Marc Baptiste: Fashion Mogul

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I am Marc Baptiste. This is how I made it.

Growing up in Haiti, it can only make you stronger and the way you look at life in general. To me, the way it changed me, I pushed my work with honesty, colourful, with joy, excitement, and beauty.

I grew up with a bunch of cousins so we always act like we’ve got things to do so it can help you to enhance how you see life and how you see people. And to me, that’s got a great effect on my career and my life.

In ninth grade, I worked in the photography class, with a photography journalist, Mrs. Danawitz. Love at first sight. I walked in. That was it.

Actually the day of my graduation, I was on an assistant job with this Italian photographer which happened to do fashion which lasted six months. And then, I moved to Paris with a girlfriend of mine who used to model. And then, that’s where it started.

Two years after, 1990 to 1994, Elle Magazine hired me to do the runway show for them. By that time, I met a lot of people along the way that helped and most especially for the biggest magazine in the world. We built it up.

So when I started the collection, I moved on to the next phase. Next phase, magazine advertising, album covers, and one of the most successful album cover that I shot was of Fuji’s The Score, under the cover of The Score, which sold millions of records. After that I did Miseducation and then Baduism and then they just keep going.

People trust you enough to take their pictures. Out of respect, you just got to give 100%. And me, it’s about the energy. It’s about the 100%, what I bring to the shoot – energy, beauty and fun because if it’s too boring, then you get boring images. I’m all about getting to capture beauty in the real sense of the word. Fun, energy, and a lot of respect is a mutual thing. I give them my energy; you give me your back.

Every shoot brings different energy, especially when you deal with people. Me, the way I like to prepare for a shoot is to do my homework, Google the person, or find a location, talk to the stylist and see which direction we are going with the shoot because at the end of the day, it’s all about collaboration, especially in a fashion shoot.

My style is cinematic beautiful and sexy and bring tons of fun and energy. My signature really is what I get out of people – the energy that I convey, that I bring out of them. You know, I don’t take no for an answer. I’ll do whatever it takes until I get my shot. It’s not over until I get my picture. I always push my subject but to enhance what they bring to the shoot, basically, just a lot to be themselves but yet push them to be the best.

I’m a people person. I love people. To me, if you open with people, they usually open to you back. If you respect them, they respect you back. It’s all about respect and the love of what I do and the huge respect I have for all my subjects. But if you truly love what you do, you’re going to persevere. You’re going to climb any mountain top and just keep going and keep pushing yourself to greater heights.

When you pick a career path, that’s not even a career. That’s part of you. It’s not even work. You do it because you love it and I love photography true and true. That’s why I focus on it.

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