When it comes to fashion, it is undoubtedly the photographs we see in the commercial campaigns and editorials of prestigious magazines that make you want to buy the clothes and accessories being advertised. The images that transport us to another world or highlight the beauty and essence of the artists and models generate various emotions in one. It is through fashion photographers that they manage to capture in an image a whole narrative that attracts the viewer. Here at Vanity Teen, one of the fashion photographers who is a must-know is Dylan Perlot @dylanperlot.
Born and raised in France, Dylan left his hometown after high school to study film in Los Angeles. Being always passionate about art, Dylan turned it into a professional career, making a name for himself at a young age. He currently works in the selective field of international fashion photography. Based in the US and Europe, Dylan Perlot’s work has been published in numerous renowned publications such as Vogue Italia, Vogue Ukraine, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, L’Officiel, V Magazine, Numéro, Gay Times, among others.
The diversity of publications is only as great as the number of artists and celebrities from different fields he has photographed, such as Daphne Guinness, Alok, Julia Michaels, Nicky Doll, Joel Kim, and even the virtual influencer Abigail Spenser Hu, to name a few.
It is his unique style, full of edginess, sharpness, and softness, which along with his creative and visionary eye manages to integrate people, fashion, and places in an exceptional way, generating a powerful storytelling.
In an exclusive interview with Vanity Teen, we had the privilege of interviewing the young and renowned photographer.
VT – Dylan, it is an honor to have an interview with you here at Vanity Teen. After almost 10 years of a professional career filled with many achievements, clients, and national and international celebrities within the fashion, art, and entertainment industry, at your young age how fulfilled do you feel professionally?
I feel very grateful for all the amazing opportunities that happened in my career, the wonderful people I’ve met along the way, and the art I was fortunate to create. That being said, I always need and want to achieve more so this is just the beginning of many more milestones to come.
VT – Speaking of which, when did you decide that fashion photography would be your profession?
I was always attracted by print ads and fashion magazines as a kid. I remember shooting my friends for fun on my 2000s digital camera and the creation process was always my favorite. After moving to a big city like Los Angeles and being surrounded by so many artists and cultures, this just felt like the right path.
“Fashion in photography is for me a beautiful way to tell a story. Clothes inspire me to create a whole world around it.”
VT – From your first professional photography to this moment, what do you think has been the most significant change personally and professionally?
The feelings of passion, dedication, and ambition have been growing and evolving within me since I started photography. Finding what inspires me definitely changed me personally and professionally.
VT – Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, L’Officiel, Nylon, and Gay Times, are some of the many magazines you have worked for, what was the common appeal they all mentioned when they contacted you to work for them?
I believe my style is what attracts people to my work and to shoot for them. I try to play in between softness and darkness so that I can create an elevated photograph that has an edge to it.
VT – From photographing the renowned Daphne Guinness, to actors and artists such as Galantis, Joel Kim Booster, Amanda Steele, Nicky Doll, Rome Flynn, Sinéad Harnett, what was it that attracted you to working with celebrities?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Daphne Guinness for example, she’s always been a fashion icon that I would look up to growing up. I love shooting artists, actors, musicians or even drag queens because they let me into their universe and we get to mix both of our styles together to make unique imagery.
VT – As a celebrity photographer, how do you meet the expectations of each celebrity?
I always study their work and approach each photo shoot with respect and with the passion of having a beautiful moment collaborating.
VT – Which is more difficult to photograph: a professional model or an artist?
It depends how you look at it – with a professional model you get to bring the whole story as you fully envision it, but with an artist, it’s more of a 50/50, both of your visions need to be brought to the table and melted together.
VT – Are there any celebrities you would like to photograph?
I would love to shoot with Lady Gaga one day, I love her art and what she stands for, she’s been a huge inspiration throughout my life.
VT – Is it a challenge to balance your point of view when working for a designer, brand, or magazine?
It’s a balance to find and how involved the client wants you to be. Most magazines give me full creative control whereas brands usually have a specific idea in mind where my style would fit right in.
VT – You mentioned that personal memories are part of your creative process, a mix between your childhood in Europe and your youth in America, how is this very personal element part of your inspiration and creative process?
Each time I work on a new concept, I always try to remember moments as a child when I felt visually inspired. It could be anything like a long summer day surrounded by fields and nature that happened when I would go to the south of France for a summer break. Then, I’m also very into the different landscapes that I got to witness when discovering the US for the first time. I remember being intrigued by motels, diners, the old Hollywood but also the underground feeling of Brooklyn, NY. I use small parts of those visual references when brainstorming before a shoot.
“Finding your voice and what you have to say is a big step in fashion photography. You need to keep being inspired and original, which can be a challenge at times.”
VT – The final result is what we see published in magazines, websites and advertising, however, behind it there is a whole story or series of experiences from working with various personalities and teams of artists that make us learn from them and vice versa, not only professionally, but personally as well. Do you have an anecdote of a project that you remember fondly?
I’ll always be in awe of my lookbook shoot for Lever Couture in 2021. It was a hot summer day in the fields of Malibu and this might have been the only shoot when we didn’t play any music while shooting. I think we were all feeding from the energy that the scenery, set design, and dresses were giving us. Of course, a lot of planning and location scouting happened before the shoot, but we were all excited to be collaborating with each other.
VT – What do you think is the role of the fashion photographer nowadays?
I think our role today is to always stay alert of the new trends, stay true to ourselves, and never stop learning.
VT – For you, what makes a photograph?
A story behind a photo makes a photograph to me. That story could be different depending on who’s looking at it and that’s what’s beautiful about our work.
VT – How is fashion photography different from other types of photography?
I think fashion photography kinda encompasses different kinds of photography as you have to make sure the subject looks good (like in portrait photography), that the background is appealing (like in landscape photography), that the clothes look perfect (like in product photography) and that there is a story being conveyed (like in documentary photography). Even though it’s its own kind of photography, it still takes knowledge of other types of photography.
VT – What do you think about fashion and fashion photography?
Fashion in photography is for me a beautiful way to tell a story. Clothes inspire me to create a whole world around it.
VT – How do you think your style can influence others?
I think everyone can learn something in everyone’s style, rather it be a special lighting technique, or a certain composition. Therefore, there is always something that can influence others by looking at my work.
VT – What do you think the future art of fashion photography will be like?
I hope the future of our field stay true to its origins but somehow also learn to adapt in today’s world.
VT – What are the challenges when it comes to fashion photography?
Finding your voice and what you have to say is a big step in fashion photography. You need to keep being inspired and original, which can be a challenge at times.
VT – With all the diversity of technology and social networks, what do you think are the challenges faced by people who aspire to have a profession like yours? What advice would you like to share with them?
The main challenge is to differentiate yourself from other people. The competition might be tough at times but you can not let this discourage you. I advice young creatives to shoot as much as they can, make mood boards, reach out to other creatives, and to believe in their art no matter what.
VT – For you, what is fashion and what is style?
Fashion is the art and power of clothes since the beginning of fashion, while style is more what’s currently trendy
VT – How would you define yourself in three words?
I would define my photography style with those words: soft, sharp, and dark.
VT – What will we see next from Dylan?
The shoots I’m currently working on have beautiful messages hidden in strong visuals, which is ultimately my goal in my work. I can not wait to release them to the world!