JRPAC

ASSISTANTS

2011

I took these portraits of trainees working in some of the biggest fashion and advertising photographic studios in Paris.

Each image has an accompanying statement which reflects the trainees' views on the photographic profession and their hopes for their own careers in photography.

In ten years some of them will have become famous photographers and others may have followed a different path. Overall, this series is a visual and social portrait of young people sharing the same space and time, at the outset of their careers, and so with their futures wide open.

Everything is still possible.


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« I wish I could study in Paris and work in the USA as a fashion photographer. I'm currently attending a college in Le Havre as a photography major. »<br /><br />Samia, 18 « I've been working for two weeks at the Pin-up fashion studios. It's like a microcosm, some kind of little world with its own rules. Many photographers are very tough, but once, during a shooting I had the opportunity to assist Peter Knapp who managed to reconcile me with this world: I understood that it's possible to be talented, and yet be kind with the team, even though staying strictly professional. »<br /><br />Fériel, 26 « Fashion appeals to me, so does nude's photography. Picturing myself in five years, I see a young freelance photographer in fashion and beauty. »<br /><br />Emmeline, 22
« At the end of my 9th grade, as I was in a photography section class, I applied for an internship in this studio. Within a couple of years, as I see it, I'll be attending a make-up academy in order to work in the fashion industry. »<br /><br />Lola, 16 « Definitively, what I learnt while working in a studio is that I will never be a photographer. It's so a personal involvement that I cannot imagine myself having to fulfil commissioned work, seeing my own creativity being restricted, having to fit into the standards of commercial photography. I prefer to follow my photographic activity aside, not trying to earn a living for it. »<br /><br />Chloé, 22 « After some time as an assistant photographer in rental studios, I realized that I really didn't want to work as a fashion nor commercial photographer. Being outside on the field to cover sports events suits me better. »<br /><br />Alizée, 18
« When I was in my native region, in Lorraine, I used to analyse every single picture in the magazines even though I had no idea of how they were made. Now that I am in Paris, I have discovered all the secrets of photographic shooting and have seen the photographers at work... Now that I'm here, surely I'll stay! »<br />« The work of a photographer has more in common with the conductor of an orchestra than with a craftsman. »<br /><br />Charlotte, 22 « I now work as a full-time dedicated photographers' assistant at 'Le Petit Oiseau Va Sortir' rental studio. In five years, I wish to be a music or advertising photographer. »<br /><br />Vincent, 24 « I have studied graphic design and used to be a graphic designer. So I've always been close to photography. I am still pursuing my job as a freelance but since last year I also work as an assistant for a few fashion photographers in order to become a photographer myself. I currently live in Paris, my roommates have left the flat to travel all around the world and we have planned to all meet up in a year in New York to begin a whole new life and fulfil our dreams. »<br /><br />Arnaud, 25
« I was a computer-scientist until last year. I left my job to become a photographer. Fashion is a strange world : it is not as disconnected from reality as one might think. It's a bustling world, a permanently happy and hard-working community with short-term aims. I was really surprised by the fact it seems impossible to work alone in this world. You must work in teams with an art director, a stylist, a hairdresser, a make-up artist, digital and light assistants,... Working as a photographer in the fashion industry is a process who implies countless people and where compromises become a survival kit! It's far from being an artistic approach. »<br /><br />Jean-Romain, 27 « To work in a photographic studio is a rewarding experience. It's always strange to see a huge commercial photograph in which you partook displayed in the public sphere! »<br /> « As for now, I'm discovering the journalistic branch of photography by working for a photo magazine. At the same time, I'm still a photographer's assistant and I have my own activity as a photographer. »<br /><br />Juliette, 21 « I have discovered a quite small world, even secret-like at times : the photographic studios. I have got on various sets: fashion shooting sessions, still life pictures... I really like fashion in a studio, it's like some kind of theater, as in La Comedia dell'Arte where you can be infuriated and, just in a flash, everything changes and it's off again! The music at full blast, the photographer's assistants scurrying around... »<br /> « I like to observe people, their movements, their habits, the way they talk. That's probably why I feel close to snapshot photography where people don't say 'okay now I have to be serious' or 'if I place myself like that it will be nicer no?'. I'm looking for something unpredictable. Something honest. »<br /><br />Camille, 20
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