Name: Rudy Mignardot
College: Pierre Brosselette
Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Book: « The Power of Now » by Eckhart Tolle
Favorite Movie: David Lynch’s movies
Favorite Food: Sushis
Favorite Quote: « Imagination is the beginning of creation, you imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. »
George Bernard Shaw
Why do you take photos?
By taking photos, I’m trying to catch the present moment. I love spontaneous pictures.
Photography also leads me to meet incredible personalities by increasing human interactions, which is fundamental in my work.
It is the complicity and the trust established between the model and myself that brings life to a photo. During the shooting, we are in fusion, the magic happens and gives birth to successful and strong images.
Who have you learned the most from?
First, from myself. and my own mistakes…
Many people have put their trust in me and offered their precious advises. It made me think further in my work and my creative process.
What determined your passion for Fashion in Photography? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
I would better say : what determined my passion for Photography in the broad sense.
I don’t consider myself as a fashion photographer, even if people often defines me as one. I put more interest in the person I am photographing than in the outfit in itself. My models are much more than a simple coat rake for me !
At the beginning of my career, I’ve experienced the world of fashion. I had the chance to collaborate with models agencies and for magazines. But some decisive encounters helped me to move my vision of things forward. I can remember my friend Caroline, who used to work for Vogue, saying: « Rudy, don’t think about the photos you have to take, do what you deeply want to. Be yourself ! No matter the contemporary tendencies. »
I may sometime work for fashion designers but, still, by following my own vision. That means: more human and authentic. I try to catch the emotions and the little moments that help to feel alive. The composition of my images are so much more important than the garments represented. I love to see and play with the texture of the skin, and the details of the body.
Projects with strong artistic approach are also dear to my heart ! I am continuously in the quest of creativity. I will always keep in memory my collaboration with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and the comedian Hande Kodja in the Carmen.
Recently, the brand LOEWE contacted me to rethink the visual identity for the launch of new products. The challenge was to keep the fashion side while bringing a fresh and new eye by the same time. I voluntarily turned the images into something human and cinematographic.
Were you always interested in photography?
I’ve been interested in photography since my childhood. I’ve always knew deep inside that I would one day become a photographer. I was looking out of the window of the car, watching at advertising posters and commenting them with my parents.
I’m gonna make you a little confidence…Each time I had the occasion, I was reading my mother’s magazines.
I started taking pictures quite early, first with my sister, then my friends, with my parents’ camera. Later came the time for me to get my own camera to continue my works for models and actors agencies.
What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have?
I would say…. to let the model be himself. As the objective is to decrypt its personality and to transcript it into an image.
I have to become as invisible and neutre as possible to catch spontaneous attitudes and stolen moments. But for that, the person has to feel confortable and natural.
What do you think makes a memorable fashion photograph?
According to me, each photography expresses fashion in its own manner.
The fashion I love is the one I can observe everyday in my routine life. The one I see when I walk through the Parisian streets. I am particularly attracted by the variety of faces and the diversity of styles.
What type of camera do you use most?
Nikon D200 and Canon 5D
What is your favorite lens?
Each project is different from the other. I determine my lens according to the feeling I want to express or my needs.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start?
I like to leave magic happens. I even sometimes surprise myself by improvising.
There is something really enjoyable when you begin with nothing and end with something spectacular. The unexpected and the timing naturally come after.
When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
I would say that it is mostly instinctual. Nothing can be totally planned.
Plus, I shoot humans. Even if you try to program the shoot, the human-being is unpredictable. And that makes things more exciting.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
I want to make people dream and travel between the lines of the faces, sculpted by the lights.
And, more importantly, to give them the pleasure to see.
Do you have any rules?
No, I never put restrictions on my creativity.
What inspires you to work? Biggest inspiration?
I have many sources of inspiration but music has a special place in my inspiration and creative process. Some movies too.
I also find inspiration in my daily life, in the streets, in restaurants, during parties… and even through social media.
Some models particularly inspire me, as Cajsa Wessberg and Pauline Ivashevskaya (that I would be very glad, by the way, to shoot ;))
Last but no least, Lucille Callegari. A friend of mine, but also an incredible painter, whose creations give me the sensation to escape for a while. We met at an exhibition of the Qu4tre as we were both exposing. We have the same fascination for portraits, we mutually understand and appreciate our respective work. Besides, I’ve offered myself two of her paintings.
How do you feel about the transition from film to digital?
I appreciate to use traditional cameras and then switch back to my digital one. I’ve realized that the final results are equally great. During my exhibitions, I love to play and see people being confused between digital or traditional pictures.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
Richard Avedon is one of my biggest inspiration, particularly with his exhibition at the Jeu de Paumes. I was seduced by his sensibility and his story. It totally brought my interest to raw and human images. Black, white, texture !
I’m not only inspired by photography. But also by cinema, as David Lynch’s movies, Gaspard Noé or the young and talented Xavier Dolan.
In music, I would think about Fakear or Synapson.
I can also mention artists as Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Mondino, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, David Lachapelle, Ellen von Unwerth, William Klein, Steven Klein, Hedi Slimane… Well, I have an endless list of names to cite !
Describe one of your most enjoyable projects.
The project with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, in the incredible Carmen. The magic of the place, the unlikelihood of the outfits imagined by this creator that I admire a lot… All of this led us to tell an authentic story with Hande Kodja as comedian.
Also, lately, my experience with Loewe, which was very amusing. As I’ve just said before, the objective was to think about a brand new visual identity for the launch of a new product.
What are your favourite three images you have shot recently?
First, I think about the shoot with the twin sisters Louise and Chloé. I was waiting for it to happen for more than one year , as they had to be both in Paris, at the same date.
I also particularly appreciate to shoot people that I deeply know as friends or even ex-girlfriends.
How important is an awesome website for your business?
It is important for me to have a beautiful website. It has to be pleasant, easy, and fun ! Off course, it also has to be frequently updated. A great website is like a beautiful display to our work.
The content and the showcasing of my photos is fundamental according to me, as I also use my website as a « shop ». In fact, some pictures are in sale. People can contact me through it if they’re interested by one.
I give the same importance to my Instagram profile (more than to other social medias). The platform led me to wonderful encounters and gave birth to new collaborations.
Apart from photography, what would be your dream or biggest project?
In fact, my dream would be to sail all around the world. I am a passionate of the ocean, and I would love to follow the example of my uncle and his wife. They used to have a sailboat and spent most of their lives navigating. By the way, I am planning to move and get closer to the ocean this year, I want to learn surfing and, why not, realize my dream
Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
The last exhibition I’ve been to: « Secret life of heroes » at the Sakura gallery.
Who are the photographer’s you admire the most?
I had a huge crush for Nirrimi, an Australian photographer. She also started photography very young. I love her universe, the energy she produces with images.
Then there are the photographers I’ve mentioned just before.
What about architects and designers?
I particularly appreciate Pierre Cardin, Philippe Starck, and as fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent, and Jean-Paul Gauthier.
What are your next projects?
Shootings for new brands and some projects in the music area.
I also have some new exhibitions in head.
Everything move so fast in my craft, everything can happen tomorrow. You have to be reactive and available even if you’re not. This is one of the reason why I’m currently looking to hire an agent.