Katya Pahomova © Jean-Baptiste Fort
Jean-Baptiste FORT is a fashion and beauty photographer who splits his time between Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France. He is an artist who has accumulated experience leadership and business management, and now uses that same skill-set and knowledge to enhance his life and work behind the camera.
After finding success as the founder of Dixia Technologies, a company that specializes in Internet projects for companies across Europe, Jean-Baptiste decided to follow his passion and creativity in photography. So after passing the management of Dixia over to partners, he relocated to Minsk, Belarus and established a small but successful design agency. Today, Jean Baptiste is able to maintain creative oversight of the projects he takes on, stay true to his vision, and live and grow his passion as a photographer. As his impressive portfolio would suggest, Jean Baptiste FORT is an artist with a clear vision and the drive to see that vision realized in his images.
The Photography Office pushes photography from around the world to inspire photographers when they shoot their cameras. Are there any photographers or images that have been especially inspiring to you recently? If so, please share and tell our readers how you’ve been inspired by them.
Most of all, I’m inspired by the photographers whose talent and work seem to be the most difficult to achieve. These are those “cosmic” photographers that excite me most. Among them I can name Kristian Schuller, who represents my favorite style and not only inspires me, but makes me dream, and his level seems almost unachievable. I also like the atmosphere in photos of Jason Bell. His photos are perfect from technical point of view and inspire me in terms of composition.
The work you do as a fashion and editorial photographer is really amazing. What is it about that particular style or niche that draws you to it?
I am attracted by female beauty. There is a kind of attraction between a model and my vision, there is adrenalin in every shutter click. I try to deliver a model’s beauty in the best possible way, and she tries to give me the best what she has. These are very exciting and precious moments. In this way, my niche is women. What concerns style, I’m devoted to scenario and production shooting. I prefer to shoot out of studio, in places that inspire me. Of course, I like studios, but still it’s more simple.
For people who would like to try and emulate and learn from your style, could you give us an insight into your process and approach before, during, and after a photoshoot?
I like to take part in all the stages of a shoot preparation: starting from choosing location and model, and ending with style and make-up. I think, that it’s extremely important to feel comfortable during a shooting, so I prefer to control all the factors and be aware of every single detail. Sometimes I don’t manage, and it has a bad impact on my photos. That’s why it is very important not to let other people dominate you; photographer must dictate his own style to express his own unique artistic vision. Certainly, not every order implies this kind of freedom but, in general, a photographer should be aware of all the stages of a shooting process.
What concerns me, it usually starts with inspiration: this could be a model that I meet, a place that I discover by chance…or even a photo in some magazine. Then, on the basis of the inspiration I start to work on scenario and general moments of the shoot: location, model and her style must be in harmony with each other, nothing should stand out from the story; I also try to find something special, some distinctive feature. First of all, it concerns the light, or it may be some accessory found by my stylist. I would recommend all photographers to pay more attention to the sources of light, for the more sources you have the easier it will be to process a photo.
What do you remember of your earliest experiences with a camera?
My first photo shoot was made for a French Magazine “Generation series”, and it was dedicated to a famous at that time TV show “Friends”. It took place in Los Angeles at Warnerbos. studio where I spent a week shooting. I was lucky to have this as a first serious experience and I definitely enjoyed the process.
Given where you’re at with your photography and your business, where would you like to see it go in the coming year or two?
Today I’m lucky to do what I love, and not to shoot to make my bread. I work only on the projects I’m interested in, I couldn’t even dream about more…At this stage, I would like to travel more, to discover new colors and landscapes, new faces and places. I’m going to grow as a photographer, to improve what I do and never stop learning something new.
Katrina Levshova © Jean-Baptiste Fort
There is this one image that I saw on your website that really stood out to me, and I was hoping that you could take us behind the scenes and describe where the concept came from and how you translated it in front of the camera.
This photo was made in Minsk, Belarus. It was very cold at that time (-25°)..I was drawn by the idea of global warming as a principle topic of our time…It’s hard to imagine when it’s – 25° outside. This photo is a contemporary interpretation of Eve, picking a forbidden fruit on the last iceberg of our era, drifting to nowhere…you can imagine this is the last apple tree left, and it is on this iceberg.