What were your artistic influences?
As soon as I started at university, I was influenced by advertising photographers: Nadav Kander, Frank Herholdt, Peter Dazeley for whom I was assistant. Working for them in London as a freelance I took the best of each of them (light, composition).
Twenty years ago, a shooting session with a great photographer was a real spectacle! The client and the artistic director would come to the studio. Everyone had to be entertained. Once the shooting was done, the films were sent to the laboratory. While waiting for the result, we drank shots together.
In the digital age, this type of day is almost non-existent. There is no more dead time. The photographer does his or her own retouching and controls the entire creative process.
What have these great photographers taught you in terms of promotion and marketing?
The basic idea is to make sure that the client always thinks of you. Peter Dazeley used to produce paper cubes in his name. The type of cube you write on and find on desks. He also sent personalised postcards every month to the art directors of the agencies.
Today, it is much easier to promote his work through social networks. But how easy it is for everyone to do it, hence the avalanche of images.
To fight against this, you have to develop human relations. Don't hesitate to check up on your clients (send flowers, go for a drink). The personal aspect has perhaps become even more important because of social networks.
There is a spectacular aspect in your photography in the mix of cold and colourful tones. How do you manage to create these incredible pastels?
These cold colours define my style. I illuminate objects or people with coloured gelatin. To light a model, I use 5 to 6 different flashes. My general light is 4 or 5 metres behind me, equipped with blue gelatine. I then illuminate the subject with a "beauty dish" (without gelatine). Behind the subject, I place lights equipped with orange gelatins.
For still-life, I do not work with a plethora of mirrors or reflectors. I illuminate the objects from different angles. At the post-production stage, I gather all these lights together.
Most of my light comes from behind. It allows me to underline the line of a shoulder or part of the face. When I photograph outside, I always place the sun behind my subject. With a reflector you can bring light back to the face of the model.
This is the advice I will give to a photographer: Never lit from the front. The light crushes everything and the depth disappears.
By lighting from behind you create a sort of evanescent circle behind the model. In post-production, I accentuate by adding "flare".