Frederic Albert is a French photographer that has done work for Helene Ponot. This interview took place over email. Q: Besides lingerie, what other kinds of photography do you do?
A: Of course I do some fashion and some glamour/beauty pictures. But, as you can see on my web-site, I mix portraits, stories and products pictures. For me it’s really a mix of these different types of photos that inspires me. When I’m taking a product picture, I can test lights and composition easily and than apply it on fashion pictures.
Q: Can you give me an example of something you learned from a product shoot that you were able to take to a fashion shoot?
A: The use of backlight to have a better feeling of the fabric might be the best example.
I love this one — very elegant, quite rich but very sexy with the hand near the breast
Q: How did you come to work with Helene Ponot?
A: We have been friends for a long time, but we only started to work to together recently. She is so talented and she has such a sexy vision that it is really a great pleasure to work with her. And last but not least, she is so prepared that we can do a two days shooting in only one.
Q: How long do your shoots take if the client isn’t as prepared as Helene?
A: The time when people come to the studio and start thinking about what they want is over. Still, you can’t only consider time but also the results. So, it takes what it takes to be ok.
Q: Did you do the shoot for Flip Book?
A: I think Helene put three catalogues in the Flip Book and I just did the two last of them.
You know that she is looking at you, that she is proud of her lingerie, but she hides behind her hair to let you stare at her.
Q: Do you work with other designers? Who are they?
A: In lingerie I used to work quite a lot for Laura Philippe, a French brand.
Two strong American girls in a French living room. The purpose was to have something elegant and classy but not too far from the lifestyle of the buyer.
Q: Do you set up all the shots or do you work with a staff?
A: It really depend of the shots and the needs of the client. But “staff” seems a bit generous because it is more of a family business. Most of the make up artists, hairdressers, and set decorators are long time friends.
Q: Is this how your business network grows? Do your hairdresser friends recommend you as the photographer, etc.?
A: I hope so!
Q: Are you completely digital?
A: Yes! No film since 3 years.
Q: Outside of the obvious benefit (quicker edits, no development time), are there things you miss about film?
A: The time we use to spend with the client waiting for the test from the laboratory, is really the only thing I miss.
Q: What kind of equipment do you use?
A: From DSLR with 22mpx sensor to digital back with 45 mpx sensor; it depend of the job and the final use. My studio is fully equipped to work digitally.
Q: How long does a day of shooting take to deliver (preparation, production, selection, etc.)?
A: Sometime, just a few hours when it is a rush (and most of magazine shoots are always rushed). Most of the time the day after unless there is al lot of retouching that I have to handle myself.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I did a cinema school in Paris.
Q: Did school help you with your photography or did you always have a passion for the still image?
A: The school helped a lot, because I was learning the direction of photography. At the end of each small film I took pictures of the actors to thank them for their work. So at the end of the school I had a big book of portraits!
Q: Are you accepting new work?
A: Of course !
Q: How should people contact you?
A: Phone, e-mail, everything is working.