Pierre dal Corso – I want my models proud and powerful
Pierre dal Corso, is a photographer from Paris, France, and he started his own career only three years ago. He was working as an assistant for ten years before that but he never touched a camera for his own purposes in this time: “Working 24/7, taking pictures was the last thing I wanted to do at that time!”
In 2008 Pierre launched his own business as a freelance fashion photographer, eventually following his own vision and style and began to create his stunning portfolio.
I stumbled upon his work for a couple of times since then and when I saw his latest work for Schön Magazine, I finally thought that I have to talk to this guy who takes such amazing photographs.
Pierre, first of all, please let us know something about you and your career: when did you get in touch with photography for the first time? Was it love on the first sight and what was your photographic education?
I was born in the deep country side in France in 1977. I’ve been studying painting and art history. My parents trusted me but it was a big challenge. My first photographic emotion took place during a school trip to Barcelona, I coincidentally ended up in a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition. It was a big shock to me. I never thought, photography could be that strong and do that to me. Then I decided to study photography and worked as an assistant for photographers in Paris and New York later. I never grabbed any camera during these ten years. Three years ago, I started to work on my portfolio, from one day to another. It went pretty fast. I had my first test published in a magazine and it all started. I’ve been lucky enough to make it for a living since then.
Everything around me, I guess, has influence on me. The usual things: music, movies, paintings … you know … Heroes? Gosh, I have no heroes in photography! Of course there are a few people’s work I love: Helmut Newton, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe but also painters as Matisse, Klimt, Caravaggio and directors as Lynch, Cronenberg or Kubrick.
You’re specialized in fashion photography. How did you get into it? Was it always your first and only choice?
Fashion photography to me was the best playground to do what I like. I like to think about an idea, share it and make it grow with my team and manage to get it finally realized.
I’m using any tools available. Post production was a big part of my first work. It’s a bit of a paradox but strangely I needed to get this very “painting” feeling on my pictures. Even now, it’s still a part of the whole process.
Post production is one part of the whole process for me. I do everything myself. This is where I finalize my pictures and make my ideas become reality. It can be very minimal. I can also spend a couple of days to do color correction on a single picture but I never expect this part of the job to save my pictures.
I always know before shooting how much retouching will be part of it. I hate over retouched pictures. I love skin and always try to keep this not-so-perfect charming touch. I love life.
Maybe I’ve been doing less photohsop lately, I don’t know. It really depends on the project. Also things evolve and my mood changes.
Did you ever work analog or do you work completely digital?
I’m not so much into equipment. I just need basic tools. I’m only shooting digital though for a matter of efficiency. There’s no point for me to shoot film.
Developing an own style is one of the hardest things for photographers. Are you still developing your style and do you follow your instincts or certain rules?
Still developing for sure. As I said, I’m only doing pictures for three years and I’m still searching. There are a few things that will always be there I thing but it has to adapt and go forward for sure.
I really follow my instincts. I know more or less what I’m attracted to in terms of composition, colors, forms and moods. Whenever I try to do something else, I fail most of the time.
I usually have my idea first, work on moodboard and then find the right model to fit into. My job is to get the model to understand what im after. Sometimes it’s difficult but I quite often ended with a model being enthusiastic about the shoot.
It’s super important for me to do the right casting, to make sure, the girl is aware of what it will be about, especially when nudity is involved.
I really like the way you present female nudity.
Can you please explain your idea behind it and your point of view regarding the female body as an artistic “object”?
Thank you! I’m not an artist or feminist or psychologist but, as much as I can, I try to give a positive image of my model. I love them proud and sexy. There are so many degrading pictures in general and especially women imagery in fashion. I can’t do that. I don’t want to show any naked drunk teens or things like that. This is giving a very bad message to viewers. This is a total turnoff for me. I want my models proud and powerful.
Finally some sentences I would like to ask you to complete:
- Photography means to me … that’s my job and I’m lucky enough to get some money to do what I love.
- If I could only take one last picture, I would take a picture of … a beautiful girl of course!
- I would never touch my camera again and take pictures if … I had no other choices.
- Please, never ask me to … do family pictures around the table for Xmas.
- If I wasn’t a photographer I would have become … a chef! I love to cook.
Thanks a lot, Pierre! It was a pleasure talking to you.
All images © Pierre dal Corso