Happy New Year! Please welcome Fashion and Editorial Photographer Carine Belzon to the 2016 James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Carine for sharing time with us.
Carine Belzon: Happy New Year, James. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.
JRP: Where do you call home Carine? Has this environment been crucial to your creative process?
Carine Belzon: I was born and grew up in France. It still feels like home although I have been living in the Netherlands for over 25 years. I live in a very remote little town. Nothing much to do here, so the environment may have been crucial. With photography I am able to create my own world and it is never boring.
JRP: How did you get involved with photography? Is there any formal training or assisting in your background?
Carine Belzon: I just rolled into it, I guess. I started photography in 2013 when I bought my first digital camera prior to a visit to my father. The pictures I took were so incredibly bad and that camera had so many buttons and possibilities. 🙂 So I went online looking for answers and came across the Creative Live website. I started with the fundamentals of photography by John Greengo and just kept going.
JRP: Name two photographers you feel have inspired and influenced your work.
Carine Belzon: I have been inspired and influenced by every photographer I’ ve seen on Creative Llive, I guess. Some of my favorites have been Sue Bryce, Joel Grimes, Lara Jade, Lindsay Adler and Brooke Shaden. My latest series is inspired by the work of Paul Alpakin. I LOVE photographers like Tim Walker or Benjamin von Wong but my strength is more in portraiture.
JRP: How important are personal projects and how do they figure in the development of your vision and technique?
Carine Belzon: In my opinion, personal projects are the only way to learn and figure out what suits you best. Trial and error, trial and error again, get back on your feet and move on.
JRP: Name a shoot or project that you desire to begin or finish this year.
Carine Belzon: I really love shooting portraits and my goal for this year is to be able produce a series of fine-art portraits worth an exposition.
JRP: Do you prefer working on location or in studio?
Carine Belzon: I prefer working in a studio. I’m a bit of a control freak and nothing beats a studio and studio strobes when you want to control your lights and background.
JRP: Do you have regular assistants that work with you on your projects? If so what roles do they play?
Carine Belzon: It depends on the projects. My fashion/editorial projects require complete teams: Make-up artist, stylist and hair stylist. I often work with the same people because we share a vision and understand each other.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Carine Belzon: Everything I own! Remember I’m a control freak! I shoot with a Canon 5D mark III and almost always use the 70-200mm F4 L USM lens in the studio. If I want a shallower depth of field or for portraits outdoors I will use my 100mm F2.8 IS USM macro because of its stabilization. For fashion/editorials the 24/105 F4 IS USM. I also always carry a reflector.
JRP: Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Carine Belzon: I prefer artificial light because it痴 easier to control (at the moment). A big Beauty Dish or Octabox are my first choices when it comes to modifiers.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use.
Carine Belzon: I shoot RAW, sometimes tethered when working with a team. I cull and make basic adjustments in Lightroom and the final adjustments are made in Photoshop. I do spend quite a lot of time in there. I can get lost in my creativity when it comes to editing. It is my own little fantasy world where time stands still and I just love it. I have tried just about every plugin on the planet I think. I do use Alien Skin exposure a lot.
JRP: What is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?
Carine Belzon: It is difficult to explain. It is a feeling. I recognize it when it’s there, a connection, something real and deep. People who know the models often tell me that they never saw them like that in other pictures, so maybe that I’m capturing what is behind the mask.
JRP: If not photography what would Carine Belzon be doing with her time?
Carine Belzon: I would have a normal job and working 8 hours a day instead of 16. 🙂
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Carine Belzon: I have not being given any advice or feedback by other photographers. I would really like to have a mentor to support me in that regard. I have picked up a lot from Creative Live: find your style, do what you love, be patient and believe in yourself, not an easy one.
JRP: What advice would you like to share with other photographers?
Carine Belzon: I would quote Henry Ford , “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t … you’re right.” Taking good photographs is not a heavenly gift. It comes from hours of study and practice. If you really want to do something, just learn how to do it.
JRP: Thank you Carine for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure and we wish you continued success.
Carine Belzon: Thank you very much for the interview. It has been a pleasure.