UZURI: Tell us something about yourself?
I’m 35 years old and have been a fashion photographer for 10 years. I used to work as a nurse. Photography is my passion and my love it flows though my veins like a vital liquid.
UZURI: Why did you become a photographer?
When I was a young boy I used to love to watch my father paint. He inspired me to appreciate art. My first job was nursing I was a nurse in a hospital for cancer patients.
I found it often very depressing and to change my mind I started to take photos, as a hobby. I would often shoot landscapes and work on different themes for photo-reportage. I really enjoyed the experience and decided to build a little studio in my cellar at home where I started to practice the art of portrait photography.
I used to photograph all my girlfriends...
In 2001 I created my first studio as a fashion photographer with professional equipment a few months later I launched modeling school.
In 2003 I shot my first advertising campaign
And in 2004 decided to move to Paris
UZURI: How did you develop your skills as a photographer?
I studied the technical aspects with specialized photographic magazines. When I shoot in the studio I love to experiment with many different lighting techniques, I play around with artificial lighting effects and use different materials such as metal or glass; I take my time when adjusting the light
For location shoots I love natural light and also I prefer cloudy weather.
I don’t like to shoot with bright sunlight or artificial lighting, as I want to keep as close as possible to true atmosphere of the location
UZURI: Did you go to school to study photography?
No, I’m completely self-taught
UZURI: Can you describe your style as a photographer?
I find my inspiration mainly by Baroque and Gothic Arts. I love the dramatic atmospheres and critical perspective vacillating between extreme modernity and memory’s from the past I’m deeply influenced by apocalyptic and visionary fictions of the 80’s (Mad Max, New York 1999, Terminator, and others) as well as by ultra-realistic comic books like Enki Billal’s. I love to find original and historical locations for my pictures as I can imagine some amazing productions. I build my fashion stories firstly with the style of the clothes and location. I then choose the models and discuss the artistic direction with the rest of my team.
UZURI: What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Nikon digital camera
UZURI: What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
My eyes J
UZURI: Do you prefer the artistic or the commercial aspect of photography?
Of course I prefer the artistic one. I am addictive to beauty and I love to play with the lighting where my dreams become reality for me, a great photographer means that you have to be a great art director first.
UZURI: Are you inspired by any other photographers work, if so who and why?
Many photographers inspire me; I especially appreciate the works of Marino Parisotto Vay, Philip Dixon, Vincent Peter, Nick Knight, Steven Meisel, Ellen Von Unwerth, Camilla Akrans and Jean-Bâptiste Mondino, for me these photographers inspire curiosity, strength & emotions.
UZURI: What is the best way to find work as a fashion and beauty photographer?
By proposing tests, attending Expos, publishing strong original fashion spreads in magazines & exhibitions. Specialize in certain fields of photography such as jewelry or Haute Couture…
It’s very hard to find a good agent who really believes in you & fully implicates himself in your promotion; I try to find as many clients as possible by myself.
UZURI: Can you name the work you have done so far?
I have worked for top fashion brands such as FACONNABLE, FRED, AZZARO, BALMAIN, SMALTO, GEORGES RECH, INES DE LA FRESSANGE, TORRENTE, LAGUIOLE, YAHYA COUTURE, BELOTTI COUTURE, and ANOUFA
UZURI: What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
I shot two amazing series in Normandy, one at the Omaha Beach & Gold beach it is the location where the Normandy Landings took place. The atmosphere was really loud, I was inspired by ghosts of past,
I did a fashion spread at the Abbey of Jumièges, which is one of the most incredible ruins in Europe; this location was used during the filming of « The name of the rose ».
UZURI: What are your favorite photos from recent shoots?
I am working on an exhibition together with an Anne Arnold who is a great make-up artist, it is an exciting new project using body painting techniques I have just started the retouching of some of the images, and it is going to be fantastic.
UZURI: What qualities are you looking for in a fashion model?
Mostly, I look at spiritual qualities rather than just her physical features. She must be like an actress with an original attitude and strong expression, she must have feelings in her eyes, and for me it’s not so important to work with very experienced models as I’m able to obtain amazing pictures with new faces, it depends of the model and the relationship between her and the lens
UZURI: Is there any model that inspires you in particular?
All models inspire me; I love to be able to create a synergy between us
I photograph a lot of eastern European girls; I like their mind and cold beauty.
Beautiful models like Hadja who is from Africa has wonderful elegance and her presence inspire me.
UZURI: How important do you think a photographer is in the career of a model?
The photographer can catch the moment. It can take only one picture to launch the career of a model.
UZURI: How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Airbrushing seems to be an issue in the media these days
Photo retouching is an Art for me, just like painting a portrait using one’s own interpretation. To spit on Photoshop it’s like spiting on a paintbrush…
What do you feel is the most challenging thing for you when you are doing a photo shoot?
To have a perfect communication between myself and the model and my team
I look for originality, make-up, hair, clothes/accessories location, it is important.
UZURI: How many images do you average per shoot and how many do you usually present to your clients?
I take an average of 700 photos per shooting out of which I choose 30 images.
UZURI: The hardest part of your job?
To find new clients especially in period of crisis when advertising budgets are low. It’s an inconstant job, some periods you can work like crazy and others times it is very calm, better to be far-sighted, always challenge yourself, move forward & always be inspired in spite of difficulties & competition.
UZURI: What are the things you say or do to put your clients at ease in front of the camera?
Seduce them & show them how passionate I am
UZURI: So Eric we will leave it at that
Thank you UZURI: I love your magazine; it has been a pleasure to work with UZURI.