Kevin and I were recently in Geneva on a shoot for one of our clients who put us in touch with Sébastien Dubouchet to help with assisting. I didn’t know anything about him when he showed up on a foggy Geneva morning and we got to work right away. As the day progressed, we all chatted in between shots and we discovered Sébastien was an amazing still-life photographer with his own studio and a camera to make my heart flutter. After we wrapped the shoot, we went back to his place downtown to see how the Swiss do it. Scissor lifts, a digital view camera, an app on his phone to control his studio lights… it was a photographer’s dream.
Kevin took off his watch and Sébastien did a quick test to show us his process while I asked him questions about how he became a photographer and what it means to him.
How did you get started as a photographer?
I started because I wanted to be a wildlife photographer, I loved the nature and going out to see animals, wildlife, everything. I didn’t want to go into the world of adult people, I didn’t want to grow up. I was traveling and looking for strange animals trying to catch them with my camera. After a few years I realized I couldn’t make any money like that. So I started working in a hospital for a photographer of opthomology. The only field in the hospital where they have a complete department in photography. I then started to work for Stefan Vos as an assistant on everything from Harry Winston to Chopard. I spent 4 years with him and then I decided it was time to go out on my own and start my own studio.
How long have you been a photographer?
So you learned by doing? Testing? or by watching?
I think I learned how to do photography mostly by watching other photographers.
My best advise is if you can mimic the natural like you are in a good place.
Who are some of your clients?
Danone, Evian, Nespresso, HUGO BOSS, Procter and Gamble among other European brands not as well known in the U.S.
Your studio is beautiful.
Thank you! It took 9 months to build the studio loft, like a baby! I have a set of Elinchrom lighting, various soft boxes, reflectors, scissor lift system, FOBA studio stands and had a Cyclorama sweep built.
What cameras do you love shooting with?
Arca swiss (view camera) 120mm Macro lens with a Phase 1 back for large client work
Nikon D800E with a 100MM Macro Lens which is a really great camera for studio work
Whose work do you admire?
My friend in Paris Isabelle Chapues
Merci Beaucoup Sébastien!