photography> LIONEL DELUY
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Born near Marseille, France in 1969, he spent his childhood in Salon de Provence with his parents and one sister- one brother. He received his first camera as a gift from his mother on his 13th birthday, a used Fujica 35mm camera. Since this day, he has always had a camera in his hand; his dream had always been to be a photographer.
In 1980, Deluy moved from the south of France to Paris, and initially struggled, working in many dead end jobs. At 29, Lionel decided to stop everything and to dedicate his life to photography. He then became a PA at Paparazzi Studios in Paris and started from the bottom at a late age- fetching morning coffee and cleaning the studios.
The most important thing for him was to be around photography and photographers and through dedication his dreams began to come true. After years at Paparazzi, he moved to Daylight Studios in Paris and became a studio assistant. This gave him the opportunity to assist multiple different photographers – Mario Testino, Javier Vallhonrat , Jean Baptiste Mondino and many others.
In 1992, he decided to leave Paris and to move to Mexico City, Mexico to learn Spanish. He spent two years in Mexico and worked as a successful photographer doing covers for magazine like Harper’s Bazaar en Espanol, ELLE en Espanol, Vogue Mexico, Paola Eres Somos and many other magazines. This move to Mexico was the best move he could have made – permitting him to start earning an experience in his field with clients and production.
In 1994, after being held at gunpoint and kidnapped in Mexico City, Deluy decided to leave with only a little money and went to visit some friends in Los Angeles and never left. The first four years in Los Angeles were very difficult for Lionel. He had only broken English and no connections. To pay the rent, he sold all of his cameras except for one Pentax and a lens. He began to make test shoots for different agencies – Elite Model Management, Ford Models, NEXT Model Management, LA Models and began once again from the ground up.
In 2000, Luis Barajas from Flaunt Magazine gave Lionel an opportunity to shoot a celebrity for a one page story in Flaunt. Afterwords, Lionel continued to shoot more celebrities and some fashion stories for Flaunt and he started to work for Movieline, Hollywood Life Magazine and his career as a celebrity photographer started. Follow Lionel on Twitter.