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I’m quite proud to have been chosen to take the first images of the new dress collection of La Maison de Haute-Couture Lionnet Fauzou. This new dress collection is based on the masterpieces of Mauritian artist/painter Vaco Baissac. Very well designed, very colorful, it’s a real pleasure for the eyes.

Here are some images I’ve taken, some of the dresses’ designs and a few Vaco Baissac paintings which inspired Ainais Lionnet and Fabien Fauzou, the 2 young and talented Mauritian designers.

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Hi guys,

sorry I’ve been quite long to come back here and write something new. It is just that I ad (and still having) the most incredibly busy period since I have started my new life as professional photographer !

As from now, it seems that it will only calm down from mid-October, but for the moment, I have shootings (weddings, portraits, corporate, fashion …) almost every 2 days, which is a bit of a crazy rhythm, knowing the amount of work to edit and post-process all the images afterwards … I will need weeks of editing to catch this up !

 

 

 

Anyway, for the moment, I would like to share a couple behind-the-scene videos made by my friend Irwin Nursoo (irwinnursoo@gmail.com) during recent fashion shoots. With this, you’ll be able to feel the hectic atmosphere of a real fashion shoot, where dozens of people are around the models and photographer.

I’ll come back soon with more images and photographic tips 🙂

Have a good day !

Dear friends, this post will be written in French and will deal with the House of Haute Couture Lionnet Fauzou, the fashion designers who designed, created and crafted the amazing outfits for my retro colonial fashion shoot. This shoot took place last Sunday, 24 June 2012 at Eureka House in Moka, Mauritius. It was a pure blast and I’ll share soon the images of my concept. But for now, I would like to give a tribute to the designers who understood my needs, working hard to get inspired by the 17th century outfits and creating a wonderful dress and a stunning male costume. In this post you’ll get insights on how they did and planned their work, and you’ll see some pictures I shot during the session. Hope you’ll all enjoy !

“La Maison de Haute Couture Lionnet & Fauzou a reproduit les tenues de Marie Antoinette et de Louis XIV pour le concept de Julien Venner. Les deux tenues leur ont prit 40hrs de travail environ pour la confection. Il a également fallu trois semaines pour faire des recherches sur cette époque en visionnant 3 films bien réussis tournant sur  cette époque c.-à-d. le 17eme  siècle (Marie-Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour et Madame de Barry). L’inspiration est aussi venue de l’étude du précieux livre «  Histoire de la couture », écrit par feu M. Pierre Laurent, le premier et unique couturier mauricien qui faisait de la Haute Couture et qui nous a laissé en héritage son savoir faire à travers Mme Véronique Lionnet, le mentor de la Maison de Haute Couture Lionnet & Fauzou.

 

 

Les films ont permit d’étudier les démarches des acteurs pour analyser la qualité des matières, leur poids et leurs effets, et les voir tourner pour observer chaque détail des tenues. Pour le costume masculin, il avait des manches finies par de large revers, le dos était cintré et avec une coupe à basque, le jabot (lavallière) était assorti aux poignets de la chemise en dentelle réalisée dans une matière légère en coton de soie. Pour le costume féminin, des détails tels que le corset avec des multiples baleines qui donnait une allure au buste de la femme, la jupe à crinoline, plusieurs couches de jupons et des petits détails de broderie sur le corsage et la jupe avec des galons en coton et en soie, ont été pris en compte. De petits nœuds et des perles ont également été ajoutés aux galons.

Les tenues ont été fabriquées avec beaucoup de précision et sur mesure, les coupes étant différentes de ce que l’on fait de nos jours.Beaucoup de travaux ont été faits à la main, telles que les finitions (ourlet fait main de la jupe qui mesure 6 mètres de circonférence), broderie de perle et dentelle.

