Finding the perfect location for your project and why it matters. Does it really add something, and is it worth the hassle? I am starting off with a question because when I look at the work of some of my fellow photographers specialized in dance, circus or even sports, I often realize that the place they chose to shoot in, doesn't really matter.
If you are familiar with my work, you have probably noticed that the surroundings, the environment, the background are sometimes almost as important as my model, and that's what makes my pictures and to some of you, my style… And please take note, I didn’t invent anything, this has been done before.
Maria & Santiago Giachello Fondation Bemberg (Toulouse - France)
Florencia Chinellato Musée des Augustins (Toulouse - France)
Claire Teisseyre Darwin (Bordeaux - France)
Anna Romanova Palais de la Bourse (Bordeaux - France)
My images when I started were thought and made to be printed big or seen on a big screen.
If you shoot at really wide apertures, if you love blurry backgrounds and shoot tight on your dancer, then the location may not really matter to you because no one will recognize it. This approach is more Instagram-friendly. For those of you who follow me on IG, I recently asked you whether you preferred the tightly cropped version of a photo or the wide one with all the architecture behind and I was not surprised to see a lot of you liked the cropped one.
But you know what? That’s my thing, I love architecture, I love wide spaces and I am also often inspired by the location first, the location is the element that will make my ideas come to life. I can focus on specific elements, like a statue, I can play with lines suggested by anything around me. The succession of pillars or columns, tight corridors, or a hallway can help me tell my stories. And for a long time, I was obsessed with stairs but I am trying to stay away from them now.
Lyria Van Moer Meinau (Strasbourg - France)
Laura Viaud Place Amédée Larrieu (Bordeaux - France)
Pauline Perraut Estanque Grande del Retiro (Madrid - Spain)
Fanny George Presqu'île Malraux (Strasbourg - France)
Vanesa Montoya Port du Vieux Montréal (Montréal - Canada)
Everything I now put in the frame has its importance. Sometimes I just like to show famous landmarks and places in a different way. I will share a photo of a familiar location you might have already visited or know but you will see it through my eyes. Once you go past the technical aspect of the making of your pictures you have to focus on what you wish to create. How can it help your story, how can it carry your message? Does it enhance what you want people to feel when looking at your image, will it enhance the pose, the movement of your dancer, the look of your athlete? You can also work the other way. If you have a specific project in mind and you have already listed all the elements you need to create your image you only have to find the location that will tick all the boxes.
Here are a few other examples taken from my work:
A common pattern in my work is Symmetry.
Samantha Vottari Royal Palace of Madrid (Madrid - Spain)
Use any building that has a backdrop! Something, I’ve done a bit too much in the past...
Silvia Bonavigo Piazza del Duomo (Milan - Italy)