Finding Inspiration, The Creative Process, and Efficient Workflows With Beauty and Portrait Photographer Quentin Décaillet

Beauty, fashion, and portrait photographer Quentin Décaillet always starts with finding a concept. It's been the cornerstone of his work as a commercial photographer. After just 6 years in the industry, Quentin has already made a huge impact with his unique concepts and out-of-the-box thinking. But ideas aren't easy to come by. And sometimes, staying fresh and original, takes some unique approaches to brainstorming.   

We sat down with Quentin to chat about his creative process, what inspires him, and how he has improved his workflow for more efficiency. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Quentin Décaillet; I'm a photographer based in Switzerland. I specialize in beauty/cosmetics and portrait photography. I've been working as a full-time photographer for a little over six years now, and I share my passion on a regular basis on YouTube (in French) and Fstoppers (in English).

Who inspires you? 

My inspiration probably comes more from what I love most, rather than a person. Nature is my main inspiration. I live in the heart of the Alps, and I find inspiration in everything around me: animals, landscape, colors, etc. I like to include small parts of it in my creative work or try to translate how it makes me feel.
 

Can you take us through your workflow from concept to shooting to editing? 

Finding the concept is the keystone of all my work. I love spending time finding ideas, trying to create things, and putting it all together. Usually, I either go offline, wander in the forest, and let my brain dream to find ideas, or if I'm under pressure because of a very tight deadline, I'll usually meditate for a few minutes, brainstorm quickly, and put things together. The first solution tends to yield better results but isn't always possible.

Once the concept is clear in my mind, I'll sketch it on paper, criticize the concept once it's drawn, find improvements, and repeat the process a few times – sounds like a lot, but in fact, it goes very quickly.

At this point, my concept is clear; I know what I need to bring my idea to life. To me, it's essential to spend time on pre-production more than anything else. It helps streamline production and post-production as well. From there, I'll shoot, and then edit.

The editing part varies greatly depending on how much time I had to spend on pre and production. I feel like the three are linked together. If your pre-production isn't solid, the production will suffer, and then if production is poorly executed, post-production will require a lot more work and time. 

How has Palette helped or changed your post-production workflow?

I love using Palette Gear in Capture One! I feel like the editing becomes more natural, more pleasant, and faster as well. It offers a new sensation as if I was working on the picture and not moving sliders on a screen anymore. It's hard to describe, but once you try, you can feel it.

I'm currently using two Expert kits combined. The more dials I have, the better. Dials are fantastic to work very fast while retaining as much precision as possible; it's even more precise than moving the sliders some times. Here is my setup for color work in Capture One:
What's great about Palette is that you can create multiple profiles for the different stages of your workflow. It can extend the functionality of your kit. I have another profile in Capture One for simplifying my tethered capture (which is especially useful for still life), and one specifically for editing wedding photography: 
Palette has also become a staple in my video production for YouTube as well. It makes my editing in Premiere much faster. I can scale, move, fast forward, jog, cut, switch camera so easily! I feel like I lost so much time before by using only the keyboard.
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About Quentin Décaillet

Quentin Décaillet is a professional Beauty, Fashion, and Portrait photographer based in Switzerland. Quentin accidentally fell in love with photography while in NYC where he discovered that photography was the perfect combination between art, technology, and physics. It's now been 3 years since turning into a full-time professional photographer, and he has already became an ambassador for industry leading brands such as Capture One (professional photo editing software), Elinchrom (photo and video lights manufacturer), and ViewSonic (display solutions manufacturer). 
Follow Quentin on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, or check out more of his work on his website.
 

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