Richard Monsieurs is a Dutch hair and beauty photographer who amazes us with his images. He started photography as a passion project and turned it into a successful career. Learn more about how he began his transition, and his advice on how to create a successful shoot and powerful images.
How did you venture into photography, in particular beauty and hair photography? Did you always know you wanted to be a photographer?
Since I was a little boy, I wanted to be a photographer. However, since my dad did not take this job as a “serious profession”, I started an engineering study. My interest in photography has never stopped so I started photographing in 2001 next to my job. The last ten years, my interest in beauty and hair photography grew considerably. Due to my passion and endless drive, I was not able to combine my original job with photography anymore, resulting in working full-time as a beauty & hair photographer since a few years.
What steps did you take in your career to hone your vision and create such a wonderful portfolio?
For me, photography is a way to express my creativity. My strengths lie in my retouch work, flexibility, speed, and most importantly: hard work. My style is diversity, depending on what the client wants as well as my state of mind at the moment. My style can differ from very hard and rough to soft and totally feminine. I am convinced that the art of photography is a creative process of reality turned into a personal vision. I try to capture the emotions I feel at the moment when I click the camera’s shutter.
Is photographing beauty different from other forms of photography, (if so) in what way?
Because you can see the face so clearly in beauty photography, details are extremely important. So the slightest change in light, facial expressions or retouching can change the entire image.
You have quite the eye for hair and beauty, how closely do you work with stylists on your shoot? How does this relationship effect the images created?
I definitely work closely with the stylists on my shoots. We always discuss our plans beforehand and I am almost always tightly involved. This is not because I force the stylist to apply my ideas, but because of my years of experience in this industry has led me to know exactly how the hair needs to be styled in order to make it look perfect on the final photo. I am convinced that a good team is a team where the individuals adapt to one another and are open to new ideas. A strong team can bring the image to perfection.
What kind of vibe do you like to create in the studio or on set?
For me, the most important thing is that all the people in the studio feel comfortable, especially the models. Three years ago, I build my own studio in my house in order to create a cozy atmosphere. I always want people to have fun, while working hard.
What are your “must-haves” for a successful shoot?
A good team, communication and preparation.
If you could shoot any model, who would it be and why?
Kate Moss, definitely. I love here bone structure and her strong look.
What advice do you have for stylists starting out that want to explore the world of editorial?
Make sure to create good connections by always continuing to network. Google a lot for ideas, keep on track with the latest trends. Follow the correct trend and watch catwalk shows. And one of the most important things: whatever you do, do not try to please others at the expense of your own style. Never forget to stick to yourself!
Be sure to stalk Richard on Bangstyle to see all his latest editorials!!