“I think we all have a part of madness that is a bit trapped in us,” opines the talented French photographer Aishy. He once had a creative idea for a corporate photoshoot, and it was so well received that the company hung these portraits in their offices. Follow me.
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With the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in what is now known as Great resignation, more and more people with specialized skills have realized that they are worth more than they were led to believe. For example, there was a major layoff in August 2020 in the IT department of my old company. A few hundred people were made redundant overnight. The company didn’t expect this to be followed soon by numerous voluntary resignations from staff who realized they would get much better opportunities elsewhere. As I was known as someone who could take a half-decent photo, I was then approached by some of these people to take their head shots. But as you might expect, the request was still the same – a serious look with a smile on a white or gray background. If you took to LinkedIn today, probably over 95% of people’s profile photos there would be of a similar nature. Businesses also prefer this because most people generally don’t wear formal outfits and otherwise pose against a white background for photos, which gives them an ‘executive’ look. Aishy once broke that standard for a corporate client. He chose to try something completely new, and it worked well for everyone involved.
Essential camera gear used by Aishy
Aishy told us:
The choice of material is made naturally according to my needs. For the studio you don’t need to work [with a] wide aperture, you will focus on the focal length instead. For example, I worked with a 100mm macro lens for a portrait studio [work] with great sharpness on my model. The use of flash allows me to control and control my light, its intensity as well as its direction at my convenience. it allows you to experiment with many configurations and come up with creative ideas.
The Phoblographer: Hello. Tell us about yourself and how you got into photography.
Aishy: I am Aishy: French photographer, artistic director and videographer. I started photography in 2014. I started at the time by buying my first camera, a Nikon D3200 then little by little I trained in night photography; always inspired by the city lights of Japan. I try with my photos to show an alternative vision of the city by capturing the lights the reflections the atmospheres of the night, in order to make the spectator travel in a universe which is mine and thus develop my own universe in photography.
As for my career, I have followed different paths. I first started as a graphic designer then I moved to photography and video production in an agency where I worked for several years. This made it possible to work on different projects, to experiment a lot of things in photography, and also to explore styles. At the end of 2020, I created my own business. I became a freelance photographer and started working for different brands.
The Phoblographer: What gave you the idea of ââdoing a corporate photoshoot this way? Was the client aware of what you were doing or was it a surprise to them?
Aishy: The idea was to move out of classic company portraits; to do something different and in line with the values ââand identity of the company which had an image around the “wolf”. I had to illustrate the seriousness of the professional as well as the animosity in a single image. I really like the principle of clear paint and I said to myself that we could take this principle in portrait to make it something interesting and differentiating for the image of the company. The idea was immediately appreciated and approved.
Photographer: It reminds me of the 1990 Time Person of the Year cover with President George H Bush. Did it influence that idea in any way?
Aishy: Not at all; I did not know this photo and cover, but I imagine the long exposure process is similar, or it can also be a double exposure!
Le Phoblographe: What influenced the blue and purple color choices for this project?
Aishy: I really like working on the harmony and complementarity of blue and purple colors. I take a lot of photos in these colorful atmospheres, especially in Japan at night, so it was important for me to keep my artistic style and integrate it into the project.
The Phoblographer: How many takes did it take to get the right cry for each person?
Aishy: About 20 to 30 tries, sometimes more. I had them repeat the act until I was sure I had taken the right shot, and in this case, you had to have two different poses in less than four seconds!
The Phoblographer: Did you ask participants to imagine something and then react to it? What sort of direction did you give them before you clicked?
Aishy: Yes, you had to put yourself in the posture of the wolf, the savage. I told them not to hesitate to scream, doing it myself. Not to try to play or imitate something, but to truly embody the fearless cry of judgment.
It might seem difficult when you’re not an experienced photo model, but the camera captures everything, so if you’re only half in the energy, the shot will be half perfect.
Le Phoblographe: What were the reactions of the participants when they saw each other in the final shots? What was the return of the organization?
Aishy: The participants were all very satisfied, and especially surprised to see themselves like this. They all enjoyed the experience and loved seeing each other in such a different way from the standards. These portraits were very successful.
The Phoblographer: Technically, what was the execution like for each shot? Was it the cry first, then the straight face, or vice versa?
Aishy: The process was as follows in just four seconds: first, a pretty standard and classic posture, firing the first flash, then we all had to make a move immediately and they positioned themselves in a wild pose screaming like they did. the image of a wolf. Then I triggered a second colored blue lightning bolt. Throughout the duration of the shot, there were also continuous blue tinted light spots to capture motion to achieve motion blur and ghostly drag.
Le Phoblographe: It’s a marked change from the typical business portrait. Should more companies stand out from the competition in this way?
Aishy: I think it’s important to stand out, yes, and to dare to highlight the employees of a company so that they feel good in the images and put them at ease. It’s also a great way to do team building.
The portraits were then printed and hung on the stairs of the entrance hall of the company, like family portraits in castles!
The Phoblographer: Do you think there is a trapped version of ourselves within us that is crying out for release?
Aishy: I think we all have a bit of madness that’s kinda trapped in us. Everyone must succeed in expressing it and bringing it to life in their daily life, in their art, and not be afraid to deploy their creative ideas.