I’m a landscape photographer or, when I’m feeling pretentious, a fine art photographer. I play a travel photographer online and have been conned into being an event photographer, but set photographer wasn’t something I’d ever considered. Still, if traveling around the world collecting experiences is my business, how could I pass up the opportunity of being on a film set?
So now I’m a set photographer, or in strict technical terms: the unit still photographer – definitely not the sexiest sounding job on the set. Anyway don’t movies use cameramen with movie cameras? Why the need for a regular (i.e., still) camera at all? Well, fortunately for me, they serve a few functions. Still cameras capture higher resolution images than a movie camera and these work better in print. These images are essential for printed materials in everything from magazines to movie posters. The images are also often used for other purposes such as documenting the making of the film and for use by cast and crew in their portfolios.
Fortunately for me the film – “La Vie Nous Appartient” – is about as perfect an introduction to the job as I could hope for. With incredible scenery in just about every scene, my work with landscapes transfers nicely. I just have to deal with two actors obstructing the view in most pictures. Actually, now that I’m getting used to it, I’m even starting to enjoy taking their pictures. Alix Bénézech, our lead actress, certainly makes my job easy. She’s as photogenic as any landscape and I don’t have to worry about make-up or costumes as everything is taken care of by someone else.
The lead actor, Florent Arnoult, is a natural model too, but he has the misfortune of playing the role of a nerdy guy. Funny, I always thought of make up as something used to make people look better. Still, his nerdyness has an undeniable charm and there’s something cathartic in making someone so attractive look a little worse.
Time for me to get back to work! With over a thousand pictures taken I have my work cut out going through them all. I forgot just how much work work is…