Rudy Beaugendre, portrait photographer from Paris, who has always been fascinated by beauty in all its forms. He did a bit of modeling and soon got interested by photography. Only one year ago, he decided to buy a camera and started to devoted himself to this art. Passionate and ambitious, Rudy will do his best to reach his objectives. Modelmanagement.com member, he would have never expected to do a photo shoot with a dancer from a famous French cabaret. Fashion and modeling is also about meetings and finding new opportunities! Rudy met the aspiring model and professional dancer Emma Wilkinson through a Modelmanagement.com casting and all we can say is that the results are incredible!
Model Management: When did you start as a photographer and where does this passion come from?
Rudy Beaugendre: Since I was very young, I have always been an aesthete. I appreciate beauty in all its forms and in different areas such as sport, martial arts, dance, music, images and movies. Even at school, I really enjoyed to study fine arts. It was one of the few subjects where I could express my creativity. Few years later, I did a bit of modeling and I really fell more in love with photography. My look at people progressively changed. I started to see beauty where I didn’t see it before. On social networks, I started to “like” every beautiful picture I could see. When I was looking at my selection of pictures, even though it was very subjective, I started to think that maybe I had some talent for that. Then, something happened during the 2014 New Year eve night, which changed a lot of things for me. I took my friend’s camera and started to play with it. He advised me to buy one and I told him I would think about it. I saw him again for the 2015 New Year eve night. He asked me if I finally bought a camera. I suddenly realized that I spent a year with this idea in my mind without concertize it…life is short. It is okay to take time to do our daily activities, but it is also important to take time to do what we really like.This is how I started photography in 2015. My first shooting was in February with a friend who is a model, she accepted to model for me. I really enjoyed this first experience. During the photo shoot, the pictures seemed nice. Once the photos were retouched, my friend told me it wasn’t that good. I was a bit disappointed and asked the opinion of another friend of mine who is also a model and she said more or less the same. They both made lot of criticism. It was constructive criticism but it demoralized me. I even thought about reselling my camera. Over time, I thought about it, I evolved and I didn’t give up. I began to teach myself, I read about photography and watched tutorials on internet. Being an aesthete is not enough to take beautiful pictures, technique is also important. Therefore, I consider I really started photography in summer 2015, so one year ago. I hope I will keep improving myself in the future.
MM: When you decided to post a casting in our modeling community, did you imagine the shoot would be with a dancer? Did the concept of the photo shoot change because of that?
RB: Not at all! When the casting was posted, I expected to work on a “classical” way with a “classic” model. I already imagined doing a photo shoot in the same style as the ones I have done before. To be honest, when I saw the pictures of Emma, the model, I didn’t think she was a professional dancer. I was thinking that it was just a passion for her. When I discovered that she was a professional dancer, I directly changed the concept of my shooting. As I said before, I have always been thinking that there is beauty in dance. So, I was in contact with a professional dancer who was interested on my work. It doesn’t happened every day, especially when we are “new” in photography. That is the reason why I changed the theme of the photo shoot, it was a great opportunity and I wasn’t able to make a “classical” photo shoot after meeting her. I really needed to think about something special and tailor-made, in order to bring to light the beauty and the grace of the model while remaining faithful to my style and to what I like. This new photo shoot wasn’t easy to prepare but I decided to accept the challenge and to go for this adventure.
MM: Can you tell how the photo shoot went? How did everything go with Emma?
RB: I met Emma for the first time in “Café de la Comédie” in Paris. I preferred to meet her before in order to prepare the shooting. I saw how she looks like in reality. Beyond her physical aspect, I observed her attitude and the way the light interacted with her. I think she was more comfortable at the photo shoot because we had the occasion to meet before. According to me, it is important to install a constructive communication between the model and the photographer if we want to make beautiful pictures. A certain complicity is required to succeed bringing to light the beauty of the models, especially when models are still aspiring models. In the first instance, I showed her pictures I took, on my website, and pictures on which I am currently working. I presented to her different concept I imagined for her. Then, I listened to her to know what she liked, what she wanted to do, to go both on the same direction. We need to like what we do to make good pictures; it is true for the photographer but also for the model. That is the reason why I always care about what the models are thinking. They need to feel comfortable with the concept of the shooting and too feel pretty with the clothes and makeup. The day of the shooting, everything was already prepared: location, stylist, makeup. Unfortunately, the lighting conditions weren’t the best, but we adapted to it. During the photo shoot, we could felt a nice complicity. I think she was happy to be here. She quickly became a model and a dancer. She suggested lot of dance poses, and we discussed a lot. There were a synergy between us; we worked in good mood and the time gone fast. I never asked her to make fast or complicated poses as I have respect for her job. I didn’t wanted her to get hurt for pictures. I gave her time to warm up and stretch. Like a dance performance, she became confident over time. From my side, I tried to capture the beauty while she was dancing. It was an original experience for both of us and I kept a good memory of it.
