Full Name: Philippe Manh Nguyen
Photography Genre: Portrait and Commercial Photography
1. Could you please provide us with a professional introduction about yourself and your photography work?
I am Philippe Nguyen, a professional portrait photographer based in Montreal. My photography work revolves around capturing the essence and emotions of individuals through portraiture. I bring a spontaneous and provocative approach to my work, leaving a lasting impact on the industry. With a career marked by collaborations with top brands and recognition from renowned local talent in Montreal, such as Calamine and Karine Saint-Michel, my personal work has also been featured in international publications like GMARO Italia and Vanity Teens LA.
From influencer blogs to major events and shows, my bold and playful images have been showcased on various platforms. But beyond my raw talent, my success is also driven by my reliability, professionalism, positive mindset, and expertise in advertising and marketing. As I continue to grow and evolve in this field, I am excited to see what new opportunities and challenges lie ahead.
2. Can you tell us about how you got started in photography?
My interest in photography sparked during my college years in 2011 when my dad gave me his camera to use it. I keep working with that to work on my visual storytelling and work on my mistakes. This experience ignited a passion within me and prompted me to delve deeper into the art of photography. I began practicing extensively, honing my technical skills and exploring various genres to find my niche in portrait photography. Afterward, I went to school to confirm my skills. Then I worked as a freelance photographer ever since.
3. What was your passion driving you during your journey? Who or what prompted you to begin?
My passion for photography is driven by a desire to capture and preserve genuine moments, emotions, and stories. I am inspired by the uniqueness of each individual and the ability of a photograph to convey its essence. My initial inspiration came from influential portrait photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon, whose work showcased the power of portraiture in capturing the human spirit.
4. Could you walk us through your photoshoot planning process?
For every photoshoot, I believe in thorough planning to ensure a successful outcome. The process begins with a consultation session with the client to understand their vision, preferences, and objectives for the shoot. We discuss concepts, locations, wardrobe choices, and any specific details they want to incorporate. From there, I develop a shot list and create a mood board to guide the overall aesthetic of the shoot. I also pay attention to lighting setups, props, and any other necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and efficient session.
5. As a photography expert, what sets your work apart from other photographers?
What sets my work apart is my emphasis on building a connection and rapport with my subjects. I believe that capturing genuine emotions and expressions requires trust and comfort between the photographer and the subject. I strive to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere during the shoot, allowing individuals to reveal their true selves. Additionally, my attention to detail and post-processing skills contribute to the distinctiveness of my final images, as I carefully craft the tones, colors, and overall aesthetic to align with my artistic vision.
6. Where do you get your ideas for photoshoots?
I draw inspiration from various sources. Fashion magazines like Elle, art exhibitions, and even everyday life provide me with ideas for photoshoot concepts. I also find inspiration in conversations with my clients, as they often have unique stories, interests, or styles that can be incorporated into the shoot. Additionally, I actively engage with online photography communities and follow the work of fellow photographers, which stimulates my creativity and exposes me to different approaches and perspectives.
7. Can you tell us about the most memorable moment you’ve had as a photographer and what experience you gained from that?
One of the most memorable moments in my photography career was when I had the opportunity to photograph a renowned artist, Mike Shabb, for a magazine cover. It was an exhilarating experience to capture the essence of such a creative individual and collaborate on bringing their vision to life. The shoot taught me the importance of effective communication, adaptability, and remaining calm under pressure. It also reinforced the significance of building a strong professional network, as this opportunity arose through a recommendation from a fellow photographer.
8. What are the most important components of an extraordinary photograph, in your opinion?
In my opinion, an extraordinary photograph encompasses three crucial elements: composition, storytelling, and emotion. Composition involves creating a visually pleasing arrangement of elements within the frame, considering factors such as balance, leading lines, and the rule of thirds. Storytelling is about conveying a narrative or evoking curiosity and intrigue through the image. Lastly, emotion is a key component that connects the viewer with the subject, eliciting a genuine emotional response.
9. How do you strike a balance between your artistic expression and your client’s expectations during a shoot?
Maintaining a balance between artistic expression and meeting client expectations is essential. Before the shoot, I invest time in understanding the client’s vision, preferences, and objectives. I discuss their desired aesthetic, mood, and any specific requests they may have. During the session, I ensure open communication, regularly sharing images and seeking feedback to ensure we are aligned in terms of the desired outcome. While incorporating my artistic style and expertise, I remain attentive to their needs, resulting in a collaborative and satisfying experience for both parties.
