Who the hell is Lucie?

14. November 2017

I collected some of the most common questions I was recently asked by people and answered them in this article to give you a better example of who am I. Hope you will enjoy this article and come back soon for more.


Who is Lucie Kout?

Once Pablo Escobar said: ‘I am not a rich man, I’m just a poor man with money.’. I feel I could relate to that quote with my own version ‘I am not a photographer, I am just an ordinary girl with camera’ :-). It’s no surprise my most favourite movie quote ever is ‘Keep yourself small’ from Devil’s Advocate.

How did you turned pro?

I had no ambition to become professional photographer ever since. Aprox. 3 months after I started taking photos people started giving me money. A bit later they started asking me why I am not pro. So I considered why not? It took me a bit more time to become full time photographer. People told me I should be a pro so I became one. I wouldn’t come with this idea by myself but now I am happy how it turned out.

What gear do you use?

I don’t think gear is the most important thing in the process but at some level it matters. It helps you reaching common standarts but people are able to do art with pin hole camera so it ain’t a key to success. I am Canon user myself but once I started buying lenses it turned into money reason. Switching would be too expensive. At basic level anything can work – even cheap stuff and then you can always switch to better gear. Even these days I love to use DIY modifiers during photoshoot. I am also a bit geek. I enjoy using Wacom tablets when editing. I love toys, I love Wacom and I love prime lenses. Don’t buy me diamonds but lenses.

What all do you take with you on travels?

It depends on what’s the goal. I usually try to be as light as possible. To be honest I am quite tired of carrying gear all the time. For any serious purpose I always carry a backup body and backup lens which means I would have to meet an extra portion of bad luck to get both bodies and lenses broken during one session. I think I don’t have to remind what disaster it would be when whole production team with 20ppl comes, studio is paid and you find out your camera is broken or if this happened during wedding, yay! :)

Any tips with settings?

It seems like people are too obsessed to work with lowest ISO possible. Since having a full frame I am not afraid to use higher ISO. It allows me and to be quick in the studio. Common issue of rentals is overheating of strobes. Waiting in a rented studio is expensive and not desired. I don’t want whole team to be waiting till strobes cools down. Unfortunatelly there is not always option to rent the best studio with the best gear. Higher ISO gives you extra freedom to boost your speed. Don’t bee too dogmatic about rules.

What is your favourite artwork?

I have a couple of images that lasts but it would be hard to be specific since I enjoy the process the most. I would rather let this upon watchers to decide what they like.

Can you tell us about the dark side of business?

We (photographers/productions) are paid for final result. Result should be perfect among the needs of client. So we do not share much of an ugly backstage facts and production issues. It is not uncommon that hair is done just to look good from one angle only, dresses are fitted with clamps, sewed just from front and back is left open to fit various sizes. Third parties sometimes mess up the date of studio booking so you have to find another studio within two days and make a crazy night photoshoot with 16 people in team to save the release date (most recent experience). You have to hurry because your client booked studio for a little time or model/makeup/hair artist is late. Also it’s quite common that you have to pay bills on time but your invoices are paid late. All you see is a perfect image that have been approved by team of people but not the production behind it. We work 365/24/7 and there is not much time left for personal life. Sometimes you feel cursed, other moment you feel blessed. Being artist was never easy. Photographer is a part time manager and part time psychologist. Not everyone you have to work with is having a good energy and conditions are usually not perfect.

Do you still do your own projects?

I have to if I don’t want to become crazy. Working just for others may lead into loosing a joy of being artist. Being commercial means you try to satisfy others but if you do not satisfy yourself, you get bored and exhausted. So yes, I try to do my own stuff every possible moment but there is very little time for it. I have to think well what I want to do and with who. I need to gain joy out of it so having a unpleasing experience while doing personal stuff would annoy me. I am picking topics by what I am missing in my portfolio or what I always wanted to try to push my limits.

How do you improove yourself?

I try to look for something new every now and then. Trying a new stuff, seeking new techniques, locations, light, etc. It’s a constant process of searching the better version of you.

Advice for others?

Be big in your dreams but stay down to earth. Be carefull and supportive. Noone likes to work with someone who is pain in ass.

What influences you?

I know this would sound as a perfect cliché but life itself. I live in a social bubble somewhere between my work and dogs. I have no time to gain much informations from outer world so I create my own ones in my head. I was always dreamer and kind of outsider reading books, drawing, doing something alone. Due lack of time I am not much social, I try to avoid events because I need to rest a bit too :). Yeah, I am looner with dogs and camera and I feel so damn good about it. I love everything artistic so I seek art but I live in a environment of minimalism to not get distracted while creating. I love to observe and then run away and do something myself. But to be correct and mention someone I still like Miles Aldridge for example. He’s a cool guy with vision. Also Richard Avedon should be named. I like clean and elegant work.

What makes you create? How would you describe your style? What do you want to say with your photos?

I always had this inner tension to create. I am INFP – one of the personality type called Mediator. Introvert who communicates through visual art. I do not always try to say something, sometimes I am plain commercial photographer, sometimes I only want to share a visual or emotional feeling, sometimes it’s deeper but I do not like being obvious too much. I rather let others to find someting by themselves. Perhaps you will find something else then I putted into image intentionaly. Why not. I like dreaming and I am minimalist, simple and bold compositions, soft color gradients, precise postproduction defines my style.

What kind of tools do you use for post processing and other general work?

I use just few basic tools. I use Lightroom for batches, proofing, selections and photoshop for retouching. I also use Fast Stone image viewer for general quick previews. I also use Evernote for notes and lists and online billing service. Simple system is easy to maintain.

What are your goals to the future?

I would like to find better balance between my work and personal life and to improove and create a bulletproof service that would turn into pleasing experience for all. If I get client’s trust I want to give the best out of me in return.

Questions provided by friends and clients

Lucie Kout

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