Luc Braquet, Fashion Photographer: Inside Elite Model Look
Fashion photographer Luc Braquet’s photos have become part of the visual language of the Elite Model Look contest since he became World Final photographer in 2014. Before that, he worked with the National Finalists at the final of Elite Model Look France. Shot in black and white, his powerful portraits of the next generation of top talent capture the beauty of these models taking their first steps in the industry in quietly timeless elegance.
Since working with the models as Finalists, Luc has shot Vittoria Ceretti and Birgit Kos on separate occasions for Harper’s Bazaar and Ysaunny Brito for Ashi Studio. He has also shot the dancers of the English National Ballet at the Royal Opera House, and Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri for Vogue.
We caught up with him to find out what he does at the World Final, what he looks for in the Finalists and most importantly, how he does it.
What do you look for at the World Final?
I always try to find the real personality of the Finalists. What's in their eyes. All of the Finalists are young, so if they work later in the fashion industry, they will need to know how to change their look many times for editorials, shows, and campaigns. What I'm looking for is their "first picture", the one they'll keep for a lifetime.
Being photographer at the World Final means working with an incredible number of models in a short amount of time – what is the best thing, and what are the challenges?
The best thing is to reinvent yourself every day. I am never satisfied, and I try to progress and improve with every photoshoot. The challenge is to deliver on time! A lot of work goes into being a photographer, not just pressing the shutter. Along with the whole Elite Model Look team, we all work really hard during the World Final, and it's incredible to see it all come together.
How did you become a photographer?
I always took pictures, I started when I was a kid. Both my grandfathers and godfather gave me cameras every birthday. Then I became an Art Director after I was at Art School in Paris. For few years, I was doing both jobs in the same time, but eventually I chose to being a full-time photographer when I felt ready. I have always felt the desire to talk with images more than with words.
If someone wants to become a fashion photographer, what’s your biggest single piece of advice to them?
To be a good photographer, you need to work hard. You need to get used to being awake when other people are sleeping!
Which photographers do you personally admire in the industry? Do you have a favourite style?
I love photographers who respect the model first, and who build a story around their personality with clothes, not the other way around. I love the timeless beauty of the glossy magazines of the 1990s. You can feel the freedom in the sand and the wind, in the sweet sound of the click of an analogue camera shutter!
If you didn’t work in fashion as a photographer, what would you be doing?
I'd be a detective for sure! You can usually find me in Parisian coffee shops early in the morning and late at night, watching at people and imagining their lives from what I can see.