Interviews / Stories
Interview: JC & Karl Photography (France)
Tell us something about yourself
Karl : We are 2 french photographers working together on artistic and fashion projects.
JC is 30 years old and I'm 45. We live in the Normandy countryside.
We met some 3 years ago after discovering through social media that we were in fact living very close from each other.
How and when did you get into photography?
Karl : I started photography at the age of ten, with my dad's film camera, mostly with landscape photography because I used to travel a lot with my parents.
Later on, I turn to portrait, and my coeds at university became my first models. After a long break in photography, I went to Miami and met a former professionnal photographer from whom I learned studio lighting.
JC : I also took landscape pictures at first during school trips, and then a neighbour wanted some pictures so I started to shoot him. Rapidly more friends came to me to have there own portrait and it became natural for me to shoot models.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is not about showing a reality or a created scene, it's about dragging the viewer into the photographer's perception of the world. Otherwise why would you want to stop the time if you have no purpose behind it ?
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
We like to take fashion pictures, working with vivid colors and very bright lighting. We don't like to hide things through shallow focus or exegerated shadows. We want to be proud of every inch of the picture, leaving the viewer a sensation of cleanliness.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Mainly from fashion editorials of various magazines, we have a pile of them, and also from famous photographers like Guy Bourdin, Miles Aldridge, or Mario Testino. We like also watching video, it's a very creative field where you can find a lot of ideas for scenes and light.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
You need expertise and planification if you don't want your photoshoot to be at risk. And playing with colors requires even more preparation. But once we have achieved the pre-visualized picture, we are not against some “freestyle”. It's necessary to have some experimental part because even if it's not successful, it can induce new ideas for a future shoot.
Studio, on location or both?
We mainly work in studio, but we love the challenge of on location shootings.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Karl : I'm definitely a hobbyist, I want to keep a degree of freedom in the way I practice photography.
JC : For me it's a professionnal activity, I offer the traditionnal range of service you can expect from a photographer, from portrait to wedding, and of course, model book and test.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
We had a very good time shooting the young french designer Pierre-Henry Bor at the Regina Hotel in the heart of Paris, it was a very inspiring location and shooting 2 models was an interesting challenge.
In fact we love shooting in hotels, we had also a great experience at the Intercontinental Hotel, with actress Clotilde Courau dressed by Elie Saab.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
For fashion shoot, clothes and style are naturally the very baseline of a photoshoot, it gives the direction and we search the location and models accordingly.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
JC : I work with Nikon from the start, and my favorite lens is a 50mm, it's light and very similar to the eye's perception of the scene.
Karl : I own a simple 5D Mkii and use the 70-200mm 2,8 most of the time. For beauty shoot I enjoy the great sharpness of the 100mm 2,8 Macro.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
JC : You can be very busy very quickly, but don't give up your personnal work and showcase it, because it's the only way you can improve your technical skills and artistic vision and the customer is very sensitive to this, he is not only seeking for a service, he likes to feel your personnality behind every photo.
What do you think of our new magazine?
This magazine is great because it has a new approach, it talks about our passion and it's focused on people sharing experiences. It has a fine future ahead !
Instagram : @jc_karl_photography
FB : JC & Karl Photography