Christian Blanchard currently works as a freelance photographer and film director. Named by Capture Magazine as one of Australia’s top ten, Blanchard’s has shot global campaigns for clients including Mimco, Amstel, Cotton On, Nobody Denim, Nintendo, L'Oreal Paris and Puma.
He effortlessly transitions between his still work and his new passion for film, and has been commissioned by his clients to handle both elements for their campaigns.
In the ever-changing landscape of fashion photography few photographers have captured fashion with as much opulence as Christian Blanchard. For someone who is a self-made photographer and has shot campaigns for some of the biggest names in the business, the success and rave reviews that Christian is currently enjoying have been a long time coming. Today he is one of the Australia's few remaining independent photographers, an accomplishment that makes his brand somewhat of an anomaly.
Born and raised in Perth, Christian's career spans over a decade and has reached amazing heights. His particular brand of photography knows no bounds and has a natural effervescence, because to him happiness equals freedom. The search for this freedom started early when his high school teacher opened his eyes to photography by challenging him with the topic of Scopophilia. This propelled him toward the world of voyeurism and the female form, a subject that’s been his first photographic inspiration and something he has never drifted too far away from. Blanchard's pursuit of the female form is also the impetus that developed into a 15-year career and obsession with fashion photography that has taken him around the world almost continuously throughout his career.
It was somewhere in those early formative years that Christian developed his philosophy that photography equals fueling the passion. 'You are only as good as your last shoot, it's a double edged sword, if your last shoot was absolute rubbish then you better work on another shoot quickly.' Extremely critical of his own work he is never truly happy with the end result and considers that he is still yet to shoot for many great publications and brands. 'I will never know everything there is to know about photography. With that in mind I will continue to grow and learn and be inspired,' he confesses.
Artistically and intellectually inspiring, his work is also physically exhilarating. With an unmistakable style and a talent for rare captures, Christian describes his approach to photography as 'Narrative driven' while his portfolio is imbued with a sense of the epic, majestic and the bold. 'I love telling stories or at the least create tension and trigger thoughts and questions within the viewer,' he says. 'At the moment I am interested in striping back the technicalities and pursuing honesty in the subject.' His success derives from a single-minded pursuit of truly capturing a moment in time that makes him adept at fashioning impressive photographs.
While its mainstream to say that we’re living in a time when photos are being created at an incredible rate which has made us forget how to look critically at a photograph because of that, Christian thinks the opposite, 'We are now so overwhelmed with white noise that everyone has become far more savvy and critical of what imagery they truly want to stop and engage with,' he says. The visual drama and artistry of his photographs are born of a keen eye for the many moods of Fashion and a life-long passion for Scopophilia. This passion shines throughout his work and along the way, he’s built himself an impressive empire of sorts with a wide audience around the world.
'Photography is a love and an ever-changing journey guiding me through life'
Christian's portfolio is nothing short of impressive Christian has shot global campaigns for clients such as Ford, L’Oreal, Mimco, Amstel, Nobody Denim, Cotton On, Nintendo, and Puma. He was named one of Australia's top ten photographers by Capture magazine and has also done editorial work that includes covers for magazines such as Fashion Trend, Kurv and Spook. A high point in his career was photographing the Nobody Was Thirsty charity campaign in which Nobody denim joined forces with Charity Water (www.charitywater.org/nobody) to raise funds for wells and clean drinking water in poverty stricken villages all around the world. Looking ahead he has big plans for the future and is exploring more journalistic art projects and experimenting with mixed media, sculpture and screen based artwork mediums.
Aside from a small handful of well-known exceptions, Blanchard is Australia's most esoteric, recherché photographer. In addition to his work as a photographer and film director, Christian has a love affair with photography courses. A frequent lecturer and teacher at workshops around the world, Christian is a firm believer of the thought that photography is a lifelong lesson. Considering himself fortunate to have been guided and mentored by his high school photography teacher at the age of fifteen, he feels forever indebted for the lessons he gained. This has driven him to want to give back and share as much information as he can to hopefully help guide someone else on a journey like his own. He considers his mission in the fashion world to be one that challenges, motivate and inspires viewers through his photographs, cinemagraphs and films.
While he is many things to many people, a man of many hats, literally and figuratively, Christian Blanchard appears to be at the vanguard of his profession unlike any other photographer in Australia. What you may not know is that he has a heightened sense of awareness, a furiously productive output and has combined his dual passions of photography and travel. 'I love to tell stories, express emotions and evoke responses through my imagery. At the end of the day I would rather someone passionately dislike my images than feel indifferent towards them,' he says of himself. Of all the superlatives that define him, perhaps passionate is the most apt. Blanchard is a master of suggestion, and it is a testament to this sensibility that his work doesn't just tug at the heartstrings; it yanks them out and ties them in a bow.
In a tête-à-tête with LOVEFMD, the enigmatic photographer opens up about his varied interests, capturing indelible singular moments on film and a range of other surprising topics that includes tips for aspiring photographers. How better to end an amazing year than with an uplifting Q&A with the dapper photographer himself.