[PORTRAIT] Interview 1001 portraits of culture with Dariane Sanche – Photographer
Interview link: https://www.journeesdelaculture.qc.ca/portrait-entrevue-avec-dariane-sanche-photographe
Could you introduce yourself, in a few words?
I am 28 years old and I am a professional photographer, specializing in fashion photography, beauty portraiture, editorial and commercial photography. Despite my young age, I already have a little over 10 years of experience. In fact, I now have my own photography studio in Montreal, in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district.
How and why did you become a photographer?
I was born in Mont-Laurier in the Hautes-Laurentides and I lived my childhood in a mountainous territory bordered by lakes and nature reserves. Very young, I was inspired by haute couture, textures, nature and classic style.
Growing up with the rise of networks and the most recent digital techniques has allowed me to open up to the world and, above all, to the fashion industry.
I never really made the choice to become a photographer. My journey came about by chance thanks to my passion for the arts. Young, I quickly developed my Photoshop skills. Between the ages of 9 and 16, it was already very impressive what I was able to do with this software. I had a lot of creative ideas that I wanted to put together, but I had to go beyond Photoshop to make them happen.
It was a high school school project that introduced me to photography. I understood all the potential that there is in combining photography and retouching. I could now make the creative paintings that I imagined.
A growing passion quickly developed with me, that of expressing my art through concepts and creative staging. Little by little, people became interested in what I was doing. A growing demand for my style of photography has moved me forward in the industry and brought me to where I am now.
Do you have one or more specializations? What types of contracts do you generally work on?
As a professional photographer I specialize in fashion, beauty, portrait, editorial and commercial photography. My contracts often vary, but in general, I sometimes work with companies to rebrand their image, achieve ” lookbooks ”and campaigns for clothing and jewelry companies, design photo shoots for magazines, collaborate with artists in the music art scene, create portfolios for professional models, and more.
How much creative freedom are you granted in your contracts?
Although my types of contracts can often vary, the majority of my clients give me a great deal of creative freedom. Generally speaking, when my clients choose me to be their photographer, it’s because they like my style of photography, the sensitivity and the emotion that there is in my images. If I accept a contract, it is to carry it out in my style. This way, my contracts give me a lot of creative freedom.
What part of your job do you prefer?
I love the whole creative and artistic process behind my work, from the idea jotted down in a notebook to a well-developed concept. Design sets and costumes specifically for this idea, take the photos and edit those images. This is what motivates me the most!
Are there photographers or artists who influence your practice?
Yes, absolutely! I’m inspired by many talented photographer. The four photographers who have influenced my work the most are Peter Lindbergh, Tim Walker, Tim Burton andElizaveta Porodina. I love their sense of creativity! I admire the way they imagine and design amazing sets for their photoshoots. The perfect lighting, sensitivity and emotion that can be felt through their photos make them my favorite photographers. The softness of their images continually inspires me in my work to succeed in capturing and making people feel different emotions in the portraits I make. The imaginary and theatrical aspect that we find in their work inspires me to create costumes and sets and staging to create a whole atmosphere. Also, I like the fact that there are no constraints. I feel a freedom of expression in each of their works.
Tell us about a project you particularly enjoyed working on.
I loved working on “Lost in the Wonderland“, a big project in terms of involvement and hours invested in the creation of sets. As a small team, we devoted a full week to the realization and design of the sets. We have created an imaginary world that is both fantastic and magical. One of the major pieces of the photoshoot is a giant mushroom about 11 feet tall. In this photoshoot, everything was handcrafted by our team. Whether it is the decor, costumes, accessories, etc. These are all unique pieces! What I love most about my job is exactly that! To have the possibility to reproduce my creative and artistic ideas, to set up my projects and to photograph them. It’s an extremely rewarding, satisfying, and at the same time very distinctive process to showcase my work.
What does a working day look like?
A photo shoot day always starts with a small team meeting, to set the tone for the day, explain my requests and listen to those of the team members, then take the opportunity to work out the final details. Once everyone is ready, we start to “shoot”. Usually at the end of the day, I like to take the time to view and select the best captured images. I can then share them with the client to give them insight. Other working days can be devoted to photo retouching, others to pre-production to create a “moodboard“, make sets, etc. Luckily, I have a full time partner who makes this all possible.
How do you find inspiration for your different projects?
Inspiration can come anytime, any time of day! I always have a small notebook with me to jot down my ideas. Anything can be an inspiration! Plus, I love flipping through fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. Pinterest is also one of my must-have tools. I often browse the platform taking inspiration from the images I find. I create secret albums for myself and let my ideas simmer.
How do you prepare for a photoshoot? What are the stages of your creation process?
The preparations are numerous. If the “moodboard” has not already been created, I will take care of making one, then do some scouting and choose the location of the session. Then, I will select artists according to the “moodboard” and assemble a team to carry out the project. A few days before the session, I like to review the inspirational photos to soak up them. I review the schedule and make sure that everyone involved has received the information. I always do some preparation of my equipment. The equipment I will need depends on the location. So it’s best to prepare it ahead of time. Obviously, I make sure everything is working fine, and I plan for replacement equipment in the event of a defect.
What do you want to convey through your art?
I want my photographs to be an ode to beauty that reveals a timeless, emotional and sensitive story.
A funny anecdote related to your practice or to the profession that you would like to tell us?
Yes I have several funny anecdotes related to my job. For a photoshoot, I was collaborating with a reptile breeding company. In the studio, we had a crocodile, a scorpion, a ball python, a boa constrictor and a giant tarantula. It was quite impressive to work in this unusual closeness to these living reptiles. The model had to make a look with each one. The tarantula was placed on her face and sometimes it would move and land on her mouth! I was very happy to be behind my camera! I had the tarantula far from me… but the boa constrictor was walking at my feet.