Concernant les matières, il a fallu aller à la recherche de tissus semblables aux tissus de l’époque, comme le brocart avec ses motifs d’or en arabesque, bien que, déjà à l’époque, les tissus étaient très variés, allant du coton à la soie en passant par la laine et toute sortes de mélanges qui avaient pour nom basin, étamines, panne, taffetas etc. Pour les accessoires, plusieurs vieux magasins de fournitures ont été arpentés pour trouver les boutons de la veste de Vincent, les galons dorées, les perles et des boutons qui ont été spécialement recouvert dans le style de l’époque. Grâce au stock de Véronique Lionnet, qui fait de la haute couture depuis 25 ans, des dentelles très rares et qui ne se trouvent plus sur le marché local, ont été utilisées. Enfin, concernant les couleurs, c’est le bleu mignon, couleur tendance de l’époque, qui a été choisi – c’est une couleur facile à trouver sur le marché local de notre époque. Les 2 tenues ont été assorties pour faire de cette session photo une journée romantique à Eureka.

Anaïs Lionnet & Fabien Fauzou sont des stylistes et couturiers. Non seulement ils créent des tenues, mais ils reproduisent aussi des modèles à la demande de leurs clientèles.”

Dear readers,

as some of you may know by now, I didn’t win the Fashion Photography Contest but I got an “honorable mention” which allows me to develop a last theme. But first, before going further, I would like to congratulate the winner, a young and talented Mauritian photographer, Max Anish Gowriah. You can find some of his awesome work here.

As I just wrote above, I am entitled to develop a last fashion theme, with fashion designers creating outfits for me. I will need to meet them this week with my ideas … My issue is that I have lots of ideas that I’d like to realize, some of them being even just at the stage of dream 😉 Thus, I have gathered 3 themes that I could shoot for this final and I would require your help by the form of a poll – if you could just let me know which theme you would like me to shoot. Many thanks in advance for your participation !

It’s been now a few months that I have opened my studio in Coromandel; however, due to a very busy agenda, I still haven’t been able to really start shooting in it. Also it still needs to be a bit renovated and better furnished, to properly welcome clients, models, make-up artists … Eventually, I have recently painted the shooting stage in green for a personal project which will combine 2 types of art – photography and animation. I’ll write more on this later on.

When launching my studio, I had in mind to widen my scope of photography to fashion and commercial photography. Recently, I put a first step into the small world of fashion in Mauritius … but not the studio. I took the opportunity of the first Fashion Photography Contest in Mauritius to gather a first small team around me to be able to submit nice images for the contest. This team was composed by Pawan Cavalli – fashion designer; Mélanie André – model; Valérie Lee – make-up artist; Nicolas Malachie – assistant. The shoes were provided by Bella Donna and jewels by Svarowski. Finally, I got some assistance from Sachin Sagar (he lend me some pieces of photographic equipment) and from East-Sider (which provided me with the male mannequin). Pawan designed and created an absolutely stunning dress, using the latest technology and materials, specially for this shoot. As usual, Valérie did an awesome make-up on Mélanie, who was the perfect model for the occasion. Finally, Nicolas’s assistance and help was extremely valuable, as I wouldn’t have been able to set-up all the lights without him. All this was put together in less than 10 days, and for free, which was quite improbable ! 😉 (the idea of the male mannequin even arose in my mind on the same morning as the shoot itself !)

To participate to this contest, I had to submit 2 fashion images before a certain date – and the last free date we all had was actually the day before the deadline. And on that day, the weather was quite grey, windy and rainy on the whole island ! I had decided to do the shoot at Cap Malheureux, the Northest point of the island. It rained almost the whole trip to there, and finally, the sun came out and we had a wonderful sunny afternoon ! Here are some images I took on that shoot:

After submitting my entries for the contest, I posted some images on my Facebook fan page. A few hours later, I got a message from Alexandra Weber Isaacs, who is promoting fashion in Mauritius through her nice and interesting blog. She wrote that my images were nice and pleasant to look at, and technically well realized, but that I missed some elements to compose some really excellent fashion images. Although I don’t deny it, as it was one of my first fashion shoot, it made me think of the definition of “fashion photography”. What is fashion photography really about ?

