Montreal based photographer, Yanick Dery’s portfolio largely comprises of images from fashion.
What sets this photographer apart is his style and approach. Yanick blends fashion-forward trends, and cutting-edge digital portraits by simply combining emotion, passion and character. He creates an almost ethereal air of glamour that is skilfully conveyed with simplicity and poise. In fact, his portraits are based on three simple mantras – simplify, excel and innovate. His impressive list of clients include well know brands like Donna Karan, Matt & Nat, Ogilvy, Private Member, Procter & Gamble, Projek Raw, Redbull, Report Collection, Tag and Westcliff. Currently, Yanick is engaged with a major book project – Photo Art Book 360 degrees, along with creative art director, Fang Fang. Through this initiative, he hopes to raise millions of dollars, that will go to charities involved with helping the under privileged across the globe.
You started off as a press photographer covering sports and special events. How did
fashion photography happen?
While in my third year at school, I was working as a press photographer for two local newspapers, to fund my photography classes. Fashion photography was part of my program, and one of the advertising agencies really liked my work. I started working on portfolios for their models. The feedback was great, and I explored with several agencies in Montreal (Canada). A year later, I decided to go to Paris to understand the fashion industry a little more. Several trips to the French city helped me gather experience, as well as helped in defining my vision.
While conceptualizing shoots, what is your thought process like? And how do you keep every shoot as unique in itself?
I am not concerned about doing something unique. My principle is simple. I do personal images for myself, and commercial images for my clients. When a client wants something, I try and deliver what they want, to the best of my ability. They pay me to deliver what they want, and I give them a selection of more personal images.
My inspiration does not come from other photographer’s works or magazines. Some of my project ideas originate from what I see in real life, around me. I am really open about ideas, till “the moment” I shoot. In fact, my passion for photography is intense, therefore when I look through the viewfinder, I am transported to another world all together. The advantage you have as a photographer to ask people to do anything you can imagine to capture an amazing shot is truly exhilarating. But always remember, your ideas have to deliver results- the perfect, visualized shot, for people to trust you.
What is the key process in your photography? Is it the conception of the play before taking
photos or the grasp of the scene while taking photos?
I exercise both these methods. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to achieve. I make a layout, and then try create a story around it. This applies to personal work, editorial, and also in the case of national campaigns. However, when you shoot in a studio or anywhere inside, to execute everything according to plan is quite convenient. Outdoor locations are a bit erratic as a lot depends on the weather which is constantly changing. Recently, a shoot was scheduled, and we were interrupted by unexpected showers. I had no option but to finish the shoot on the said day. So we completed the shoot and the photographs we achieved were just fabulous. When you are at nature’s mercy in instances like this, I try and make the best use out of the given situation. I try to push the limit, for the sake of quality photographs.
How do you define your style of photography?
My style…I would prefer that others describe it rather than I make a comment.
I do not know what people perceive, but my style of shooting is quite simple. I try not to use the tripod too often. Only because I like to have the freedom of quick movement while shooting. I prefer working with fast equipment, to ensure that I capture all details. The shot between the two frames is the one I like the most.
The power to convey emotion, play with the light, the composition, and achieve something that not many have done in the past is truly a wonderful feeling. For that matter, I would like to go and challenge the convention in vogue, because I do not feel the need to reproduce what everybody else is producing. Fashion is a trend, and is not constant. If you look at creative magazines and they all look very similar. Hence, I work without looking for inspiration from various sources.
Have you ever lost inspiration to shoot photos? And how do you get it through?
I believe that fashion photography involves team work. I remember being stressed out on a shoot once, because I was unsure of what I wanted. I was working with a crew of beginners…but confidence is something you develop after you execute a number of shoots, and that is what helped me get through that shoot as well. Moreover, when in doubt, I definitely make it a point to ask others and seek their feedback. In fact, all the photo shoots are well conceptualized and documented, but there is always room for experimentation. Losing inspiration means that you do not know how to go about your shoot. In my case, when I don’t like what I see through the viewfinder, I continue to develop and experiment, until I am fully satisfied with the result.
Do you have any unfulfilled dreams that you wish to undertake in the near future?
None as of now. But no matter what I am doing, I will always continue to dream of new ideas and find out new ways to execute it. When you have achieved a dream, you will start working toward another dream. Of course, I do have ambitious goals and one of them is to make my business prosperous. Currently, I am working on an international project – a book titled ‘The Photo Art Book 360 degrees’, which is to be conceptualized, printed and published by me. The proceeds of this book will go to charities that support the under-privileged. This digital book comprising of 360 pages will enable donors or businesses to have an exclusive opportunity to get their photos printed, corresponding to the value they have donated. Through this noble initiative I hope to contribute and give something back to the world.