Wednesday, November 11, 2015
#elitehotseat: GENEVIEVE CHARBONNEAU
How did you get started in photography?
-- At 14 years old I knew I wanted to be a photographer and my father bought me my first camera. Nikon 401x
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
-- I am very fortunate to be able to shoot both editorial and commercial work so it varies between nice, clean and accessible photography for my commercial work and more edgy, inspirational, fashion-forward for my editorial work.
What part of a shoot is the hardest for you?
-- Definitely the waiting part in the morning!
How long does a shoot day typically last and what is the preparation like?
-- It is usually between 8am to 6pm. I prepare myself by researching the latest trends, model search, clipping, then I prepare the light I want to do for the shoot and if I have a pre light day I test it sometimes.
What makes a great fashion photograph?
-- A little bit of everything to make a great one! You have to have a beautiful personality, you have to be a business woman, you have to know your technique and your light, you have to be able to express to your model what you want, you have to have a great relationship with your client and team member and you have to be a little crazy! All fashion photographers are a bit crazy!
Can art and commerce really coexist?
-- Definitely! Some brands are pushing their visuals making them more Art than commercial, but I think it's still a small portion of the industry.
Your projects are a collaborative process. Tell us what is like to always be working with new stylists, models, and designers.
-- It's always an interesting morning when I have never worked with the person. I get to know them in about one hour if I have the time, and then we create magic. But that magic is often done with artists that you know well.
You’ve shot celebrities such as Leighton Meester, Marie-Mai and Évelyne Brochu. Is there anyone else you would love to photograph?
-- I would love to shoot Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Jordan Dunn, I am a groupie! Once I shoot a celebrity, I love them forever!
What has been the biggest challenge throughout your career so far?
-- I think the biggest challenge in our career is to never know what contracts are coming up, to never know if you will be shooting it again the next season because it can all change. In this business you have to be able to not take anything personal which is difficult when you are passionate.
What are the greatest lengths you’ve ever gone to get the perfect picture? What advice would you like to share with photographers starting out? What are you currently working on, and what do you have planned next?
-- Oh, I have shot lying down in the middle of the street in Cuba in urine for that perfect flare to get in the lens. I put cardboard down, but still!! I have shot in the jungle with black spiders on me and I will do pretty much anything.
What advice would you like to share with photographers starting out?
-- You have to be ready to work hard and a lot!
What are you currently working on, and what do you have planned next?
-- I am currently working on an editorial for Dress to Kill, my Elle Quebec cover is coming out and I am preparing for a week of commercial work.
See Genevieve Charbonneau's work here.