Paris based French photographer Julien Manigand founded Palast Photographie in 2005, which was joined by retoucher Thierry Peureux in 2011. Specialised in accessories, cosmetics, products and beverages, PALAST lists high-end brands such as Baccarat, Roger, Vivier, Le Coq Sportif, Christian Louboutin or Hennessy to his customers. For his “Skin Deep” project (retouched by Thierry Peureux), Manigand photographed beautiful silhouettes of male and female forms, which where covered by a rubber-like substance to both reveal and conceal their bodies. His creative approach with shrink-wrap accentuates facial and emotional expressions and entices the viewer to gaze on human proportions in fresh ways. For more information visit www.palast.fr, facebook or behance.
Whom do you look up to?
It is always a difficult question. As nowadays the flux of images is so important, it is difficult to name just a few influences! But as product photography is our main job, I would say it also greatly influences the way I shoot people. Skin Deep is a good example of a person made to an object!
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
I studied product design at college and I guess it has an influence on the way I shoot pictures, especially products. I usually know what the products are made of, how they have been designed and manufactured, so it gives me a deeper understanding of it.
What made you want to become a photographer?
I was always taking pictures as a child and after a period of experimentation, I thought I could try and make a living out of photography. It was not easy at first! I had to carry on doing other jobs before being able to live from photography.
What was your favourite project and why?
The last one is always the best one But I enjoyed Skin Deep and the making of it, as it is the start of this particular technique. Since this project people are contacting us on a regular basis to reinvent and adapt this technique to particular projects. It is always a new challenge and I keep refining the technique.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is an amazing process, sometimes you find answers to questions you did not ask yourself, your mind needs to wander a lot; mistakes are also a good way to creativity! Trial and error works very well. But constraints are also good, because otherwise your mind just gets stuck wandering without actually creating anything.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I think the beginning of a career is always tough, as nobody knows you, and your work is not that good!
What’s your personal motto?
Work, work, work! I try to create personal projects when I am not working for clients. It is hard to find the time to do this, but personal work gives you the opportunity to express yourself, whereas client work can be a bit frustrating sometimes. And it is also good to get new clients!
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Work! Work! Work!
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I wish I had started photography as a job sooner. But you always learn from your past experiences.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
I haven’t found it yet, but one day I might do something else, you never know!
All images © Julien Palast
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