Interview with Paris Photographer Pierre Torset

by David Em
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Pierre Torset is a top-rated Paris photographer that captures beautiful photos of couples, families and solo travelers. Learn what Pierre’s best tips are.

Greyscale portrait of Pierre Torset.

Interview with Pierre Torset

Pierre Torset is a top-rated photographer that captures incredible portraits. Learn Pierre’s story, best-practices, and how you can make photography a career.

Related: 11 ways to take better indoor natural light photos

The following is our interview with Paris photographer Pierre Torset:

How did you get into photography, and what drew you to it?

It all started 20 years ago when I was a student in Tourism and Environment sciences. I was spending a lot of time abroad in beautiful natural protected areas (Gobi desert, jungle in South America, etc.).

My dad once told me that I should bring back some photos from those places and gave me his analogic camera.

I was caught right away. Improving my frames, getting sharper photos, and capturing the best light. In just a few months, I was spending several hours a day practicing it.

It took a special encounter in China to make me feel like I could do it professionally. A magazine offered to pay me for some of my pictures.

Looking back, I was not well-paid at all, but it was enough to give me the confidence I needed. I worked in documentary photography for a few years, but the context was difficult at the time.

The internet was changing the deal, and the written Press did not have the same sales and budget they used to.

It was around this time that a couple told me they loved my pictures and would love that I capture their wedding day in a documentary fashion. I had prejudices about weddings but I was curious so I did it, and I actually loved it!

Being able to tell a story over just a day with a part of intimacy, some climax, emotions all over was rewarding, both artistically and financially.

I loved the challenge of moving from indoor to outdoor, going from a posed couple or group photos to candid moments and portraits.

I have big respect for great wedding photographers because it requires a lot of photographic qualities and endurance.

Then I’ve slowly been switching to photo sessions around Paris, since the early 2010s, and using the city as a backdrop.

It was a great way way to develop an eye for architecture photography. Now, I’m back into documentary and developing my own projects for the last couple of years.

Related article: How to use butterfly lighting for better portraits

Who are you inspired by, and why?

From my documentary years, Sebastiao Salgado has been my big inspiration. The intensity, light, kind-of black-and-white HDR editing was fascinating to me at the time. Not so much now.

For my couple sessions, Paris remains my inspiration. It’s the best playground ever. It’s like an urban jungle when you have to make the most of what’s given to you on any day (light, crowds, etc.).

What’s the best piece of photography advice you’ve been given?

Practice, practice, and practice.

What’s one thing an aspiring photographer should focus on if they want to make photography a career?

Some people say your gear does not matter, that’s not true. Your eye and vision matter first. For sure a great camera won’t make a great photographer.

You need good and great gear at the time you will offer paid services to people who will print or share your photos.

What do you look for in an image when you’re photographing couples?

Frame, light, and expression. Any good picture needs at least 2 of those components. A great picture will have the 3 of them!

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Featured image courtesy of Pierre Torset.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

About Portraits Refined

Portraits Refined (PR) is a media company that publishes the latest expert-backed portrait photography tips, in-depth camera gear reviews, and helpful advice to grow your photography business.