Adding reliefs to haute couture, this is where Yan Bleney excels. Models’ expressions are intense in the Quebecer photographer’s work, and he succeeds to mix fashion and emotions with accuracy. Enigmatic, his photographs arouse our attention while highlighting various fashion creations for many brands.
As a grandson of the painter Claude Bouchard, Yan Bleney was introduced to different artistic forms early in his life, which probably gave him the impetus to design images where the stagings are often striking and cinematographic. We asked him a few questions.
What path led you to photography?
I started photography at age 16 by accident. I was fortunate enough to get a student job as a journalist photographer in a local newspaper. I photographed a lot of handshakes! I then moved to Paris in 2005 and returned to Montreal in 2012.
You lived in Paris for 7 years, and there you learned fashion photography, which became your main activity.
I got a job at the Figaro for two years, and they asked me to do all kinds of photos, including fashion photography. I was utterly in panic at first. I began to assist photographers who had a lot of experience, to experiment, and after that, I worked with several graduates students of the Atelier Chardon Savard, it has been a turning point. I am back in Montreal since 2012.
One of the challenges of your profession?
I have ideas constantly. What is complicated is to make them achievable, sometimes the budget cannot keep up.
You work a lot for fashion advertising. What are the specific challenges when you put your art to the benefit of this field?
The most complicated thing is to serve the brands’ vision while maintaining your own visual identity. Often, we [photographers] are being asked to distort our art entirely, and it is not easy to manage. Sometimes clients want to hire you because they heard about your name or because you worked for another client but not for what you can actually do. So basically they want you to take some pictures but do not want to see what you really create.
However, I love working with the brands New Regime and 3.Paradis. They give me a lot of freedom and confidence that has never been equalled to this day. With them, I am part of the creative process very early in the projects and my experience is taken into account.
What are your future projects?
I want to go back to square one, to conceive beautiful works, this summer will be creative.
Follow Yan Bleney’s work on Instagram.