From infants to tweens and beyond, French photographer Lisa Tichane loves seeing the world through a child’s eyes. Her clients appreciate her ability to capture genuine moments of the world’s smallest citizens, and you can see her work everywhere from Johnson & Johnson to Parents Magazine. We reached out to learn a little more about the woman behind the lens.
Where are you from originally?
I live in Marseille, France (by the Mediterranean Sea) where I was born and raised. I lived in many other places, traveled the world, then came back to my roots when it was time to raise my kids. I must say that living in the Mediterranean area is a true blessing for a photographer– the light is simply incredible!
How did you get involved in photography/videography?
Apart from taking silly Polaroid selfies with my sister as a kid, my first real photography memory goes back to middle school, where my French teacher held a photography workshop during our lunch breaks! I spent so many hours in that darkroom, I can still remember the scent of the chemicals. Back then, I was more interested in the development process than in the pictures themselves. I quickly discovered that I was a very lousy landscape photographer (it’s still true today, I can’t photograph something that doesn’t move, it bores me!), but I was good at taking portraits of my friends and capturing true expressions and raw emotions. I was hooked.
I think my obsession is first and foremost a passion for human life: energy, movement, and above all, an absolute passion for emotions. It’s what makes me grab my camera: photography is a way to capture and freeze those things that make my heart beat faster.
I quickly became passionate about photographing kids, even before I became a Mom, myself. They are full of bursting energy and their emotions are always larger than life! Bottling up the carefree, playful moments of childhood always feeds my soul.
What was the first camera you ever used?
It was a Canon film SLR (that was back in the 20th century). I’ve always been a Canon girl, although I switched to DSLR a long time ago. My current camera is the 5D Mark IV.
What genre of photography/videography do you typically shoot?
I shoot kids and babies almost exclusively. Lifestyle gives me more creative freedom (and more freedom of movement for the kids too, which is always a plus!), although I’m doing studio work as well.
What is your favorite shoot you’ve ever worked on?
It’s hard to pick! There are so many reasons a shoot might be my favorite: because the team was fabulously fun, or the project itself was really cool, or the end result exceeded my expectations…
My best memories so far, for very personal reasons, are from an advertising shoot I did for SelfPackaging. I got the opportunity to shoot with a very close friend, and we had full creative reign. The client basically shipped the products to us and let us do our thing– it was incredibly fun!
What is your favorite image/video you’ve ever taken?
Ha! My favorite shot changes daily. The truth is I can never pick only one, it’s as impossible as choosing my favorite child! My favorite images are always the simplest ones. Something real, true-to-life and bursting with happiness!
How would you say your work has evolved over time?
For a very long time, I considered myself a natural light photographer (I considered even a tiny bit of speedlight as cheating). When I started shooting commercial/advertising assignments, I quickly discovered that natural light wasn’t going to be enough for most jobs. I reluctantly learned how to use artificial light, and finally had to admit that it was much more fun than I ever thought it would be! I love finding new ways to mimic natural light with flash and I’m always thrilled when a fellow photographer cannot guess whether artificial light was used in a shoot.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a photographer/videographer?
I would say that the most challenging situation is always shooting for a client who isn’t used to working with kids. Their expectations can be unrealistic, which leads to frustration on both ends. I’ve learned in time how to educate them from the very beginning to prevent difficult situations during a shoot, but I had some unpleasant experiences when I was just starting out. When your client starts to yell at the kids because they are not behaving, you’re in big trouble!
Who is your dream client?
My dream client is anyone looking for fun images that will make me laugh from start to finish. There is nothing I love more than a shoot where you laugh so much your stomach hurts. You know, when kids start to giggle hysterically because what you are making them do is crazy wild (or total nonsense) and you just can’t resist the sound of their laughter? It’s the reason I love this job!