MM: You are mainly specialized in portrait. Lot of sweetness and delicacy can be seen in your photographs. Can you explain us this choice?
RB: I do lot of portraits, that’s true. There are different reasons for that: let’s be honest, when we start photography, or even if we are an aspiring model, it is easier to focus on portraits. There are fewer factors to deal with: the clothes, the poses, the framing…that is why I started by doing portrait photography. But the main reason is that I have the same look at my model, as someone who is in love. Let me explain myself; I focus mainly on the eye and the face while being sensitive at the aura around the model. That is why where some people see imperfections, I see beauty. For example, freckles are beautiful for me, even some scares can have a beauty like the one of Inna Zobova (Russian top model and actress)…I really like to show the natural beauty of the models I work with. Sweetness and delicacy? I am touched if these feelings are seen in my photographs. When I am on my website, I listen often “All of me” from the singer John Legend. It is not a coincidence. I don’t want to be only specialized in a certain type of photography but I completely assume this artistic tone. To be true, I never made the decision to do this kind of pictures; I just do it instinctively or innocently. Frequently, I have preferences for some faces. I try to do my best to sublimate the beauty I see. I have already wondered why my pictures are that romantic. I probably must have been influenced by some factors since my childhood. But the other explanation is that we are living in a world surrounded by pictures. Most of the time, these pictures are tough or deeply sad…I guess that when I took pictures, I try to create a small bubble of sweetness in which one we can escape the actual world for few minutes.
MM: According to you, how is Modelmanagement.com different to other websites to find models? Would you recommend it to other photographers?
RB: Modelmanagement.com is an international website made for professionals. As a photographer, I expect that models registered on the website are motivated and work in a professional way. The best example is the fact we can post castings. I would have never imagined I could make a photo shoot with a dancer from a famous French cabaret. If someone would have told me that one year ago, I think I wouldn’t have believed it. Honestly, I would recommend the website to photographers. It is the only website I know where models, photographers and agencies can be in contact, and this is quite rare. I remember I registered on a weekend and the following Monday I was contacted to work on some projects. Photographers can win great exposure and credibility. We have to work on opportunities. By registering on this website, I think we give ourselves the best possible odds by creating a professional network. In photography industry, as in life in general, there are some opportunities we can’t let go.
MM: Any future plans you can share with us?
RB: Firstly, I wish I will keep doing what I like, and I will try to improve my photography skills. Even if Paris is an inevitable place for fashion, I seriously think about travelling. I can explore new perspectives and add new atmospheres to my photographs. I would also like to work with top models or actresses/actors, not because they are famous, but more because of their “perfect” beauty. Last year, I entered in contact with some agencies. Bookers told me my work is not mature enough yet and they preferred to collaborate with photographers they are used to work with. My goal is to break this habit which consists in not working with photographers who have a different vision of photography. I will keep improving my technique and will go back to see agencies. Some models already trust me, and I thank them for that. Estella Warren, ex-muse of Chanel, recently wrote me this: “Your pictures are lovely. You seem to capture the essence of each woman individual spirit” This is pretty encouraging! If it doesn’t work with agencies, I will start again until it works. Photography is a real passion and I enjoy every aspects of it, from preparation of a shooting to post-production. It is like painting a picture, and I really like it. To be the best at something, we need to love what we do. My dream is to realize a photo shoot for a famous brand of jewels or perfumes someday. It will be for me an artistic and professional recognition. If I reach this level, I will put my skills at the service of a charity or a foundation I care for, to help promote a message which can make this world better.
Model Management: Emma, you are a dancer and model; you seem to have a real passion for art in general. Can you tell us a bit more about your career?
Emma Wilkinson: I am very artistic indeed and I had to train three years to become a professional dancer and get my national diploma. After that, I was offered my first contract in Monaco at 19 years old. Then I was offered a job at a top cabaret in Paris and stayed there 4 years before taking a one year break to work in other companies. Dancing is a very short career which is why I started young and I still have many other ambitions to fulfil. Modeling I do for fun on the side of dancing because I enjoy everything about fashion/ hair and makeup.
MM: You have been a member of Modelmanagement.com for over 3 years now, how does the website help you in your modeling career?
EW: Modelmanagement.com has helped me a lot to find work and to find photographers. Many people have contacted me via the website and I appreciate that because I am too busy with my dancing career to join a modeling agency but I have had many people ask me to do showrooms/ dance shoots/ fashion/ lingerie/ hair shows. It is a great site in fact and wherever I end up as a dancer I can always find some work.
MM: Recently you were selected through a Modelmanagement.com casting to be part of a photo shoot with professional photographer Rudy Beaugendre. How was the experience?
EW: I had a very fun day and we managed to get some lovely shots. It was great to dance and have photos taken of my passion. I was very pleased with the outcome and I had a fabulous time working with Rudy Beaugendre as he is also very artistic. Hopefully one day we work together again.
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