David Colat is a professional photographer living in the region of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris, France. From Network&IT Engineer to professional photographer, an amazing and creative photographer in the field of sports, portraits, landscape, and product photography. He also helps other photographers develop their photo skills through his channel. It is such an honor to us and we are proud to share his work as a part of this features interview.
How long have you been a photographer?
I started photography in 2010 when I bought my first DSLR (it was a Canon EOS 550D known as Rebel T2i in the US). In the beginning, it was just to take better photographs of my vacations (better than with my old Casio Exilim Point-&-Shoot), some landscapes, and then some sports events as I am also a fan of sports.
What did you do before becoming a working photographer?
I started my photography business in 2014 but as a part-time job. As I had some photography requests, it was a way to make some money besides my corporate job as a Network & IT engineer. But I have been taking my photography business more seriously for a few years.
Tell us about your business:
Where is it located?
I’m located in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, a little town near Paris in France. As I have not my own studio at the moment, I work at home or at my clients’ locations.
Does your work environment/studio offer any unique capabilities/features that help you accomplish your work or attract particular clients? No.
Do you work solo or with others as part of a team? I’m working solo.
What types of photography services do you offer?
In the beginning, I had no specific services offer, I was doing some sports events or portrait sessions. Now, my main services focus on product photography.
What types of products do you primarily shoot?
I always loved to see beautiful beverage photographs, as beer or wine. It was the first type of product that I photographed when I started to learn product photography. Now I try to increase the range of products that I can photograph for my client (cosmetics, high tech, and a little bit of food).
Do you have a type of work that provides a consistent source of revenue in between larger, more complex jobs such as packshots or e-commerce/catalog work?
Not for the moment.
Do you do your own post-production/retouching or do you outsource it?
Yes, I do all the post-production by myself because I love it. It is interesting to handle a project from the initial idea, sketch it, do the shooting and then deliver the final retouched image. It allows you to add your personal creative footprint at every step of the project.
What helps set you apart from your competition?
I’m still young in the product photography market, so not sure to have a specific strength from the competition, but I always try to do my best to provide the best results and I’m still learning day after day, practicing a lot of personal product photography at home.
What made you decide to pursue product photography?
Why I prefer photography? There are no dependencies, no need to have the best weather conditions as for landscapes, neither to have a model for portraits. If you want to take a photo in the middle of the night, you just have to choose your product, make your setup and shoot from home.
I think also my passion for product photography comes from my background as an engineer. Product photography requires handling multiple physics concepts (as the different light laws) and working with a lot of gear and I love that.
When you first got started, what did you find to be the most challenging aspect of photographing products?
The most challenging aspect when I started was how to handle and shape the light on the product. As every product is different, it was difficult to know how to place your lights to have the rendering you imagined in your head.
Can you share a time when a job didn’t go as planned and how you overcame the challenges or obstacles that arose?
Nothing in mind at the moment.
If appropriate, can you share a list of some of the recognizable brands for which you have worked?
None for the moment, only small jobs.
How did you first learn about Photigy?
I discovered Photigy and Alex with his Youtube channel several years ago. To be honest, Alex was one of the first photographers I followed and he gave me the desire to level up my photography skills.
Did you learn from (Pro Club) workshops, individual courses, or both? Do you have a favorite course or workshop? If so, what made it your favorite?
I took the Complete Guide to Product Photography program because it helps to have solid foundations to start a product photography business. You do not only watch some tutorials, but you also have the assignments that force you to practice what you have learned just before, to be sure that you can now perform it really and not only in your head. And with the instructors, you can have personalized feedback from your work to help you become a better product photographer.
How has your learning experience with Photigy affected your success as a photographer or pursuit of photography?
I think Photigy helped me to be more confident about my photography skills. Before I was dreaming to perform some product photographs, some light effects, but now I realized that I can do it myself too. I still have a lot to learn, but now I know the technical foundations that will help me in any type of product photography.
What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing product photography?
The best advice would be not to be impressed by the gear. When I started product photography, I believed that I needed some high-end gear, a big studio, lot of lights, but I realized that it was not the most important thing. The most important thing is to know your basics and with low budget or DIY stuff, you can achieve great results, the only thing required is your creativity
What other areas of photography interest you?
I still love portraits and especially, sports portraits. But for the moment it’s difficult to have enough time to handle both.