Guy Lucas, brings to the Art of photography something that can not be replaced by technology. The raw talent combined with years of experience as a professional photographer means that Guy Lucas brings both emotion and life to an inanimate object in a technically superlative image. 

He is one of the top horological photographers in the industry. To view examples of his work click here.


1. What did your father do? what did your mother do?  Describe briefly your childhood?

My mother raised me on her own.  She was head of advertising in the building sector, then trainer with various administrations. Born in Paris, I had a happy and privileged childhood. As an only son, I enjoyed a strong and open family environment. My grandparents had a major role in influencing my appreciation of culture, art and have communicated to me their great interest in objects. I think that's what made me a still-life photographer, rather than fashion or reporting photography.

2. As a child did you have any driving ambition? What did you want to be? 

After classical studies, then technical, I considered becoming a computer scientist. At the time, this path seemed promising and innovative ...

But the artistic field attracted me, especially photography. In the early 80s, many choices were available to me in this area. Photographic reporting, fashion photography, especially with the young creators of the group of the “Halles”, shows,  I worked with the French theatre for a few years ... It is only at 24 years of age that I will became an assistant to a studio photographer, with whom I learned still life, which would become my specialty.

3. What is your first significant memory as a child?

Difficult to answer precisely because they are several...

My first time skiing, (with wooden skis and leather shoes, at age 4), horse riding, vacation or immense and endless lunches that were nonetheless delicious with grandparents, family or friends ... My visit to the Scouts, my friends from all social backgrounds, my first "surprise party" ... Art exhibitions, auction houses in the company of my grandmother ...

4. Have you ever had another profession? What did you do? 

To finance part of my studies, I was a waiter in different restaurants. An interesting experience from a human point of view. I was also responsible for the purchase and management of a disc department, (vinyls and first CDs), then I was hired at the French comedy, which allowed me to be a photo assistant in a studio, for over two years ...

5. What made you choose to become a watchmaker?  Who have you worked for in the past?  What made you decide to go in the direction you have chosen.

My meeting with my mentor, Olivier Helbert, still life photographer, whom I was the privileged assistant for two years. The first time I arrived in his studio and I had my first peak at such a large room, it seemed obvious to me that this would do my field... We were taking pictures of decorations, (Vanillia paper), photos of cutlery, (Peter), or contemporary carpets, (Toulemonde Bochard), but also photos of "Food", fashion or cosmetics ...

At the time, there was no Photoshop and the quality of the images was paramount and had to be perfect, no matter the time spent on the shots. The trips back and forth with the development laboratory set a rhythmic pace to our days and sometimes, the wait for the final result generated a palpable tension in the studio ...

We worked either directly with the companies or through an advertising agency.

Once independent, I collaborated with numerous advertising and communications agencies and companies ...

When I started, I did a lot of culinary photos, and then I went to cosmetics and perfumery. It was not until the 2000s that I began to talk about fine jewelery, (Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, ...) and the world of mechanical watches, (Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Kari Voutilainen, Vianney Halter, FP Journe and many others ....)

More recently, I diversified my activities, which led me to work with various companies, such as Dom Pérignon, Jean Nouvel Design, TT Trunks, ... but also magazines or develop personal projects for exhibitions ...

6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do? 

In photography:

I was an employee of a company that produced the catalogs for mass distribution. (Metro, Cora, Auchan, ...). Objectively, photographing tin cans has not been very fulfilling.

The only positive point was having to produce images in quantity and with speed.

So I went to see an artistic director of the agency and we worked together on the introduction pages posters or covers catalogs ... We worked well together and quickly made me forget the cans ...

Other:

Being assigned to do the dishes during my military service, when it concerns more than 800 people, was no fun task ... But it happened once and we recover ...

7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you over-come it? 

I think the worst that can happen to us is losing someone close, friend or family.

We are never truly prepared for that and it is always a painful experience.

In the year 80, AIDS made its appearance and at that time, I saw the loss of many of my friends and relations, men and women. The issue is still relevant, so take care of yourself.

8. Who has had the strongest influence on you? What are your greatest inspirations? 

First of all, I will say my grandmother, collector and lover of objects. She knew how to transmit her passion to me ..

Second, my mentor in photography, Olivier Helbert, thanks to whom I can do a job that I love and that brings me a great deal of satisfaction ...

My inspirations come from great photographers, such as Newton, Lindberg, Irvin Penn for fashion and portrait, Daniel Jouanneau for still life and many others.

They also come to me from the world of art. Painters, sculpters, engravers and many craftsmen that I had the chance to meet, to know, to discover, during my career as a photographer.

9. What are you most proud of? 

Of my children ... They are upright, proud of what they are and do. They have my trust and I wish them an open, rich and happy life ...

My most beautiful book is "The beauty on a trip", which I realized with Hermès.

To follow, the first book for Richard Mille, which is more a picture book ...

And then some pictures that I have taken in different photographic fields ...

Watches, of course, a field in which I gained a certain notoriety, but also in jewelery, perfumery, or concerning my personal work, such as my photos of smoke, which I have exhibited several times.

10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you? 

In general, I start by asking a simple question:

What do you think is the best camera? (answer at the end of the chapter)

Photography and the world of the images are in the middle of an evolution and has been for a few years.

Our world consumes a lot of images, but when we analyze these images, we see what almost all have something in common, a certain standardization ...

The arrival of the digital era, the democratization of the image, (portable, web), the large image centers, all this contributes to an impoverishment of the initial meaning of the image. Too many images kill the image ... the art and culture of the images disappear, as well as the image of societies, which is no longer mastered ...

I'm not sure that this job is a profession of the future. The decrease in budgets, the loss of ethics and deontology that made this profession beautiful, open, attractive, tend to make it obsolete in its essence ... The only area still open would be that of art.

Of course, photography will always exist, remains to know how, why and for whom???

Tomorrow's photographer will have to be highly motivated, creative and plural. Indeed, it will have to adapt to the different shooting techniques, especially to video, a medium that is taking more and more space in the world of the image.

The answer to the question asked at the beginning of the chapter is: The eye

Indeed, the shooting material, like the software related to image processing, do not make a photographer.

A photographer thinks, reflects upon, imagines, visualizes the image that he will create, before taking it ... it's what we call having a photographic eye and what characterizes a photographer compared to a person who solely presses a button ...

The photographer is an artist and by corollary, photography is an art.

11. Name three things on your bucket list.  

Go around the world sailing.

Take a trip into space.

See humanity find the reason ...

12.Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 years time.

Today, the watch industry is in a deep crisis. It will take some time to recover, but it will recover.

To do so, it will have to reinvent itself and rediscover its fundamental principles:

Highlight creativity, respect tradition by offering quality products with impeccable finishes, respect customers and regain their trust, honor the notions of services and Luxury ...

Some brands will disappear, others will emerge.

But let's not forget the main thing, the fine mechanical watchmaking is an art ...

And art does not die ... it evolves and transforms over time.