The relationship between the model and the photographer is essential to the quality of an image. It is even one of the most complex aspects of portrait photography. Depending on what they want to bring out, the photographer adopts an attitude that will be reflected by their subject.
The young portrait photographer Clara Segui has understood this well, and manages to highlight the personalities hidden behind the faces of the models she works with. We asked her questions about the origin of her passion, her methods to communicate well with her model, and many other things…
Hi Clara, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Clara Segui, I am 27 years old and I have been a full-time photographer for about 1 year. I mostly do portraits, a little fashion. I live in a Paris suburb.
“I was always sensitive to art in general […]”
How did your passion for photography begin?
I was always sensitive to art in general because my parents are surrounded by it. My father and grandfather are painters, and most people in my family work in the art industry. But photography really started when my parents bought the first family digital camera.
Back then a camera with a screen was the technological revolution! I started taking pictures of everything and anything, and a little later with the internet and social networks (Myspace, deviantArt) photography became an obsession. I had my first Canon reflex when I was 15 but at the time I was mostly taking pictures of my friends at parties.
Why did you choose fashion photography?
I always liked fashion, I used to read a lot of magazines when I was a teenager and I also did a bit of “modeling” after high school so it happened quite naturally, even if today I think I do more “portrait” than fashion strictly speaking. But I am also very interested in architecture, photo-reportage…
“I work a lot with newfaces,[…] that have little or no experience, so it’s easier to take them to something different.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
Mainly online! I have lots of photo books at home and I go to a lot of exhibitions but to be honest I essentially consume images on the Internet. Generally I discover the photographers on Instagram by navigating from profile to profile, and if I really like their work, I do more research on them. I also look at a lot of online magazines. So I guess that’s where my inspiration comes from.
What are your references?
I don’t really have any references. There are many photographers of my generation whose work I like (but whose names I don’t necessarily remember), others who don’t do fashion but rather reportage, still life. And then there are the great classics: Roversi, Gourdin, Newton…
“Generally, I decide on the moment of the location and the ideas come to me according to the person, their personality…”
Your models often have strong facial expressions on your images. How do you communicate with them to bring out things like that?
I work a lot with newfaces. I love them because they have little or no experience so it’s easier to take them to something different. I show them a little of my work, or a moodboard so they can get an idea. But it varies a lot depending on the person, the feeling we’re going to have. I usually see very quickly if I’m going to get what I want or not. And I think working alone with the model, having them over, chatting etc. helps!
What is your favorite step in the creative process and why?
I don’t really prepare my shoots, except in terms of styling. Generally, I decide on the moment of the location and the ideas come to me according to the person, their personality… So I would say that it is the shooting itself! That’s where it all happens.
“[…] you have to PRACTICE as much as possible. »
What do you want to communicate through your photos?
I don’t think I want to communicate anything in particular. I like the fact that everyone sees what they want to see. I’m just trying to make it interesting and tell people something.
What advice would you give a young photographer?
I still consider myself a “young photographer” so I don’t know if I am best suited to give advice. I’d say you have to PRACTICE as much as possible.
What are your future projects (if you can talk about it)?
I have editorial projects, publications etc… but my projects are mostly to have more projects 🙂