Photographer: Matthieu Colnat
MUA: Stefania Zaikina
Assistant/Body Painting: Valentine Vera
Location: Maison-Laffitte, France
Almost 15 years ago now, I graduated from the ESRA, a cinema school in Paris, where I specialized in the work of image. At the time, I was aiming at becoming a director, which was the case on several short films, and even a documentary more recently. Then I forked toward the dubbing industry where I directed actors performing in front of a microphone for nearly a decade. Spending so much time in dark studios, focusing on nothing but sound reminded me my background and the fact I was an artist of both image and sound. So something was clearly missing.
That’s how I bought a digital camera to exercise and convert my knowledge from a few years back where I was using film. Even if the technique or sensitivity of the little black box changes, the dynamic and process of making a picture remain the same. And little by little, I tried to tame the digital camera and post production to focus on more artistic matters.
All naturally, I started by shooting actresses, where the main goal is to clearly reflect a specific emotion on every picture. Then my travel continued on exploring the beauty, as I shot young models from fashion agencies.
These two aspects could actually be the essence of my work, or what could sum it up. With every shot I make, I try to express a feeling or convey a precise emotion, but overall the picture has to release a taste of beauty. It has to be graphic, visual, aesthetic, so it does fascinate me.
For this specific creation though, I wanted something different, not fashion mainstream. Even though when I shoot for fashion purpose, I always try to add an artistic touch; whether it comes from the makeup, or camera angle, or even a general seventh art mood.
When I came to exchange with Chupps, I saw she was no « model agency » labeled; so to me, it would have been a mistake to try and pretend like so. Instead, I seized the opportunity to explore a much darker kind of beauty. And why not, to ancre the model in a semi-mystical atmosphere as the forest allows me that. I am quite attracted by Italian renaissance painters, and they were working on beauty in darkness, especially for interior portraits. This style speaks to me. I really enjoy painting with light, which means to reveal less than to hide and suggest.
Working with this team of ladies has been very pleasant. Chupps is an experienced model, she has the head filled with ideas, and the suitcase full of props. So it’s almost tempting to keep away from the theme. Which is a good thing, because just like on our mother’s dinner table, more is always better than not enough.
For the last part, I wanted to try body painting for the first time; which was, in the end, a bit experimental. I already was working with an inked model, so I thought I should try. Because of the lack of time and because of the cold we didn’t have the opportunity to cover the model all in the paint. That’s often the way it goes with exterior shootings. You can plan as much as you want, once on spot, different elements like weather, wanderers, the crew state of mind, and fatigue always inject a part of improvisation. But that’s what makes them more interesting, exciting, and alive compared to studio shootings, in my opinion. More risky, but more rewarding. Plus there is nothing quite like the natural light, especially for artistic nudes.
NUDE SHOWCASE – POOR TWISTED ME
AVAILABLE FOR PRINT – 2 FREE COPIES
Full Color, Glossy Finish – 8.5×11 INCHES
Additional Prints $10 Each
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