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Spotlight on Cerise Doucède

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Beautiful models against a picturesque background don’t come easily. Sometimes you have to go to great lengths just to find a subject worth photographing. This is a common complaint of photographers—“I don’t have anything interesting to photograph.” Look around you. Do you see anything that’s worth a shot? Are you feeling uninspired by your surroundings? When all else fails, make your own scene.

Cerise Doucède’s photography project brought inanimate objects to life in a whirlwind of chaos. Instead of just photographing her subject surrounded by surface clutter, she decided to arrange the scene so that it would appear as if the objects were hovering in mid-air. It’s almost as if the characters are lost in extraordinary daydreams in an otherwise boring reality.

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Usually, removing the strings that hold up objects is done in post-processing, but Doucède chose to leave them visible to create a bridge between reality and fiction. “Otherwise it’s just a fictional or fantastical photo and I didn’t want that…” she says.

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What struck me about this series of photos is how much detail and thought was put into it. It took three days just to string up the objects and set up the whole scene. These photos weren’t about the lights or the type of lens used; it was all about the subject and the scene. When you see behind the scenes videos of studio-shot photos, sometimes the shot has more to do with the fancy beauty dish in the corner rather than the actual concept behind the series.

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Having been selected for a special commission for the Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris, Doucède’s Égarements and Quotidien is an example of the great potential yet to be discovered in young photographers. Her work can appeal to people of all ages, most especially young children. I can see 5-year-olds asking their mommies how the lady made the apples fly, and I know at least halfa dozen adults who would find this series entertaining to look at as well. It just goes to show how far you can go if you have the heart and the skill to pursue your passion.

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Photographers have to push the creative envelope in order to get noticed. You can’t just keep copying someone else’s concepts and piggyback on those until your next project. Find ways around your limitations and work them to your advantage. Once you come up with a solid concept, get planning; it could be your big break!

Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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