We previously featured Claudia’s work, but we wanted to get to know her a bit more, and of course, we wanted to see more of her photos. She captured the essence of her model, Sarah, quite beautifully in this editorial.
Here’s our conversation with her.
How did you start photography? Can you remember the first photo you ever took?
Photography always fascinated me but it wasn’t until I started to travel that I took a real interest. One of the initial photographs to trigger my passion was taken at the top of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. I thought it couldn’t be a better souvenir to capture and it’s still one of my favorites. If at first it was to capture memories, it’s now to capture the many ways in which light touches things, and us.
How would you describe your work and aesthetic?
I like to think that my main subject is the light, wherever it comes from. It’s the light that shapes things, create colors, textures. I like to chase it, to find new way of direct it to create new shapes and captures them. It’s a question of really looking at the light as an object and not the model, the landscape or what’s really in front of me.
What’s your best photographic memory so far?
It’s not a picture, it’s the day I realized that I knew enough in terms of technique to do whatever I wanted. The next week, I tried a completely different approach with flash and I nailed it even though I thought I had it all wrong. When I look at those pictures, I know that with hard work I can create with confidence.
What is the creative process behind your photographs? Do you establish themes or concepts prior to shooting?
For personal work, I choose a time and place where I think the light will be to my taste and I bring some gadget to play with it: reflector, mirrors, a prism, etc. I direct the model, but leave it to her to choose how she wants to look like in front of the camera. I like to do many different styles in one shooting as to get many aspects of the model . It’s also a way for me to experiment. For more serious work, I team up with a makeup artist, and sometimes stylist to create a joint effort. All that matters to me is the quality of the light and how I can use it to perfect the images I have in my mind.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In books, in looking at others’ work, by listening to music but above all, by looking at the sun light.
What has been your most touching or most amazing moment you’ve experienced as a photographer?
Every shooting, every photographer meeting is an amazing opportunity to develop new knowledge and sharing it.
What is the main challenge you face with photography?
Taking the time to do it. Not being able to do it whenever I want, having life responsibilities can sometimes get in the way if you wanna learn and practice. Find the time! I’m also a bit surprised when people tell me that my camera takes great pictures…. How can I explain to them that I’m the one who takes the pictures without looking arrogant?
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
Read about photography, read about techniques to improve yourself, read the manual of your tools, read about other photographers, look at pictures. Then you will know what you want to show and how.
We all have to deal with criticism. How do you handle it?
I’m always open to know what people understand or perceive in my work, but I cannot understand why people sometimes don’t even want to think about pictures beyond that they liked it or not. There is too many pictures out there, we are overwhelmed and buried under images, taking time to understand WHY an image moves you has become too much to ask and that is difficult to handle for an artist.
Who are some of your favorite photographers? Who inspires you?
Sault Leiter for the way he uses colors and how he can overlay different scenes without the use of multiple exposure; André Kertsz and René Maltête for their humour; Ray Metzker for his light chases; Arold Newman for his environmental portraits, Micheal Kenna for his landscape; Alessio Trerotoli for his ordered chaos and Hiroshi Sugimoto, for using the element of time to compose his work.
One book ? One movie ? One Song ?
Book: Le nez qui voque de Réjean Ducharme.
Movie: Alien by Ridley Scott 1979, for the aesthetic
Song: The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
A dictionary to pass the time, something to create, clean and fresh water as not to get sick and something to keep me warm and dry.
Model: Sarah Viens @pain_sans_gluten