So many, Leibovitz, Mugler, Cartier Bresson…
More important than the food are the people with you sharing the meal.
Puerto América / Madrid.
Patrick Curtet is a photographer with a long history of digital photography whose skills go well beyond ‘beautiful pictures’ taken with technical mastery. His style has developed through a very personal and artistic process. His pictures are instantly recognisable from their mood without having to read his signature.
Patrick has been shooting professionally for over 20 years and after concentrating on sports and reportage photography, where he travelled to more than 60 different countries, he shifted his attention to automotive and lifestyle work. He is really keen on proper technique and has expertise in controlling the lighting, effects and/or other elements. He works to have these elements hidden and out of sight… as if they’re not even there.
Patrick likes to create high-end visuals around cars, lifestyle and fashion with his highly recognisable, cinematographic style. For each client or series, he seeks to tell a story.
The post-production processing is kept simple. The picture is subtly tinted without any superfluous contrasts, tricks, or special effects. The most important thing is already decided at the time of the shot.
More than a photographer and picture maker, Patrick Curtet is a director whose photo reports look right out of a movie. These decisions push him towards writing story lines and directing scenes and actors.
When doing infomercials, each picture is a movie scene in which the product is suggested in the background to make it stand out more, in environments alive with moving characters, a single look, or an insignificant detail that ends up becoming crucial, thus offering a second level of meaning to the audience.
Lighting is his favourite actor in offbeat, unexpected, and anachronistic settings. The framing is surprising, improbable; the backlighting and blurring are opportune, never overdone, in order to emphasise context. Supported by background geometry, architectural lines, or harmonious type, the picture composition is definitive and doesn’t need anything added or removed.
Patrick Curtet the director could obviously not resist the temptation of video production to add motion to his wordless stories. However, he still retains his keen photographer’s eye in order to shoot beautifully atypical and outstanding scenes.
These standards make Patrick Curtet an artist with a singular style of extraordinary inspiration and sensibilities.
We are under his spell. In short, he’s a hallmark of photography, a beautiful human being.
-How did you first become involved in the creative industry?
Who knows why but my only goal since I was a child was to travel. Nobody in my family had been abroad outside of France. For me the world was the playground I should go to. So when my brother started to be interested by photography, I followed him at the local club. Later my mother started to work in a local newspaper and my brother studied journalism. Here is how it all started.
-What words best describe your style of work? What are some of your biggest influences?
Cinema is my world. For me everything is a story. Every person, every place has something to tell. We just need to listen.
-What is your usual technical setup on a shoot?
For me preparation is everything. I like to work hours on a shoot before it happens trying to explore all the facets of the shooting. Then when the time comes, life is easy and enjoyable. Your mind should be free of technical assets if you want to create.
-What is your creative process like?
There’s no particular process, things constantly change. When you live that life every day, every hour, your senses are open to creativity and making choices.
-How do you market your business? How do you attract new clients?
Today social media is crucial. You need to express yourself and communicate about your latest work. Beside all paying jobs, I’m always developing personal work. This is crucial to stay creative and open new boundaries.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
I know quiet well Photoshop and Lightroom and I always give my vision of the work to the post-production house.
-What is your dream project?
The next one…
-How you would advise someone just starting out in the commercial, creative world?
Work, work, work and work again. Explore listen try, there’s no wrong way to do things, just be curious.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
Wake up early and walk all around.