Featured Photographer - 05/01
The work of Agnes Donnadieu
is dark and provocative, yet light and full of vigor and movement.
Agnes' photographic style is more of an artist, and less of a
photographer as she implements several artistic elements in her
images, which could be compared to those found within paintings
and sculptures. The direct-lighting found within Agnes' work
is one of the major elements, which lends itself to this artistic
and painterly style of work.
Along with traditional photography, Agnes' work in the digital
medium has allowed her the freedom to express herself in ways
which would not be possible with traditional film printing techniques.
Our staff at Profotos especially enjoyed the images within Agnes'
digital portfolio, as they allowed her the complete expressive
freedom which is so evidently displayed within her images.
We invite you to browse the portfolio of one of the world's
premier photographers in this area of the field. Agnes Donnadieu
has a style which cannot be emulated by anyone else, and this
is what sets her apart from the crowd. Many photographers can
produce excellent work for their portfolios, but very few produce
the type of images which cannot be copied by other photographers!
Agnes is definitely one-of-a-kind!,"WE WEREN'T LOOKING FOR THE TYPICAL PRODUCT SHOT, " EXPLAIN LANDSMAN FROM LANDSMAN STROTHER ADVERTISING. 'AGNES HAS A CERTAIN STYLE TO HER WORK. IT'S CLOSE TO ART."
The work of photographer AGNES DONNADIEU has been called brooding and sexy, edgy and glamorous, erotic and slick. It's also been called "European." What nobody has ever called it is "Midwestern," though Donnadieu has lived and worked in Chicago for the last 9 years.
Donnadieu's photos tend to be dark and shadowy. Her images of people appear unposed, yet the composition is graphic, candid, without being contrived. The dramatic look of her photos is due in part to her direct lighting technique.
She almost always shoots with a Bronica ETR-S 2 ¼ camera. So far, no one's managed to pingeonhole her style. So her work is filed away in the minds of art directors and creative directors across the city, who wait to connect it with the right job.
One of the right jobs came along 8 years ago when she got a call from Rudy Magnani, president and creative director of Magnani & Associates Advertising, Inc., with an assignment that has brought Donnadieu national attention.
When Magnani was looking for a photographer for an annual brochure for Schwinn Bicycle's Paramount line of racing accessories, he called her in."It's a high-end product," explains Magnani.
"We were trying to give it high-end positioning and attitude. It didn't have to be a literal presentation of the sport. We felt that her photography really carried the design," says Magnani.
His agency submitted the brochure to Photo/Design, and it won a Merit award in the Magazine's March contest issue.
Donnadieu's style of fashion and portraiture is a departure from the photojournalism that provided her entry into photography.
Born in Paris, she emigrated with her father and brother (the renowned French actor Pierre Bernard Donnadieu,) from Algeria to Montreal when she was a child.
In the late Seventies, she moved to Mexico City and spent seven years as a photojournalist for Novedades, the weekend supplement of a national newspaper, and teacher of photography at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.
Her globe-trotting assignments brought her to Chicago, where she graduated from Columbia College with a degree in film and video, and briefly taught lighting and camera work at the school.
Sometimes DONNADIEU does both still and TV work for the same client.
Dale Landsman, executive vice president and creative director at Landsman Strother Advertising, Inc., hired her to do a commercial for Corona beer, and then a brochure for Zax, a leather company which sells to interior designers.
In the past, Zax has issued plain, simple brochures; this time, Landsman created a piece titled "Naked For The Nineties" (a play on "naked leather," the industry term for expensive, supple leather that hasn't been pigmented). The sales brochure would feature nude models-torso shots, with leather draped across their bodies.
"We weren't looking for, obviously, the typical product shot," explains Landsman. "Agnes has a certain style to her work. It's close to art. I thought she could give the project definite style and taste."
This is an excerpt from Photo District News, Midwestern Edition,
Volume XI, Issue XII