Oscar Wilde once said, "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable it has to be altered every 6 months." In addition to its extremely high barriers to entry, one must constantly offer something new to the ever-hungry fashion industry just to stay in the game. Born in the South of France, now emigrated to New York City, comes Julien Boudet; a photographer known for capturing the “decisive moment.” Julien is relatively new to fashion photography, but, following his father's photographic lead, he has created exemplary studies which have earned instant renown. Inspired by minimalism and surrealism, Julien has a sharp eye for detail and composition. He has shot for Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Haider Ackermann, Thom Browne, and Daniel Anderson, to name a few. Not only is julien inspired by fashion, but he also takes cues from architecture, design and modern art. Metropolitan Society had a chance to interview Julien, to gain some insight into current fashion, street-style, architecture, film, and his other creative endeavors.
How do you approach street style photography in comparison to editorials/industry projects? What is it like behind the scenes of an editorial?
The main difference between these two is that before shooting an editorial, you get some time to prepare yourself, and even while shooting, you're supposed to have the time to think twice before pressing the shutter; you have a theme, a mood-board, a stylist, a model to work with, a team to help creating these images. In street style, obviously, it's the opposite; you are by yourself (although some informal “teams” seem to have been created lately), you have literally between 1 and 5 seconds to find your subject, to figure out what you want to focus on (pants, top, shoes, or the whole outfit), frame it, and capture it before it is too late. Everything happens so fast, and once you got the shot, you have to be back on track in order to shoot the next person you find interesting. You have to be ready all the time, which is pretty fun actually. There is a lot of excitement, I enjoy doing it. Personally, I see street style as a training for editorial/commercial projects, in that sense that you have to do everything so quick, over and over all day every day for a month, that is really challenging. Afterwards, you are on set for an editorial, and it all seems so slow, “easy” in a way that you can actually take your time.
How has fashion week, and street style evolved from when you first began? How has your work evolved with it?
I haven't been doing this for very long so I can't really answer that question like someone who's been around for more than 6-7 years, but from what I've seen for the past 2 years that I've been working non-stop, I can say that it has become more and more crowded with new photographers in front of shows. Clearly, people have noticed new opportunities out there and try to get their piece of the cake. It is not that easy though, a lot of photographers have been there for years doing that job already. If you want to come in and start right now, you'd better come up with something new in order to stand out right away. As far as I'm concerned, I had to adapt myself to this new market. When I first started, I was taking “regular” street style pictures, just like everyone else, without really expressing my point of view. Back then I was just trying to get nice and clean shots. Once I was able to take correct images, little by little, I found my own way of framing, finding a different angle, editing my own way, capturing certain styles only...It takes a lot of practice but finally you find your own vision - if you have one. A lot of people have been telling me lately that they recognize my images right away when scrolling down their Instagram news feed, without even looking at my name, I take it as a compliment.