Alexandra’s definition is as such: “The principal aim of fashion photography is to combine two elements: the perfect presentation and display of a product and doing this in an original way that blends in and enhances a particular mood.” My opinion is that this definition isn’t fully complete as it missed an important piece of the subject: the model. To me, fashion photography is a kind of portrait photography for which the model wears some fashion items that are presented and displayed in an original way, respecting a certain concept and mood. To say it in another way, there is very little difference between fashion photography, portrait photography, modeling, glamour … Honestly, I am still not sure if I am shooting fashion images or just portraits of models, but to put this internal debate in my mind to an end, I got a part of the answer from contradictory comments on the same image – someone wrote that the mood, model and product did not work up to their combined potential and that it could have been better, stating that the male mannequin didn’t fit the mood or the location / on the same image, other people commented that this is one of the best concept image they have seen for a while and that it is a totally great and interesting concept, looking like a surrealist painting, Dali-style.

With this ambiguity in my mind, I came to the Fashion Photography Contest‘s final (I was selected among the 4 finalists) with the idea of building my own “fashion” style. Being a finalist of that contest meant to shoot 2 imposed concepts, with 2 models each. Dresses and outfits were specially designed for the occasion by La Maison de Haute Couture Lionnet Fauzou and by Sanjeet Boolell; models were provided by Mathis Models, directed by Karen Nicolini; make-up artists were Dominique Chan and Cédric Lanappe; shoes and accessories were provided by Bella Donna and the Mauritius Glass Gallery (which designed some amazing shoes in glass ! – see below). The day was really fun and tiring, it made me think of the TV show “Top Chef” for cookers – we had 2 imposed themes, on an imposed location (L’Aventure du Sucre) – although we could pick up whatever place we wanted inside the domain -, we got to know the models, the outfits and dresses and the accessories only a few minutes before starting the shoot. Finally we had a fixed limited time to complete the task, which was to create 2 fashion images by concept + 1 individual portrait of each model.

The first concept I had to shoot was about 2 queens: a dark/devil queen who wants to invade the territory of the white butterfly queen. The outfits were really amazing, the models acted very well. For this concept, I was inspired by the Quentin Tarantino’s movie “Kill Bill”, mainly the scenes in Japan with swords. On the field, I have looked for potential swords and found that sugar canes would perfectly fit both the place and the swords. Then I looked for a “grungy” place and found out an outdoor facade with a lot of textures, geometrical items, old stairs … Perfect for the mood I wanted to create. For all the below images, I wanted to convey a feeling of the strength of their fight, their anger and spirit of revenge ; I also wanted to experiment new angles, using the background for composing my images. To do so, I had to face some difficult elements, such as a strong and harsh sun (it was 11am), I had to climb on a not-so-stable ladder to find new angles, I used a fan to blow some air opposite to the existing wind … – it really looked like a “super-production” from the outside 😉

The second concept I had to shoot dealt with a soldier, coming back from the future to save his beloved princess who was imprisoned in a steel jail. For this shoot, I had to find futuristic inspirations in the locations and in the outfits, which were also really great. The huge engines of the sugar cane plant, the wheels, the wooden boat, the tubes, all in all formed a good set-up for picturing my tale. Because I have apprehended this shoot as a story in 4 steps (images), with the soldier cruising back through future, her beloved princess in her wheel jail (inspiration from “Modern Times”, Charlie Chaplin), the soldier climbing to deliver her and finally the start of their romance. Here I wanted to show the power of love in a futuristic place, using the great-but-difficult-to-deal-with background. It was very dark indeed and my challenge was both to keep as much ambient light as possible and darken all unnecessary disturbable elements. This second shoot was also very challenging for my team as we had to change lighting set-ups 5 times, at 5 different places … within 1 hour and 15 minutes !

Last but not least, I would like to thank a million times Ali Ghanti and my wife – they have assisted, helped and supported me during this whole long and hectic day. The work of an assistant is very interesting but also very demanding – you need to be proactive, to anticipate, but also to react very quickly; you need to suggest and propose improvements in lighting, posing, framing … Both Ali and Diane did that perfectly ! Thanks a lot again !

