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Interview: Photographer Julien Lardinois (Belgium)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I am from Liège (Luik) in Wallonia and have been a photographer since 2016. Fashion photography is my specialty, and I make a living from this activity. Currently, I work as a "Brand Developer" for the ceremonial dress brand "La Boutique TONIC."

How and when did you get into photography?

During my marketing studies, I completed an internship for a local high-society magazine in Liège  called "Strass Magazine."

The magazine mainly conducted photoshoots for clothing stores. I assisted the photographer there for a few years. As the magazine gained success, the number of models available for photoshoots exceeded the demand.

In 2010, together with the magazine's founder, we launched a competition called "Miss Jeunesse Dorée." It involved participants in fashion photoshoots at beautiful locations, with quality photographers, and for prestigious brands.

In 2016, after 7 editions, that I bought a DSLR camera, primarily to capture backstage moments.

I slowly started taking portrait photos of the participants, as a bonus to the official photographers. My photos captivated them, and that marked the beginning of this wonderful journey.

In just three years, I went from being a weekend photographer to capturing celebrities in Paris, photographing the majority of Miss France, Miss Universe, and turning this activity into my profession.


What is your goal in photography?

My main goal is to highlight fashion and feminine beauty. I enjoy creating the feeling for my model that she is the star of the day, that moment when all the attention is on her. We all enjoy attention, and a photoshoot creates just that.


What does photography mean to you?

From a human perspective, I primarily view photography as a social elevator, a means to elevate oneself socially. This applies to both the photographer and the model.

It's a wonderful facilitator of connections. Thanks to this activity, I've had the opportunity to meet countless interesting individuals and spend time with celebrities and media personalities.


How does your work differentiate from others?

My photographs are characterized by their brightness. I almost always shoot in natural light. The vision I have for the models I photograph is relatively pure and candid.

I'm not looking for the slightest bit of skin to display. That may attract attention, but it doesn't align with my style. I appreciate elegance, softness, chic femininity, and natural class.

I prefer natural photos. I encourage my models to walk and move so that their postures are as uncalculated as possible.


Where do you get inspiration from?

At the beginning, I drew most of my inspiration from an American photographer named Dani Diamond. Whether it was his editing techniques, shooting style, or the way he posed his models. I even took one of his online courses.

These days, I gather inspiration from various sources. I follow a lot of clothing brands on social media, and whenever an image catches my eye, I save it for reference.


Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

Yes, I always have my folder of photo inspirations. I've printed out entire pages of photos, organized by the style of shoots (clothing, dresses, portraits, jewelry, weddings, duos, couples, etc.). This collection of images serves as a constant source of inspiration, helping me stay creative and innovative in my photography work. It's also a helpful resource for the model when she doesn't know what to do or is unsure.


Do you edit your photos, and could you describe your post-production process?

Since I shoot in bursts, the biggest part of my work usually involves sorting and selecting my images.

I do indeed edit with Photoshop. My editing is soft to maintain the natural look of the image. I enhance brightness, lighten the eyes, and use a pen tool to remove skin imperfections. I also slim down certain areas to enhance my model's silhouette.

I often work with clothing brands, so I avoid applying filters that could alter the color of the clothing.


Studio, on location or both?

Undoubtedly, outdoor locations. Places with open space, natural light, where you can move around and play with architectural and structural elements.


What are the places and subjects that captivate you the most?

I have a fondness for chic, elegant, and clean architectures, such as the streets of Paris, the Place Royale and its surroundings in Brussels, beautiful structures, prestigious, well-lit buildings.


What would you absolutely love to photograph?

I enjoy photographing media personalities, but it's less of a priority than before. Conducting a photoshoot with Jotti Verbruggen, whose elegance I admire, would be quite appealing to me.


What is the most important thing you've learned over the years?

There are excellent photographers everywhere. What makes a difference is knowing how to promote and sell your work and get people talking about it. Having skills in marketing and branding is crucial.


What are your future or short-term projects?

I've recently started training in videography, which I see as a complementary skill to photography that is becoming increasingly essential. I would like to reach a level of proficiency in videography that is similar to my photography skills.


What do you look for in the models you work with?

Beyond beauty, I seek elegance, natural chic, good manners, and a pronounced taste for fashion.


Do you have any further message for models?

Consider and develop your name as a brand. Be mindful of who you associate your image with. Today, it has never been easier for a woman who takes care of herself to build an audience on social media. Be present everywhere. Build an audience and then use it to attract photographers, brands, and agencies.


Clémence Lejeune & Mathilde Jérome

Gaëlle Bourdeaud

Barbara Roth

Barbara Roth

Barbara Roth

Gaëlle Bourdeaud Huy

Clémence Lejeune

Celia Jans

Mathilde Jérome

Mathilde Jérome

Mathilde Jérome

Model ; Fanny Cravatte ; Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Fanny Cravatte ; Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Alicia Garcia Clemente - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC 6

Model ; Madi Gaillard ; Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Madi Gaillard ; Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Margot Lardinois - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Margot Lardinois - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Margot Lardinois - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Margot Lardinois - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Margot Lardinois - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Sabrina Mickisch - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Sabrina Mickisch - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Model ; Sabrina Mickisch - Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Valérie Smal

Valérie Smal

Valérie Smal

Valérie Smal

Valérie Smal

Model ; Vienna Zara ; Marque ; La Boutique TONIC

Valentine Cesarone

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