10. How do other artists influence your work? Are there any other photographers you look up to? Who?
I find inspiration in the works of other photographers, both past and present. Artists like Irving Penn, Steve McCurry, and Platon have influenced my approach to portraiture. Their ability to capture authentic moments, emotions, and convey powerful stories continues to inspire me. I also admire contemporary photographers like Brandon Woelfel and Lara Jade, who infuse their work with unique styles and creative lighting techniques. Engaging with their work motivates me to constantly evolve and push the boundaries of my own creativity. Most importantly, most of them have a clear business model.
11. How do you enhance your vision after a session by post-processing your photos? Do you have a best-kept secret for editing processing that you’d like to share?
Post-processing is an integral part of my creative process. I use software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to refine and enhance the images while staying true to my artistic vision. Each photograph receives individual attention, where I focus on adjusting exposure, color grading, and refining details. While I don’t have a secret formula per se, I believe in finding the balance between enhancing the image’s aesthetic qualities and preserving its authenticity. It’s essential to create a consistent and cohesive body of work while allowing each photograph to retain its unique character.
12. Can you tell us about the most difficult photographic challenge you’ve ever had, including lighting, unexpected situations, add how you managed the issues on set?
One of the most challenging situations I encountered was during an outdoor shoot with rapidly changing weather conditions. The initial plan was to capture the golden hour light, but unexpectedly, dark clouds rolled in, casting a shadow over the entire location. Instead of rescheduling, I quickly adapted by modifying the composition to focus on a closer perspective and incorporating artificial lighting to maintain a balanced exposure. Flexibility, quick thinking, and having backup plans for lighting scenarios allowed me to navigate the challenging conditions and produce compelling images despite the unexpected circumstances.
13. What are your top tips for aspiring photographers on skill development and finding their own creative voice? How did you develop yours?
My top tips for aspiring photographers are:
Study and practice: Invest time in learning the technical aspects of photography, such as exposure, composition, and lighting. Continually practice and experiment with different techniques to refine your skills.
Explore different genres: Experiment with various genres to discover what resonates with you. Each genre offers uniquecreative possibilities and challenges, helping you find your own creative voice.
Study the work of others: Look at the work of established photographers, both past and present, to gain inspiration and learn from their techniques and approaches. Analyze what makes their work stand out and how you can incorporate those elements into your own style.
Seek constructive feedback: Share your work with fellow photographers or join photography communities where you can receive constructive criticism and insights. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills.
Embrace experimentation: Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, compositions, or editing styles. Pushing boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to breakthroughs and the development of a unique style.
Develop a personal project: Creating a personal project allows you to explore a specific theme or concept, giving you the freedom to express your creative vision without constraints. This can be a powerful way to develop your own voice and showcase your unique perspective.
Be patient and persistent: Developing your skills and finding your creative voice takes time and dedication. Embrace the journey, learn from both successes and failures, and keep pushing yourself to grow as a photographer.
As for my own development, I dedicated countless hours to practicing and studying photography techniques. I experimented with different genres and styles to find what resonated with me the most. Along the way, I drew inspiration from established photographers while constantly striving to add my own personal touch to my work. Over time, through continuous exploration and refinement, my creative voice emerged, and I developed a signature style that is distinctively mine.
14. What is your favorite piece of work you’ve ever shot?
One of my favorite pieces of work is a portrait titled “Whispers of Solitude.” It captures the quiet introspection of a young woman standing alone in a vast field, surrounded by golden grasses as the setting sun casts a warm glow. The image exudes a sense of serenity and invites viewers to contemplate the beauty of solitude. You can view the photograph at instagram.com/p/CuSj-EBJyrU.
15. Can you tell me about an upcoming project you’re working on and the idea behind it?
Currently, I’m working on a project that explores the theme of the old Hollywood Glamour. The project aims to collaborate with a celebrity and make a compelling story telling about her style. I intend to highlight the richness of the Hollywoodian cultural heritage and foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of that era.
16. Where can we view more of your work and connect with you?
You can view more of my work and connect with me through the following channels:
Facebook: Philippe Manh Photography
Cr Dir: @tvmylee.jpg