In the 80’s, 5-year-old Francois was having fun taking pictures of animals and other subjects around his home with his Father’s Polaroid camera. His early memories are filled with images of adventures, including those of Africa where he visited with his parents.
In the ancient French city of Nimes, Francois experienced an exotic, imaginative and unusual time growing up. As the sole child of his parents he had the opportunity to greatly explore his imaginative and creative side.
A ‘Special Job’
It’s not everyday that you find a photographer or Artist having a ‘special job’ as how Francois describes it. The reality and concept of Death has caused him to appreciate life in a way that is probably above average. As a Coroner, he has no choice but to face the images of death, and not to mention living in front of a cemetery or even the fact this his Mother runs a funeral home. You would think that Francois would be a ‘dark’ person, but on the contrary, he constantly seeks to look on the brighter side of life. And just like light, he is mysterious with a vivid sense of creativity.
Affection for Light
His affection for light of all kinds shows forth in his work, as he learns the ropes using ambient and artificial light. He has no qualms about stating that he is an Amateur Photographer, and his drive expressed through daily photographic quests will only improve his technique.
The World of Artificial Lighting
Strobist Vincent Chambon had a huge influence on Francois. Their friendship was formed coincidentally soon after François decided to get his first D-SLR in 2010 — a Canon 60D. Francois confesses that he wasn’t much a fan of artificial lighting, but with Vincent’s influence, a whole new world of photography opened.
Now with his main body being a Canon 5D Mark II, with the 60D as the secondary body, Francois works with subjects of various types including small creatures, animals (especially dogs), unconventional models and even eyes inspired by the work of Armenian Photographer, Suren Manvelyan.
An inspiring model/artist
“She has a lot of taste, and i have to say that her taste leads my artistic direction(s).” This is how Francois speaks of Model and Photographer, Esther Ellena — with high regard. It’s no wonder that some of his best photoshoots are with Esther.
Francois’ planning and execution of the photoshoot took about a week. The day before was perfect, but not so on the day, as the trio of Francois, Esther and Damien encountered a very windy atmosphere. The idea, which was originally Esthers’, was to have images of her levitating in Nature in a sense of surrealism. The strong winds prevented Francois from using any light modifiers, and was also making it difficult for Esther who was suspended from a tree by ropes. With assistance from the experienced hands of Damien, the team managed to use the harsh lighting to get some shots. Even though Francois said that lighting was not what they wanted to be, the images have been attracting a number of positive comments. “Live and learn!”, François says. You may prepare everything for a photoshoot, but unexpected things may happen.
François works extensively with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom which he says is “…the most intuitive raw processing software” and finds it the best means to process all his RAW files after which he transfers to Adobe Photoshop. He says the the learning curve is huge, but he is up for the challenge. Other software that he experiments with include Photomatrix.
Advice for Beginners
Francois’ advice for someone who’s just starting out in D-SLR photography is to focus on getting quality lenses, and not to be lured by marketing campaigns about ‘super devices’ (i.e. D-SLRs with extensive features). Furthermore he says to “…think about light. Experiment with different sources of light. There are rules about light. Learn them, break them… Never try to break a rule that you’ve never learnt.”
Current Projects and Final Words
Francois continues his daily projects and currently is experimenting with composite images and D-SLR filmmaking.
He says that he wants inspire individuals who face hardships through his photography and other works.