And wish me good luck for the results ! 🙂

Dear friends, I’m sorry I have been so long since my last post here. Things are moving quite fast for Pixel in the Box and I have been very busy on new assignments and new projects.

Today, I would like to share with you the story tale of a profile studio portrait I did of a friend in January this year. Since I have a studio in Mauritius, I have been taken up a lot for outdoor contracts, so that I have not yet been really able to take profit of this great indoor asset. However, I have lots of idea of portraiture, and, earlier this year, I wanted to test some of them with a female model, my friend Khatleen.

What I really wanted to do with her was testing dramatic lighting conditions on her brown skin. Also, since she has a wonderful prominent haircut, I had the idea to show its volume in a profile image of Khatleen. For drama, I used a black background and a specific lighting set-up – I needed the light to hit only part of her face, creating deep shadows with a very shallow transition. However, the light still had to be quite soft to enlighten a black female beauty. Finally, I had to use a second light to lit her hairs to create a volume effect on them.

Here is the setting I used :

The model has to look straight away, let’s say at midday position – then, your main light, a large soft-box placed around 1 meter away of your model face has to be placed at 2 o’clock position. The second light is placed around 2 meters away of your model to hit her hairs – I used a snoot to only focus the light on them. And here it is, very simple isn’t it ? Everything lies in the position of your light sources – you can try to move them a bit for different effects.

The feelings I have each time I look at this image are the ones I would have when admiring an old statue of a black divinity of beauty or something like this … 😉

Dear friends,

I am very happy and proud to announce the opening of Pixel in the Box studio, which is based in Coromandel. Although I still need to find a few accessories, I can already propose  lots of services – personal portfolios and fashion images, corporate portraits and images, family and kids portraiture, commercial images, products images … I have loads of ideas I’d like to realize in my studio and share with you !

Also, since I have a lot of space there, I will be able to propose some photography courses soon. More news about this to come in a few weeks.

Those services are only available on appointment. Thus, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a quote and to book your photo session !

Yesterday, while setting up all my equipment, I have shot a few trial images with my wife, Diane (who is not a model and who doesn’t like to pose hahaha 🙂 ), to check if everything is working fine. Here are those very basic first images taken in my studio:

Last week-end I was asked to take some images of a fashion show, which took place during DJ Assad concert, launching his new album “Playground”. The whole event was set up at Domaine Ana and the scene built up on a lake – the perfect setting for a nice night ! The atmosphere was excellent, DJ Assad was just great, the whole crowd (more than 2,000 people) was dancing …

I shot pictures for 2 famous Mauritian brands: East-Sider, a casual clothing brand (http://www.facebook.com/EastSiderFans?ref=ts) that will be 10 years old in a couple of weeks; and Dharna Hassija, an evening-dress stylist. I had the chance to be allowed to go backstage, to climb at the DJ disk set … a very nice experience indeed ! Here are some images of the evening:

Last summer I had a very nice modeling session with my friend and colleague, Coralie. Coralie is a 24 year-old financial reporting analyst at Lombard in Luxembourg. She has a bright smile, wonderful eyes and a very positive attitude.

When I heard she already took some pictures with an amateur photographer, I asked her whether she would like to become a model of mine … and she accepted 😉 Below you will see some images of this photo session, which took place in the forest, during a sunny day. I picked up this place to play around light with reflectors – the place in the forest was rather dark with some sun rays coming in.

Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to shoot fashion images for the summer clothing collection of East Sider, a famous Mauritian brand. The outside setting, close to Alexandra Falls, was a nice place to do this shooting, although backgrounds were a little too busy to me (too many trees, disturbing the reading of the images).

Amateur models Mayssoun Mar and Kitty Philipps did a great job, and East Sider promotion campaign was a success.

I was surprised, one year later in 2009, to even find a shop fully painted with my images 🙂

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