When did you discover your passion for photography?
When I was a kid, I watched my father taking pictures on our family holidays with his analog camera. He loved to shoot sunsets and monuments at night. Even thought I had my first digital camera at the age of 20, we can say I had this desire deep inside of me for years. It is when I began going on holidays by myself, by the French coast of the Basque Country and the Bretagne, that the passion woke up.
How did you come to the world of Wedding photography?
Honestly, it was a by accident. At the beginning, it wasnt really a personal wish, as photography for me is related to calm, to recouping by discovering magic places. I liked to take my time, and let the places I discovered surprise me, for the landscapes pictures and special motifs I discovered in the towns I visited. Over time, friends who liked my photographic style asked me to shoot their weddings. At first I refused, because it’s a big responsibility to shoot alone a whole wedding. At this time, I didn’t think I had the skills to do that, and I kept taking my pictures. I took pictures at gigs, then did shootings for dancers and musicians, then took pictures of newborns for friends, and at last, I did shoot some weddings.
Which of your projects/motifs opened the door to the art market/professional market?
In 2012, with a friend, we travelled around Europe by motorbikes, and we crossed a lot of cities (from Paris to Istanbul, via Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Split, Venice …). Back from that trip, we exhibited our best pictures, so that people can discover those big European cities through our eyes. To print the pictures, we worked with Darqroom, a lab from Nantes (now ArtLabs) that worked mainly with Hahnemühle papers. This is how, wisely advised by the printer Yvon Haze, I discovered the different sort of papers, their pros and cons, to choose the one that would perfectly enhance the message of the picture (emotion, humour, geometry… ).
Who inspires you most?
It is hard to pick only a few names among all those who inspire me everyday. Moreoften, those who surprise me and make me self analyse, about my way to think about photography. Today, with social networks, blogs and online magazines, I discover new photographers from everywhere in the world everyday. I can spent several minutes looking at their portfolios and get inspired for my next reportages.
How would you describe your personal photographic style?
I would say that my reportages are a mix of documentaries and artistic statement. Documentary, because I love to capture moments of daily life, moments of emotion, through my reportages. And artistic because I try to give a personal touch, by the choice of the framing and of the settings of my camera when I shoot, and by the post production choices.
What is most challenging about shooting a wedding ?
When I shoot weddings, the most important thing to me is to capture the contacts between the people, and especially between the wedding couple and their loved ones. For a look, a smile, a teardrop or a laughter, I try to be the more sensitive to these kind of details so that at the delivery of the pictures, it all tells a story and allows the couple to return to these moments years later. Of course, if I can insert some details about the location, it is the icing on the cake.
What importance do you place on the printed presentation of your artwork?
For me, a photograph isn’t only for the computer screen. Especially if it is an emotional occasion for the person who watches it. To print on a beautiful paper is to sublimate the picture, thus the emotion. This is why I always deliver 10 pictures on a A5 size in my wedding boxes (and I soon will do 20 pictures boxes). In addition, I propose bigger sizes if they want to put them on their walls or offer them to their loved ones. I also propose high quality photo albums for those who wish.
Which is your favourite Hahnemühle paper and why?
For the weddings, my favourite paper is the Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta 325g, because it is the paper that fits every situation. The contrast is really good, the shades of blacks are deep, and the colours crisply defined. It’s perfect, even for pictures with pastel shades. Each time I show my portfolio on meetings, people fall in love with this paper and its final render.
Do you have a dream project you would like to realize sometime?
My dream today is to shoot a wedding on a beach at sunset. I know it’s kind of cliché, but then I could mix my two passions, landscape photography and wedding photography.
Wedding season will reach the peek in the coming weeks so I’ll get very busy. And I already make appointments with future clients for weddings in 2016 and 2017. 🙂
More about Florian Commailles :
Enjoy four more Q&A by
Jared Windmüller from Brazil
Sanya Jogia from UK
Luka Zanic from Croatia
Jen Huang from the USA