Yukon designers, models and photographers work in tandem to showcase the “haute-est” trends from the coolest people in the North and, according to photographer Christian Kuntz, it’s all about the pictures. From blue jeans and bush boots to stilettos and silk, Kuntz re-interprets fashion through a lens. Born in France and schooled as a furniture and cabinetmaker, Kuntz originally came to the North as a carpenter. Today, he sits in his apartment/studio surrounded by his dramatic photographs.
LGT: When did you fi rst get into photography?
CK: I always had a camera. Wherever I traveled I took pictures … landscapes, animals. I always ran after the deer (in France) and got in trouble with the wardens.
LGT: When did you become serious about photography?
CK: In 1996, a neighbour said one of my photos had “nice composition”. I thought, hmmm, what is that? That started me on a more serious path. I began to study the technical elements of photography and enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography. It was a three-year course. The day I fi nished, I quit my job.
LGT: Your body of work covers a variety of subjects, both commercial and artistic. So how did you develop the fashion element for your pictures?
CK: The course in New York was mostly portraiture, with a section on fashion. (How they are different is that) the emphases of the picture are to show the texture and colour of clothes. The face is not so important.
LGT: Is it diffi cult to find good models in Whitehorse?
CK: I get a lot of girls who call. But they are not serious. They need to commit to shoots, return calls and take it seriously. There are some good models here and I encourage new models, who think they have potential, to check out my Website and then contact me.
LGT: What would you say your “style” is?
CK: (I am) still developing it. It’s a new revolutionary style, but it’s not set yet. I like to do things that are more action orientated now, stay away from static poses. When people are free to move, they have their own posture, who they are . . . the picture is more alive.
LGT: Do you prefer to have total control over the shoot, or do like input from a client?
CK: I like to refer people to my Website, www.christiansphotography.com, so they can see the different styles. They can give me an idea of what they want and then I have the ingredients to make it work. I am open to all kinds of shoots where I can have a say, a bit of free reign to do it a little bit my way.
LGT: What makes your images different? Do they have a Northern flavour?
CK: Studio pictures can be done anywhere, but the out-door images, here in the Yukon, they are special. I am developing my own style more and more. Now I am at the beginning of what kind of photography I really want to do.