Didier Carrè is a French Nude Art Photographer shooting a formidable explicit style since almost 15 years. Didier got published in books and runs his own commercial website Gallery Carre (gallerycarre.com ).
Today I have the pleasure of introducing Didier to you and get some more insights about his life and career for you.
Interview by Dan Hostettler
I am a professional photographer since 1984, this is now for nearly 30 years.
Did you go to school to study photography?
Yes, in the last century for 2 years. In the beginnings of the 80tis – from 1980 until 1982 – in order to get a degree named CAP (Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle, ed’s. note ) here in France.
How would you describe your vision and visual signature of your style?
Well…I don‘t try to create too much of a “style” by my own. I mean I do not have a formal language and usually look at what’s in front of me just before I do my pictures. There is no constant process involved.
I try to understand what or who the subject is and how it could visually work. When it’s an object the full creation process control is mine. If it is a human being or an animal then I try to find out what they like and how I can “trigger” them. This creation process is mostly based on interaction and – whenever possible – collaboration.
I need to understand and sense my “things” in front of my camera first; then I can do the pictures!
Visually spoken: my photos are generally based on a simple visually setup and rather classical compositions.
What was the first photograph that meant something special to you (by you or anyone else), and why?
Probably pictures taken of my family when I was a child before my age of 4.
Aged 10 I looked the very first time at this pictures and I recognized in this photographs somehow a “vanishing happyness”. Now these yellowish photos are the only memories left from this epoch…
How did you get started in shooting the nude-oriented work that you are into right now?
In 1998, after 10 years doing a few soft nudes in my spare time just for pleasure, I wanted to go a step further and start to make some money with my nude photography.
My opinion was that I have to do more explicit work for that purpose to get the audience’s interest. So I started Gallery Carre as my new project. As a result of this initial plan I met a few porn stars and was quite surprised that they were happy to do – what they called – a better work as they usually do.
I mean that “porn business” is basically a boring and hard work. And with my work the girls are able to give more “soul” and real intimacy to the images. More than people usually expect.
So my new challenge was to produce explicit images that talks and celebrates to your head and not only to your sexual desire!
Your nudes are shown quite explicit and sometimes with toys. Why and what is the purpose?
Hmmm… from the beginning of the “explicit phase” (back in 1998) my pictures just went more provoking and in the same time visually clean, almost a bit iconic. Using sex toys with straight and round lines seemed to be a perfect challenge for me and – belief me – it is not really easy to photograph this aesthetically nice and illustrious.
How do you find the models to work on your projects?
Most of the time models are referred from agencies working with in the “adult business“.
This people know and trust me and it is easy to get the right girl for the right project.
And sometimes I even receive email requests from a model directly who likes my way of expression and imagery. And they are open to do this kind of pictures so mostly I work with them as well.
How do models enjoy working in this style?
Almost always the girls have already done few x-movies and they really feel the “adult business” as a boring setting.
So if they work with me I let them the freedom to do what they want in front of my lens. I literally just ask the girl to surprise me and I must say that they just love being the leader during the time we work together. C’est les femmes 🙂
OK, the (quite simple) secret for my work is to let the girls having fun and being themselves!
Do you prefer shooting indoors, in a studio or rather outdoor work?
I prefer indoor shootings because I can set and control the lighting as I want. But outside is more fun and there are a lot of different locations near my studio. So both variants are interesting. And – finally – it depends on the project and the story I want to tell.
Many photographers would like to explore nude photography work but just don’t know how to get started. Do you have some advice for taking the first steps?
First of all try to do easy settings with only using one light or 2 lights in the studio, not more.
You will have to focus on your model: let her be free, just explain to her what you are expecting with a few simple words and then let the fun roll!
As already said: Fun is the secret, the special sauce!
You are the owner and editor of the virtual Gallery Carre. What goal do you pursue with your membership website?
The aim of GalleryCarre.com is to showcase my sensual explicit work in a specific way to a various interested audience. And not just to reach only the “sex addicts”.
There are a lot of other sites out there for this…
Tech QNA: Didier’s Gear DNA
Do you work solely digital or also analog these days?
All my commercial work is done with a digital camera just because it is more quick, convenient and affordable. These days we do not have the choice anymore. We have to deliver work at an acceptable price for the customer.
For what I call “Sunday Pictures” – I mean those I do for pleasure – I still use my “old” cameras and roll films in black and white.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
Canon 5D MK2 and 5D MK3. Lenses of the TSE family; 24, 45 and 90 mm.
The “Sundays” on a Rolleiflex 6003 and a Fuji GX 680.
What lighting equipment do you set up for a shoot?
Inside, I mean in my studio, I mainly use a big old spot (from Hensel) with a Fresnel lens on the front and as well a “homemade“ big soft box with wood (80 cm x 150 cm ), painted white inside.
For outdoor shootings (mostly documentary) I use a Quantum flash and many accessories and light modifiers (DIY) to get a soft light.
How important is Photoshop for your final images?
The goal is to use Photoshop as less as possible. For me a good image is created when you do it right at the time your model is alive in front of you.
Sure, later I can improve the exposure, contrast and color balance. But I never create a “new” Image at home only with the help of the computer. That would be another job description.
I am proud to be a photographer, not a computer addict!
Are you rather a Mac or a PC lover?
PC for all picture work purpose. And an old Mac when I have to work on movies, because I like to use Final Cut for editing my videos.
Didier, thanks a lot for joining us and the time you dedicated to my readers here.