Pascale Arnaud is a fashion photographer with a strong, positive message for all young women. Winner of the ‘Prix Picto’ (Prize for Young Fashion Photographers), Arnaud shares the story of how she started her career in fashion photography and the inspiration behind her work.
Your photographs project strong emotions of pain, anger and lust. How do you communicate with your subjects/ models to capture these intense emotions?
For my most personal series, I shoot friends or people who I already know. In those series I talk about topics that are important to me, like women’s body positivity or emerging adulthood. For me, it’s better if I already know the model in order to be closer to what she or he truly is, and to try to shoot real emotions. Also, I take my time, and I take a lot of pictures to make the models feel really comfortable and enable them to express themselves better. I tend to shoot during those floating moments between two poses, and I make them speak in order to capture unique expressions.
How did you turn your passion for photography into an artistic career?
I have been taking picture since I was young, and when I came to choose my course of studies, I didn’t hesitate. I moved to Paris and graduated from Gobelins photography school. Working in this environment put me in touch with the
fashion world I got into fashion photography. Recently, I was awarded with the ‘Prix Picto’, the Prize for Young Fashion Photographers in France. This is a nice springboard for the rest of my career.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I started to do fashion photography because I loved to create beautiful and atmospheric pictures. Step by step I started to lean towards creating series with subjects that are important to me. In my own way, I would love to be part of this new generation of fashion photographers who dare to innovate, shooting all types of people (not only fashion models). I would love to continue to address subject matter like the acceptance of our own body, and convey a positive message, particularly to young women.
Could you give us some insight how you prepare for a shoot? What goes behind the organisation and how do you select your models?
When I have the concept of a series, I start looking for inspiration among the pictures I gather everyday. This allows me to develop new ideas that will complete the main one, and to start to develop an aesthetic vision of the shoot. It leads to the creation of a mood board which would contain the general atmosphere, the lighting, inspiration for the models’ poses and other details like make-up and hair. These mood boards are more or less precise, depending on the series. Sometimes shot by shot preparation is required, at other times the process is more improvised and spontaneous. The models themselves are often friends of mine, people met through pleasant artistic encounters, or even people who I spotted on the street and asked to photograph.
Could you tell us about your most unforgettable behind the scenes moment?
Last May, when I was in China, I shot a young Chinese woman named Xiaotong on the shore of West Lake, an iconic place in Hangzhou. We did the photoshoot at 4am in between rainfalls. As we were walking by the banks of the lake, the first lights of dawn were replacing the last lights of night, creating an incredibly peaceful ambiance that I won’t forget anytime soon.
Favourite IT girl… Lily Newmark
Foals’ latest album ‘What Went Down’
Go-to Camera for 2017 I still love the Canon 5D Mark III
Top travel destination 2017 China
Favourite drink English tea with milk
Magazines: print or online? Both!
Favourite time to shoot..In the late afternoon sun