Franco Schicke has become an established name in the world of fashion photography over the past few years. Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay and currently based in London, the photographer and former model has racked up an impressive rolodex of subjects. From Jazzelle (@uglyworldwide) to Glossier model and stylist Jessica Wu, Schicke has displayed a penchant for lensing the raw and the unconventional – while still remaining versatile. Below, a peek into some of Schicke’s inspirations and what he hopes to convey through his work.
What excites you most about photography?
I think the drive behind my shoots is to create something beautiful, inspiring, that can mold minds and play with concepts. The idea that, as image makers, we are able to spread a message is mind blowing. When I realised how influential my work was for some people, that’s when I wanted to change the way I work. I wanted to be more human, more real. More raw, but still create new concepts and themes.
What are you obsessed about these days, or that’s inspiring you a lot?
I’m obsessed with the idea of moving forward. I’d say I’m a workaholic in a sense. If I’m not working, I’m thinking about working. My job is kinda weird because it’s also my hobby, and I’m trying to have the best of both worlds. I’ve been diving into documentary photography lately. I think the magic of real life is also an amazing concept and can be so inspiring. I’m walking a lot, getting a lot in, breathing.
What is your on-set playlist like?
I don’t have a playlist, actually. I usually ask my models what music they like listening to, so they feel comfy. And, most times, I’m pleased and surprised with new and interesting artists. I also, for some reason, always end up playing either Uruguayan music or old Britney Spears.
Can you describe your visual style and how you arrived at it?
I don’t know how to! I like to think it’s still growing, evolving, and going somewhere. I’d say bold or real, maybe. I still have a lot to learn and discover, from both the technical and emotional sides of photography.
Have your experiences as a model affected the way you shoot with your subjects?
Modelling taught me a lot. I was able to see big names working and, in some ways, it’s refreshing and reassuring to see that these “big names” are also figuring things out as they go. It makes you feel like you’re doing things right. It’s like when you realise your parents are also human and they also make mistakes. And just because they’re your parents doesn’t mean they have an answer for everything. If I can say that I’ve learned something about subjects, it’s that they’re humans first, then models. Everybody has bad days, everybody has feelings. I think modelling helped me see that. I’ve had some bad experiences as a model, and I don’t want the models I work with to feel that way ever.
What do you hope your work says about beauty?
I hope it says “beauty is everywhere”, because it is. Beauty is so subjective and versatile. I hope I’m spreading that message loud and clear. I’m no one to say what beautiful is, but I do like sharing my take on it!
Can you tell us about the most triumphant challenges you’ve overcome as a photographer?
Overcoming things like depression and solitude. Neither of these concepts are negative if having it makes you take action on them. I shoot because it keeps me busy, keeps me out of bed and keeps me out there. Creating images makes me happy, and the drive of shooting made me move away from my hometown. I don’t think saying “I made it in NYC” or “I made it in London” is really a great concept. Big cities can be super lonely and I think photography saved me from being alone.
AN EXCLUSIVE PHOTO SERIES BY THE 25-YEAR-OLD PHOTOGRAPHER FOR OUR NEW BOHEMIA ISSUE ON THE NEW AND TRUE FACES OF BEAUTY. CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE SPREAD HERE.