Our exclusive Q+A with fashion photog, Julien Boudet
Fashion photographer Julien Boudet’s portfolio includes prestigious clients such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Lie San Bong, Banana Republic, and Audio Technica. He currently resides in New York City, but travels the world frequently in pursuit of flawless moments in fashion. We’re bringing you backstage at Paris Fashion Week with the French photographer, for an exclusive look through the lens of luxury.
Your company, Bleu Mode, is known for capturing cutting-edge street style around the world. Is there a link between the trends you observe on and off the runway?
“Absolutely, and it works both ways. With the rise of street photography, what people are wearing off the runway has evolved to influence what designers are showing on them.”
You photograph celebrities like Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and Karl Lagerfeld. Have you ever felt overwhelmed in the presence of such colossal icons?
“Not at all. I’m fully focused on getting the best shots in the least amount of time, which is more exciting than anything else.”
How do you decide if something is worth shooting? “If it catches my eye, I shoot. I process the final image in my mind before releasing the shutter.”
Can you sum up your style and philosophy in three words?
“Less is more.”
Do you prefer a particular Fashion Week?
“Paris, and not because I’m French! The venues and architecture are simply surreal. I also believe it’s the birthplace of international street style, tracing the roots of so many tremendous trends back to these runways with each subsequent season.”
Can you share your favourite Fashion Week moment?
“Shooting backstage. Beyond feeling like you’re part of the staff, you also get to see the most exclusive fashion collections before they’re exposed to the world. It’s a moment of pure privilege.”
You relocated from Paris to pursue your BFA in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School in Manhattan. What prompted you to return to the classroom amidst such success?
“I did a business degree in Paris, and wanted to experience the difference between the French and North American educational systems. Plus, I’ve officially fulfilled my childhood dream of attending American college and studying in English.”
What’s the most compelling piece of advice you’ve received from another photographer?
“It’s from a legendary book called The Decisive Moment [by Henri Cartier Bresson], a main source of inspiration behind Bleu Mode: “‘Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative.’”
Do you have a beloved piece of your own work, and can you tell us why it’s special?
“A photo I took after Rick Owens’ F/W 2013 show at Paris-Bercy. A female model was exiting the venue and walking by these huge steps. Before pressing the shutter, I shifted my focus from her to the stairs. I love the shape her blurred hairstyle and profile create. It also reminds me how important and rewarding it is to embrace risk.”
In your opinion, what makes a woman beautiful?
“Her personal taste.”
What’s on the cards for you for 2014?
“I’ll be following Fashion Weeks around the world, adding Ukraine to my list of destinations this month. I also have a solo exhibition coming up in Paris, and am currently collaborating with my friend Kyu Steed, French international DJ [and] producer, on projects allying photography with music.”
Is there a specific quote or expression you treasure?
“Yes, it comes from one of my favourite singers [Jacques Brel]: ‘Talent doesn’t exist, but is rather the desire to create something. […] The desire to realize a dream is talent, and all the rest is sweat and discipline.’”
Through Julien Boudet’s lens: Paris Fashion Week