IN THE FRAME OF A PROFESSIONAL…
Pictures, pictures, pictures… that is what fills our thoughts and memories, they are omnipresent in newspapers, television and in all types of social media. Sometimes they make us smile and let our imagination run wild while dreaming of perfect and unsurpassed lifestyles, adventures or long-distance journeys. But other times they make us wipe tears while feeling moved or sad depending on what they actually present.
Each photo attracts our attention due to different reasons – such as people we love, beautiful models or places we haven’t had a chance to visit yet. Certainly, very important factors are technique and skills of a person capturing fleeting moments in the frame of the camera. Is it easy to decide which detail to capture to make a given photo unforgettable and immediately recognizable among millions of other images? Only a few have succeeded, enthusiasts of their own craft, gifted with the ability to observe and uncommon aesthetic sense.
A wide range of businesses and industries depend on this creativity of their photographers, thanks to which they can reach potential customers all around the world, not only promoting their own products or services, but also running social campaigns, which can change people’s lives here and now. That’s why, I’m truly pleased to introduce you to my today’s interviewee – Corinne Isasako – an incredible and talented photographer working in the field of fashion and beauty, who will reveal some of the secrets of her work and share the story of her incredible passion.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Corinne: My name is Corinne and I’m a French self-taught photographer who specializes in fashion and beauty, and a model. I work with brands on commercial and editorial projects. In January 2019, I decided to start photography. At the time, it was only a hobby and it really helped me emotionally to go through some life challenges. Somehow, I knew that I will upgrade this passion to a real business and that’s what I did in January 2021.
A little of school and career background: I had a Master’s Degree in Trilingual International Businesses and Marketing. When I started photography, I was working as a Product Manager in a small import company. Yes, it has nothing to do with photography but I would say that I am still in marketing and sales but more on the creative side.
Passion Piece: You are a self-taught fashion and beauty photographer. How did your adventure with the art of photography start?
Corinne: I simply started to take pictures of almost everything: nature, buildings, streets, food, and landscapes. Like every skill, you began to master it when you keep practicing over and over again.
Then, I wanted to take people, more specifically portraits, so I asked one of my friends if she could help me, and she was very happy to. At the same time, I was practicing self-portraits because one of the reasons why I started photography is that I wanted pictures of myself. And I didn’t want to become dependent and rely on free collaborations. So when I hadn’t had my equipment yet, I reached out to a photographer on Instagram who was doing TFPs (Time For Pics – meaning free collaborations). We did the photo shoot, I really liked it and then I wanted to do it again. Instead of reaching out to other photographers, I waited until I get my own equipment!
After several months, just by scrolling through Instagram, I discovered amazing photographers that inspired and still inspire me: Olivia Bossert, Lara Jade, and Kayleigh June.
Passion Piece: It’s not easy to learn everything by oneself. How did your first steps in the world of photography look like? How did you gain your practical skills in this field?
Corinne: So before investing in a camera and a lens (I still use the same today), I was learning how to put the setting in a camera, the shutter speed, the aperture, and the ISO. Let me tell you that for a long time, even after buying my camera, I did still not understand the whole thing, but I kept pushing.
I also was regularly watching videos (YouTube is your friend !) and reading articles on the Internet.
But most importantly, practice, practice, and practice. You cannot wish to do something without practicing regularly. You don’t have to dive in deeply all at once, but just one thing a day that will help you master your skill more each day.
Passion Piece: Why did you get interested in the fashion and beauty photographs? Isn’t it easier to capture something that is more constant?
Corinne: I get interested in fashion and beauty photographs because it’s something that resonates with me. I don’t have a technical explanation for that. I feel comfortable with these arts. As an artist, I find it easier to express myself through these genres especially when it’s soft, elegant, simple, and clean because this is a part of me. Of course, all my client don’t want these styles for their project. But I keep doing personal projects sometimes that allows me to stay aligned with what I want to express.
Passion Piece: What’s the difference between fashion and beauty photography? What challenges do you face while taking these types of photos?
Corinne: The difference is that fashion is for clothing, shoes, and accessories, and beauty is for make-up and skincare products. Fashion photography is about enhancing an outfit while beauty photography is to show the beauty of the face, skin, hands, legs etc…
What is challenging in these two genres is to catch the details, especially in beauty photography.
Passion Piece: How do you choose your models? What do you pay attention to first?
Corinne: For clients, I don’t get to choose models, only when I do test shoots to improve my portfolio. I choose only models that speak to me, that radiate elegance and simplicity, and models that I can imagine doing high-end commercials.
If I meet the model in person randomly, I look at how the model stands and his or her gesture.
If I find the model on social media, I look at the previous shoot that he or she has already done, and what genre. These ways, I can see if the model will be enough comfortable in front of the camera and that I won’t have to guide the poses from the beginning until the end.
Some come from model agencies and some come from just reaching out on Instagram or random meetings during events.
Passion Piece: You work with brands to help them enhance their visual assets for campaign and editorial projects. Which projects are you most proud of?
Corinne: That one is so difficult! I love them all, it’s hard to choose. But I would say that was a beauty editorial for Guerlain published in Amina Magazine. The issue is already out but I can’t show the images yet because of the embargo. I was so proud to shoot a model who has vitiligo and that was the first time. We don’t see this very often and I think brands should show more of this kind of beauty.
Passion Piece: What qualities should a good photographer have? Do you have any tips for the ones who would like to improve their photography skills?
Corinne: I think a photographer should first be an observer. It’s so important! Not only be able to observe the subject but also the environment, and the details. Then, I would say that the decisiveness must be high. Many photographers take a lot of pictures just to take pictures, without making sure before taking the picture to put everything right and reflect on the right poses, etc…
When you know what you want to achieve in photography, you take fewer pictures, you are so much more productive, you are faster on set and you will spend less time sorting out the images. Your clients will congratulate you on that trust me ! For me it’s not only about taking pictures, it’s about creating something powerful and expressing myself through it.
The best advice I would give to photographers is if you want to improve your skills quickly, choose your niches. From there, you can practice the photography niches you choose, and learn everything about them faster. By doing this, you are not confining yourself in boxes but you are making yourself a master of your craft. People will approach you knowing that you can offer them what they want easily. They will trust you right away. When you choose specific niches, you are considered to be an expert because this is what you do regularly!
Passion Piece: What do you love doing in your free time?
Corinne: During my free time, I love meditating, practicing yoga, and walking That might sound boring but this is what I love doing. It helps me stay aligned with myself, stay calm and peaceful, and stay in shape!
I am also a volunteer in a non-lucrative organization that helps children from foster care and family in difficulty.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? How would you like to develop your career?
Corinne: Unlike most people, I don’t project myself in that many years, I make only plans for 2 or 3 years max. My point of view about this may sound a bit weird, but for me, when we make plans for too many years ahead, we tend to take the present for granted because we think “Oh that’s OK I have time”. Of course, we have time but we could move so much faster if we see ourselves achieving things now.
I don’t know if in 10 years I will still be a photographer but one thing that I know is that I want to be my own boss forever !
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Corinne: It’s a quote from Gandhi that says – “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” It is so true because what you focus on grows exponentially!
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly inspiring conversation and I wish you continued success in the future!
See you around!
Photos by: Corinne Isasako