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"It's not how you add light, it's how you subtract it." 

A French born François Gillet is a renown, multi award-winning photographer who has sold over 2 Million copies of his famous poster titled Little Girl On Big Shoes (1974).

His distinct character style of photography lends itself to his early education in painting and drawing at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art, England. It is a combination of painting with real-life nature inspired objects to create this painterly photographs, produced at the time when Photoshop did not even exist.

He began his photography career as an assistant photographer at Vogue Studio, London (Condé Nast Publishing). He continued to sharpen his skills in photography by working with the world’s leading ad agencies being commissioned by clients all over the world for ad campaigns such as Fuji (Japan), Silk-Cut (London), Korean Airlines, Brown Brothers wineries (Australia), Bonne Maman (France), Orrefors (Sweden). Throughout his career as an advertising photographer, he has been awarded the Clio Award, D&AD, Golden Lion at Cannes, Folio Award in Australia, Platina ägget in Sweden.

His lighting mastery has appeared in numerous International magazines, books and shown in major exhibitions throughout Paris, Stockholm, Milan and in Tokyo exhibiting alongside the legendary Robert Demachy’s work. During his travels, he has lectured globally, teaching that "it’s not how you add light, it’s how you subtract it".

His work is mainly contemplative of nature. Working with an 8x10 Large-format camera for its ability to render detail, making the image almost tactile. He’d built a 3D setting comprising backgrounds, empty spaces and a subject matter. Preferring to take his time to “compose” the image as opposed to “taking” it. Being in control of every square inch within the frame. Rehearsing the final shot exactly as one would on a stage, until he reaches the “moment of grace”, from the point of view of the lens. Without retouching and manipulating the image after capture, he has to come close to perfection as he possibly can. “There is a beauty in making the picture exist in reality before recording it. Somehow it becomes the proof of one’s own existence.”

He now spends his summers on the island in Gåsö, Sweden and Morocco where he escapes the chills of European winters.

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Extensive resumé

Image credit: François Gillet archive press clippings