Q&A: Photographer extraordinaire Lionel Deluy
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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Lionel Deluy has built a solid reputation as a photographer with a keen eye for framing stars and those with star potential. With a who’s who of actors, musicians and celebrities under his belt, he’s often first choice when it comes to photographing the famous and sometimes infamous. Born in the south of France, Lionel is now based in the US, living in Los Angeles and travelling globally to photograph the stars. Lionel has also become something himself, appearing as guest judge on the popular reality show America’s Next Top Model. Prior to a visit to London to shoot Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth, we caught up with Lionel to chat about his work.
Q. Is photographing film actors, musicians and celebrities any different from other shoots?
For me yes. I love to shoot people, interesting people, talented people. When you meet someone that is in the public eye, you always have expectations. It is always interesting, challenging to try to get the best in the minimum amount of time. I really love it. It is a give and take situation. You try to get the most, and its like reading a soul.
Q. Do you have a clear plan and vision for the shoot or is dependent on outside forces?
I never have a plan or a vision. I always come with fresh eyes and try to take advantage of the situation. Each person is going to give you a different energy and you need to work with it. Sure there is always a PR or marketing person, but usually it always goes really well. They trust my decisions.
Q. Are you trying to create an image that is a true reflection or something that will simply look good and help promote the latest film, record and so on?
I really try to get the most to get the most, looking right into the eyes, being really close, speaking, feeling the energy. Beauty is inside. A lot of the people I photograph are really beautiful, but they are not models.
Q. Would you say the bigger the standing and reputation, the more difficult it is to photograph them?
No. I would say it is contrary. The bigger and more famous people are the most professional. You never make it to the top and stay on the top if you are not professional and nice.
Q. Did you enjoy being a part of America’s Next Top Model
Yes. I love America’s Next Top Model. Nice experience. All the crew and Tyra are so nice.
Q. Would you like to make an appearance on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model?
Sure. Love to. It is always really interesting and fun to work with new faces models.
Q. What do you think of photography apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic that help users share photographs?
I am a huge fan of Instagram. An image means a thousand words.
Q. And do you think they are helping to make people think visually?
If you are a photographer, you need to be in love with this, Instagram. And today everyone is a photographer. Every mobile phone has a camera, everyone is an artist. It is really interesting and refreshing to see all these pictures coming from nowhere. Now the cell phone camera is an extension of everyones mind. You can really translate what you see and share it right away, it is like a dream.
Q. What advice would you give to those who take photographs regularly and want to take things a step further?
Never give up. And go for it. If some people can make it, you can make it.
See more of Lionel Deluy’s work here.
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