Interview: Photographer JL See (France)
Tell us something about yourself
I am a 57-year-old who lives in Paris, France. Photography is not my job, but I am lucky to have possibilty to give myself the means to realizemy photography projects a reality.
How and when did you get into photography?
I always liked photography, but everything changed when digital photography first came out. After a busy weekend at work, I thought I had the right to have some fun, and I went to buy one of the first DSLRs. Things became more serious almost by coincidence when I registered for my first photography workshop, and soon after discovered "Sans Prétention" ("Unpretentious"), an online forum where pros and amateurs were exploring what digital cameras were bringing to the field of photography. Digital cameras very clearly put in the scope of amateurs a quality that was previously reserved for pros.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is an area of freedom and creation.
It is also a way to get recognition in an artistic field, and a way of accessing the futile and the ephemeral.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I have no idea. In my opinion, this is not a good sign...
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Of course. I always leave the house with at least a small idea in my head. But what is fascinating is that this idea is there only to be outdated. The end result is very often very different from my initial project. This evolution happens as the shooting progresses and as each player puts his or her small touches. For example, Leah, my favorite MUA, has become a true assistant when it comes to styling or some artistic decisions.
Studio, on location or both?
The studio is a compulsory checkpoint, but I now very clearly prefer to shoot on location, especially when the weather is nice.
Do you work your photos and describe your post production work?
Yes, of course, I rework my pictures. Without post processing, there is no game, and photography must remain a game. Lightroom, then Photoshop, then again Lightroom. I am increasingly outsourcing cosmetic retouching to professional retouchers, though: it saves me time.
What was your most memorable session and why?
The session for the magazine Omagazine.fr whose pictures are presented here were. We had a big team, very motivated, and everything unfolded smoothly, in harmony.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I never want to earn money with photography. No money and you are free. Money is the end of freedom because it makes you accountable to the one who pays you. Not being a pro, I do not really have any constraint. That does not stop me from "working" seriously and respect my commitments.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I like it.
Nikon or Canon?
I do not understand the point of the question... For me, it doesn't matter.
What would you like to photograph?
I would want to do a fashion shoot with a hudge stylism on a rooftop, in New York City.
What are your future or short-term plans?
Land a nice publication in a print media.
What are you looking for models with whom you work?
First, I am looking for models who behave professionally, regardless of their being professionals or not. And this is achieved by respecting commitments - including punctuality and personal investment in the project.
Then, the model must be able to go all out so that emotions are visible in the picture.