The artful world of fashion photography has long been an obsession for Christian Blanchard.
While his subjects don’t usually require an introduction, it is the man behind the lens whose talent often surpasses the muse.
Christian has worked with some of Australia’s most recognizable celebrities and fashion designers.
His work regularly appears in the top fashion magazines and he has worked on advertising campaigns for Australia’s most well known brands.
Façon was privileged to have Christian shot our cover for Façon Book Three.
Today, he talks to us about moral conflicts, an inability to ever switch off and the acceptance that art can never be perfected.
1. What made you decide to become a photographer?
At a young age I was forced to switch writing from my left to right hand, which impinged my abilities at school with arts. One of the most humiliating memories as a child was the day I arrived at a new school and the first class was arts. The alienation of being the new kid and the kid that couldn’t trace a frog was enough to conclude I would never become an artist.
Jump a few years to high school and my photography teacher, Cliff Woodroofe, literally opened my eyes to photography and gave me a tool to express myself with.
He challenged me with the topic of Scopophilia and from that I started to explore the world of voyeurism and the female form. This exploration has grown into 15-year career and obsession with fashion photography, film and more recently conceptual art projects.
2. What is it about fashion photography you love?
There are so many variables and formulas. Composition, lighting, model engagement, styling, hair, make up, casting, location and the list goes on but there are also unknown elements that make a shot amazing.
I suppose it is the spirit and emotion of the image and for me, I am most excited about an image that captures a moment in time.
3. Is there anything about fashion photography you don’t like or wish you could change?
Moral conflicts. By working in fashion you are presented with many personal conflicts such as the implications of retouched images on society, endorsing the fur industry and the many immoralities of advertising.
I wish there was a great education and understanding throughout the world that fashion photography is not real. It is a creative art form that pushes boundaries, speaks to political agendas and seeks to find beauty in all forms but is fiction.
Oh and bring back the 1980’s budgets please ☺
4. What inspires you as a photographer?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and everyone. As a visual artist I never stop looking which means I never switch off. At any opportunity I am looking out of windows, across the room and all around me. I also find sources of inspiration from films, books, magazines, music, exhibitions and a whole lot of people watching.
5. Any advice for those wanting to break into the field of fashion photography?
Be bold and be willing to make mistakes.
No art is ever perfected and so no artist is ever happy with the end result. Therefore it is important to learn to enjoy the process rather than the final outcome.
6. What is your ideal fashion image?
Narrative driven. I love telling stories or at the least create tension and trigger thoughts and questions within the viewer.
At the moment I am interested in striping back the technicalities and pursuing honesty in the subject.
Did you read our interview with celebrity stylist Lara Lupish? Click here to read about the ins and outs of styling.