+April 05, 2021
Award winning Québécoise photographer Geneviève Caron (@genevievecaron_photo), is known for her minimalistic lightness and restrainted style as well as her sophisticated French sensibility. She is a distinct and inspiring artist who searches for the soul behind each subject she photographs. Her minimalist style is reflected in her American Heart Association campaign, where, together with the art director, she decided to use natural makeup to keep things simple, maintaining the realism of the character's personality in each portrait.
For this campaign, Geneviève was inspired by George Rousse and his anamorphosis technique. A technique that meticulously plays with shapes and perspective, creating an alternative space that is only visible from one specific angle. Along with her lighting, she used this technique to resolve the difficulties of distortion of the red numbers on the characters faces. Her lighting was also set up to find a balance between the presence of these large numbers on each person and the character behind them.
I wanted the viewer to connect with the person, and not only the concept, so I made sure the gaze remain very luminous and powerful.
Her first contact with professional photographers was when she worked in the design and advertising industry as a graphic designer. Fascinated by their craft and ability to transfer the idea of the campaign into an image, she realized that if she worked hard enough, she too, could work as a photographer. She quit her job and started working as a freelance photographer. Initially it was really slow, but once she had her first job, where she had to photograph a group of foreign students for a language school, she was hooked. Geneviève ended up getting her first agent once she moved to Toronto in 2006, and this is what really got her into advertising photography.
It was all very overwhelming at first. I didn’t know how to play the big game. So many expectations, having to convince and sell, and, worst of all, commit to something very specific prior to the shoot. But I learned how to earn people’s trust, how to communicate my ideas and intentions, and how to get people excited about collaborating with me. I started having fun, and seeing the possibilities within the constraints.
From the beginning Geneviève, found the advertisement industry quite receptive. As by the time she was entering that world, female photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth, Annie Leibovitz and Jill Greenberg were already well established. They had paved the way for other women photographers such as herself to enter the male dominated industry. For her, the biggest obstacle, especially at the beginning was trusting in herself, and having the confidence and assertiveness that she had to have to demonstrate what it takes to run an advertising photography business.
Now, not only does she run a successful business, she also enjoys it in the process. Firstly, because she gets to collaboration with a lot of interesting and inspiring artists, who often become close friends in the end. Secondly, her job is not only photographing but also knowing how to maintain the energy to keep everything together and everyone onboard. Being diplomatic to find the best solutions as production issues arise and finding compromises to be able to be happy with the results, as sometimes, the original vision gets modified, are essential. Lastly, one of her favorite aspects of the job is the traveling. Flying to NYC, Milan or Delhi for a shoot, makes her heart sing, buzzing with new sensory input.