Photography and now focusing on Portrait & Fashion photography in the last 5 years.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens?
Other than the Kodak Instamatic, I have used analogue gear from Canon (AE-1, then EOS). In 2006, I have switched to digital with Konica Minolta and Sony.
At the moment, I am mainly using two cameras : the Sony Alpha 99 full frame DSLR, and the Sony A7R full frame Compact (mirrorless) camera.
I have got many lenses but my favourites are the Sony Zeiss 85mm f1.4 ZA, and the Sony Zeiss Sonnar T 55mm f1.8 ZA.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point until you showcase the developed picture?
I am mainly doing beauty, headshots and fashion photography, all of them outdoor, if I can get some good conditions (a challenge in London!). I try as much as possible to make best use of the natural light (no flash, no reflector, no tripod!). This is difficult to work with available light and one must accept there is a high percentage of waste, so I am taking a lot of photos during a photoshoot.
Then comes the selection process, most of the time by confronting ideas with the model. What I look for in a good portrait : eyes, hands, head tilt, body language, background and use of space…. The good thing with natural photography is that the photo needs very little retouching. So once the choice is done, it is “good to go”.
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work? Any subject that attracts you?
Not in particular. I love photography in its wider sense. Travel, Architecture, Portrait, Fashion, Photojournalism, Street Photography, etc… I have had a preference for Street Photography though, and I would just refer to Bill Cunningham who left us in June 2016.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other photographers?
As mentioned above, the use of natural light. Difficult, but rewarding.
I am also trying to engage with the models I am collaborating with. As Alfred Eisenstaedt said, it is “more important to click with people than to click the shutter". It helps in the end result!
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
I got a few publications I am proud of. But my favourite works is always the one which do ultimately benefits the models, i.e. help them completing their portfolio, and sign with an agency.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
Usually I am spending a lot of time preparing the details the details before a photoshoot (moodboard, style/outfit, mua and location)
Once I did not. And I ended up with a model with shocking make up…. “maquillé comme un camion volé” as we say in French (heavily made-up, all tarted up, done up like a dog’s dinner).
As I am professional, I carried out the photoshoot till the end, and gave the model the photos, but… I have not used any of them.
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
Concentrate on the artistic aspect of photography. Of course, learn the basics (exposure, light, …) but don’t get intimidated and overwhelmed by technical knowledge.
Cultivate, develop your brain and TRAIN YOUR EYE. Practice like hell, and remember what Cartier-Bresson was saying: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”.