Art Director: Karel Balas
Graphic Design: Alice Lagarde, Melanie Gueret
Photographer: Delphine Chanet
Stylist: Shino Itoi
Do you do your own casting?
Absolutely, I’m obsessed with casting, what ever I’m doing I always keep an eye out, I don’t want to miss a child, I cast in the streets, my friend’s kids, everywhere….I always search for news faces.
The children are so composed, almost like paintings, how did you create that environment?
I draw my pictures before the shoot, so I know exactly what I want, what type of attitude, composition, frame, light but I also like to be surprised by the situations, the kids, and hoping for happy accidents.
What was the creative direction for this project?
My project was to create images “à la manière” of a dutch painting, searching for a certain intensity and trying too find the deepness of my models. As in dutch painting I’ve used one directional light, similar to a natural cold morning light coming from a window. With one difference to this genre: I wanted to play, to pair the picture with a bit of artificial. I did this by using rays of color block light and having very artificial colors for the fashion styling (done by the stylist Shino Itoi).
The soft light demands very long and static poses, otherwise it would have been blurred or out of focus. Thanks to those situations I had time to encounter my models.
My main goal and focus was to find a way for Instantaneousness, spontaneity and honesty in this very restrictive shooting condition.
Can you share something about the shoot with us? Something memorable?
Nothing memorable in fact, everything was so organized. Everybody was quiet easy to shoot even the two pets. Don’t we say that the hardest subjects to shoot are kids and animals?
There’s a unique quality to your striking portraits of the children, as viewers we forget we are looking at images of children, and feel like we are looking into the eyes of an experienced adult.
My major goal, whatever the story, is to capture the beauty of the kids natural essence, it means being as honest as possible by respecting their true personality and sometimes it can difficult oh yes! I’m really searching for a natural look. I don’t like them to play the adult, to pose like the stereotype adult, and I avoid frameworks that put them in situation of trying to be like adult.
I really let them do what they want, not directing so much. I follow them, I respect what they want to give me during the shoot.
Maybe this is why we can feel them as human beings but not specifically as children.
You are a maverick in children’s fashion photography, what inspires you?
I’m always searching for grace and spontaneity. Also I want to have fun and be free to create my world. Too much commercial approach to children’s fashion photography can be very boring. My daughter – Thais – inspires me so much, and she makes me reconnect with the childhood world, so creative and intense. A big part of my inspiration comes from her.
How often do you photograph your children?
Well all day to be honest, its so much fun!