Meet @poutge. Our August influencer of the month is based in France and has worked on Vamp campaigns with Huawei and Adobe. To help us continue celebrating World Photography Day, we asked Jean all about his photography background, newbie photography tips and how he found his photography style.
Tell us a little bit more about your background in photography. How did you get started and what continues to motivate you?
I started photography in 2012, when I first joined Instagram. I was following some cool photographers and they inspired me to try it out for myself. I was never interested in the medium before, but I ended up winning a camera in a magazine photography contest and decided to take it a little more seriously after that! I’m self taught, never learnt through courses or YouTube. I’ve just spent hours learning on my own, figuring out how the settings work and how to edit with different apps and softwares.
Finding new locations to shoot, meeting new people and trying to show the world through my eyes all continue to motivate me. As do the positive comments on my content through Instagram.
What are your top three photography tips for beginners?
#1 Just try! Don’t be scared to miss shots or take a bad image. You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes. Take the time to trial different settings, angles and styles. This will help you understand your camera and what you’re confident in.
#2 Share your ideas, thoughts and content with other people (social media, professionals, family or friends) to gain their feedback. They can provide you with constructive criticism to learn from.
#3 Capture inspiration from other artists and creators work through social media, exhibitions or websites, but make sure you never copy other peoples work.
What software or apps do you use to edit your content?
I mainly use Lightroom on my desktop or phone to edit my images. I try to keep my editing process very quick and simple, as I’m still learning to use the app and I like my content to be as close to reality as possible.
As well as posting your photography on Instagram, you also share images and travel blogs on your website. What made you start it?
I created my website around two years ago. I originally wanted to share my travel thoughts and advice from recent trips. I then thought it would be a good idea to use the site to share the rest of my work.
I highly recommend creating your own website as a photographer or creator. Mine allows me to showcase the content that doesn’t make it to my Instagram, but is still some of my best work. I have a particular ‘style’ on Instagram, where I post a lot of staircases, architecture, landscapes, cities and beaches. but I also like to take portraits. Images that aren’t suited to my feed are shared on my website. This way brands can see all of my best work in the one spot.
How did you choose your photography style? And do you have any tips for beginners who are still trying to find what their confident in?
I love shooting architecture and landscapes, as you can see on my Instagram. But I also really enjoy experimenting with new styles, such as portraits, even thought I’m not that experienced yet. This is something I recommend for a beginner. Try out all styles of photography first, then you’ll easily find out what works best for you.
To find inspiration for new shoot locations, I look at other photographer’s Instagram feeds or social media platforms like Pinterest. I also like to walk around a lot to discover new spots to shoot.
What are your top five shoot locations around the globe and why?
#1 Copenhagen (my new home): This city is full of colour, architecture, canals, beautiful streets, nature and of course the ocean. It has a mix of everything, which makes it a fun playground for photographers.
#2 Barcelona: I’ve been here so many times and really enjoy the city for its amazing architecture (and also for the food).
#3 New York City: I think this one is quite obvious. NYC is a fantastic spot for photographers, as its so photogenic.
#4 South West of France: This is where I grew up and lived for many years. It has so many beautiful locations, especially along the Atlantic Ocean coast line. For taking landscape shots, I really enjoy visiting in the Basque Country (Biarritz, for example) and for architecture, I recommend Bordeaux, my previous home where I lived for 13 years.
#5 Paris: I have to be honest, I don’t really like Paris, but as a photographer there are so many beautiful locations to enjoy and shoot.
What is your all-time best performing post on your feed, and why do you think that is?
I would say it’s this image that I took in Paris. It’s something that I like to do when I visit – trying to shoot the metro moving with someone in-between two train carriages. I think what people like about it is this mix between still life and the metro’s movement. Also maybe that it represents an everyday scenario, something so familiar, shot in motion.
Quick fire round. Right now I am….
Listening to: ‘Think about Things’ by Daði Freyr, an Icelandic band.
Watching: The NBA plus a lot of TV like Dark, I’m Not Okay With This and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Eating: A lot of pasta (I’m not the best chef in town)
Wearing: Summer is finally here where I live, so shorts and T-shirts.
Drinking: Water with lemon juice.
And lastly, what do you like about working with Vamp?
I love that the app provides easy access to talk with the team and ask for help or advice on a campaign. It’s much easier than having to spend time writing and sorting through emails. It’s great having everything in the one spot: briefs, someone to talk, advice and blog articles.