DPP Home Profiles Lionel Deluy - Hi Energy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lionel Deluy - Hi Energy!

Lionel Deluy's signature style comes from a mixture of furious action on the set and creative work in Photoshop

At this point, a blond-haired man appears from the hustle of the production and says, “Excuse me, Mr. Deluy, is there something I can get for you, maybe something to drink?”

Deluy laughs, “This is John Juniper.” Wearing a friendly smile, Juniper shakes my hand.

Says Deluy, “You know Dita, the eyewear company? John is one of the owners and founders of Dita, and he's also my best friend. John's passion is photography, and although he's really busy with his company, he still wants to shoot, so we decided to combine forces and create a photography team.”

It suddenly becomes clear that Juniper has just picked up the task of shooting the rest of the day's assignment so Deluy and I could do the interview.

Deluy explains the collaboration: “I am still doing my own photography work and he is still doing his eyewear, but we love to work together. When you have two people shooting and there isn't competition, one of us will see something the other doesn't see and you can end up with a lot of incredible images that way. When it's all said and done, you are going to end up with something more, something better.”

Says Juniper, “Lionel and I were introduced by an old girlfriend of mine, and he was the first person in Los Angeles who I actually felt a real friendship with. I was shooting sport and snowboard photography with film before we met, and he instantly got me into digital photography. He isn't secretive about his knowledge; he changed my whole approach to photography.”

Deluy adds, “I think that when you work in a team, it is more relaxed, less pressure. I just did a shoot with a singer, and we had a set with 48 people; they all were looking to me, waiting for me, and it was stressful! This is the reason why I never wanted to be a movie director—all this pressure is on you; with a team, you can share the responsibility and focus on making a great picture.”

Taking Control

At one point as Deluy's schedule was getting out of hand, he needed to step back and assess things. “When you do the celebrity thing, you get going on a roll, and you start shooting everyday like a machine.” Speaking with a bit of frustration, he continues, “I lost control of the edit, over the retouching. I didn't have time, so I had to hand things off un-retouched, and then all of a sudden I'd see one of my images a few months later and it would look awful.”

No matter how much work a photographer can get, having an image printed un-done, due to time constraints, isn't okay. So Deluy took a break. “I took a month off and went to Kauai, and I came back and said, no, I don't want to work like this anymore.”


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