Interview: Photographer Alexandre Brendel (France)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a 22 year-old French photographer determined to give my all to reach my dream of making a living from my art. I mainly work on advertisement, portfolios for models and comedians and videos. I recently decided to open new horizons by providing editing services for individuals and professionals. This year I am going to boost my business with a brand new website, and exhibitions including the Salon de la Photo in Paris from the 7th to the 11th of November. I am very open-minded and I know what I want, which allows me to perceive things without being under pressure, which is very important in this field of work.
How and when did you get into photography?
I was around 17 years old when I got my first DSLR, the D3200! I started by making videos, I recorded myself playing music and I made some really horrible montages .. aha! I had a girlfriend who was really into photography and video, which led us to try photo and video shooting from time to time. I immediately loved what a picture could offer in terms of atmosphere and style, as well as the techniques to work on these aspects. When we broke up she continued taking pictures with photographers much more talented than me, and the jealousy motivated me immensely to keep working and improving. Today it has become a long-term passion instead of a revenge for my own ego fortunately!
What does photography mean to you?
Photography has a romantic side for me because it came to me in a very personal way, and it remains a challenge at every click. Every pixel has its own importance! I am talking about the feeling, not the techniques.
A great photo is a photo that reaches your sensitiveness, even with ISO 100000 F22 !
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I am an extremist in terms of graphical beauty. A photo will not move me if it does not have a well-marked style, which is why I am very insensitive to the war report photos for example or the street photography. But I admit that it is a flaw and that I should take a closer look! In my portraits, I always define a specific colorimetry to set a mood, then the pose and the expression are worked on many times before finally having the right picture. Nothing is left to chance. From the makeup to the outfits to the places, I define absolutely everything before starting a session for a personal project.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I am obviously inspired by lots of other photographers, like all these lifestyle photographers with an American style, retro, very trendy kind of vibe and all those who touch on pure and simple beauty. I am very active on instagram (@alexandre_brendel) and I draw my inspiration from there. Here are some accounts that I particularly like: @olivier_sarrant @felixbarjou, @melanie_dietze_photoart.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?
As I previously mentioned, everything is predefined in advance: spots, outfits, make-up, hairdressing, accessories… I had several experiences where I let the model manage their own style and it did not work for me at all. I did not have any interest in conducting this project in a purely creative context. It is better to discuss it beforehand in order to clarify things so that everything is clear for everyone. I proceed in the same way as with my clients except that they have more freedom because the pictures will be for them and not for me.
Studio, on location or both?
I have my own studio which makes my job a lot easier. But I personally prefer the external rendering, even if I cheat a bit by using my studio equipment but that's a secret!
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I consider myself primarily a professional, being a photographer is my job! Nevertheless it is not uncommon for me to look for new profiles for unpaid tests or personal projects or to update my book for free. I think it is important to practice and improve on my own personal projects and then apply them to clients who will come to see you precisely because they have seen your original creations. That's how you create a signature.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
The first time I photographed Marine Viggiano was the complete achievement of my dream as a photographer. For the first time, I was traveling to Paris for a paid session with a professional model, and I was accompanied by a passionate assistant who wanted to know more about my way of working. It was really rewarding and it was also the beginning of a friendship with Marine, who I worked with again several times.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
The eternal war between these two giants of the photography ... I'm with Nikon! I find the interface and responsiveness much better, but Canon probably has many other advantages!
I am planning on converting back to Sony, which is becoming a real reference I hybrid cases. For now I'm in love with my Nikkor 50mm f1.4, which I shoot most of my portraits with.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
I would advice them to stay the master of their own work. Whatever happens, you need to think and remember that you are the specialist and if you were chosen for a project it is according to your own conditions, given black on white. Staying the master of our work means respecting ourselves all the while spotlighting our client. Unfortunately, a lot of young talents end up being fooled by manipulators. STAY LOYAL TO YOUR OWN WORK! And be curious, there are so many styles and techniques, you will always learn from others!
What do you think of our new magazine?
The first time I saw Modellenland Magazine was when my friend, a model, showed it to me. I think it is a great read and source of information about other creative people. Thank you for this interview !
Instagram : @alexandre_brendel website : www.studiobrendel.com
mail : email@example.com
Model: Marine Viggiano
Model: Margot Boulard
Model: Romane Langlais Assistant: Pierre-Quentin Mortier
Model: Yolaine Yu Assistant: Thibault Andujar
Model: Emmanuelle Verne
Model: Romane Langlais Assistant: Pierre-Quentin Mortier