How to stand out with a fresh take on creative photography
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
With this month’s read, you will get:
Industry Insights, Creative Juxtaposition, Human photography, Direction, Illustration, Networking, Budget-friendly equipment, Tips on presenting your portfolio, Tips to get started as a freelance photographer, Working on a video with the Weeknd
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER 📸
Valentine Reinhardt is a creative photographer based in Paris and currently works with twenty-twenty agency in London. Having begun her career as an Art Director with an advertisement agency called ‘Leg,’ she shared: ‘I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I said to myself, let’s try this and I can also focus on my personal development. Everyone in my family said that it’s an amazing opportunity that I shouldn't let go of.’
She worked with them for 6 good years. She added, “It was after several years down the road that I realised that I just want to create my own imagery - my own work - something that is unique to Valentine Reinhardt.”
WORKING AS A PHOTOGRAPHER & AN ART DIRECTOR 🎥🎞
What made you quit your job and how did you get started as a freelance photographer?
Honestly, it was a bit frustrating for me - to come up with creative ideas and concepts and hand them over to someone else to create images out of them. However, because of this job, I was able to network with some big clients in the advertising world. I offered myself up as a photographer for the campaign and from what I heard, I did a great job! Next thing you know, I quit the agency and I have been working as a freelance photographer for over six years now. I could not be happier!
Did you face any sexual discrimination being a female photographer?
Well, sometimes. When I was working as an Art Director and working with male photographers, I witnessed some pretty mind-boggling things. Like one time this photographer wanted to have sex with a very young model and the other time he locked himself and the model in the bathroom during the shoot. I was really shocked because I was really young. I feel as a woman you can always feel certain things that a producer does that he wouldn’t do, had he been working with a male. But again, it was a long time ago and I feel that things have gotten better now and these things will not happen again.
LOST IN FIRE: Art Direction for a video with the Weeknd! How was that experience? 🤩
Well, the music video was directed by my husband and he asked me to help him with creating concepts and art direction. As an art director, my main work was to imagine and create the sequences, creating a storyboard, stage design and mood and things like that. It was a great experience really and I got a chance to create an amazing video for Gesaffelstein and the Weeknd. I have also created illustrations for Tame Impala!
FRUIT: This seems like a very interesting project! What was the idea and motive behind combining fruits and female bodies?
The Fruit series was a personal project. It mixes shapes, colours, and textures to create a sense of awakening. The idea was based on the juxtaposition of a woman’s body with fruits, flowers and plants - to portray as an object of desire. In today’s world, women are objectified everywhere - in a magazine cover or an advertisement for a beverage. This project was a very ‘sensual’ one indeed because I wanted viewers to see the images in a certain way, like fruits, it is something that you can taste or smell, making them ponder and question how they see a woman’s body. It was done to accentuate the thought that they want to smell them or eat them using bright colours.
She added, ‘Women are my biggest source of inspiration in nature.’ The images act as a catalyst for desire, highlighting the relationship between flesh and food. The consumable female body is here presented as an object of desire; a hybrid creature staged in a pop and greedy universe.
From a photographer to a director: How did you start directing music videos? Which software do you use?
I started making artwork for Sebastian Tellier and he liked it so much that he called me up and said, ‘We HAVE to make a music video together.’ Love by Sebastian was the first time I created illustrations and directed an animation movie.
I think when you’re a photographer and an illustrator, directing videos comes naturally to you! Besides, clients always need new and exciting content. For creating niche & quality content, sometimes I paint my ideas on a canvas and then retouch them on Adobe Photoshop. I also use Procreate on my Ipad - super easy to use and super cheap as well!
WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG? 🧳
Which camera do you carry in your bag when you go out for a shoot?
I usually shoot with my Canon 5D Mark III. Since I’m not a conventional photographer, I always keep my Ipad pro and my iPhone with me. With these three on you, you can basically do anything you want! I believe having the latest iPhone will always be helpful in photography.
What’s a budget-friendly equipment that you would recommend for a photographer that is under £200?
Well, everything is so expensive that nothing specific comes to my mind. But I guess I would recommend getting your hands on a second-hand iPhone perhaps? I think it does the job especially when you’re still learning the basics of photography.
TIPS FOR YOUNG CREATORS 📲
- To get commissioned work
Maintaining your unique style on Instagram and reaching out to different clients and brands. The best way to get started is to build your personal portfolio and style. Ask your friends or family to do some modelling for you. Make some really cool series, post it on Instagram, try to send it to clients, magazines and individuals - if they don’t answer, do it again and again until you perfect your craft and people get back to you because one day all of it will payback!
- To present their portfolio
Luckily or unluckily, Instagram is today’s reality. I think having a strong Instagram profile will always help you to showcase your niche style, your portfolio and your personality at the same time.
- Personal message
‘Don’t listen to people who say it’s gonna be difficult’
Because everything is going to be difficult. The choice is yours what difficult thing you want to do in your life... and its best if its something you really enjoy doing.
Watch out for our next addition of Creative Chats!
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