An exclusive interview with fashion photographer Dylan Perlot. We talk about his childhood in France, the moment his life completely changed for him and what it takes to be a successful photographer in this industry.
BY AUSTIN BRALYNSKI
A lead by example story of an artist committing his life to doing what he loves most and stopping at nothing until his dreams have manifested. 25 year old fashion photographer, Dylan Perlot is the one more should follow. Born and raised in a small town of France, Dylan has always claimed his spot in the artistic world, even as a young kid. “I would make up stories in my head, I would make short films with my friends, or sometimes improvise photoshoots where I would position and style them. I’ve always been creative in many ways.” Whether it was arts books, fashion magazines, or ads in stores, Dylan has always seeked out a world of creativity where there sometimes was none. “Growing up in a small town in France away from major cities, being an artist wasn’t a thing or something career school advisors would tell me was a possibility. When you grow up, you have to follow that path everyone followed in order to have a good job and start a family early. However, I was never going to follow that path as most of the people around me did.”
Dylan decided to pave his own way. After leaving his hometown after high school in order to study film in Los Angeles, California, his passion quickly turned into a professional career. He says, “Moving to a major art city abroad at eighteen finally made me realize why I was so intrigued by art, fashion, and photos as a kid. I didn’t feel weird anymore, it all made sense suddenly.” His work has now gone on to be published in numerous publications such as; Vogue Italia, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, V Magazine, Numéro, Gay Times, Nylon, Schön!, and so many more. In 2020, his photography project “LOVE IS LOVE", also received international recognition with notable awards to add to the many worldwide wins of his experimental film “Life” in 2016. This is only a fraction of the many achievements accomplished by Dylan, but it is safe to say that following his passion was the right decision.
He now works in the very selective field of international fashion photographers, based in the US and Europe. He tells us, “creating has always been what I love doing most. Combining elements of people, fashion and places are my best way of storytelling. My inspiration comes from different kinds of mixed art mediums, from childhood memories in Europe and new life in America.” These many outlets have helped him to shape his own photography style known to be unique for its edge, sharpness and softness. This well crafted mixture of both masculine and feminine can be seen on our January digital cover, “Blasphemy” shot by Dylan himself. Dylan creates something that is somehow very raw, but also very deep. He says, "Creating an image takes some, but when you have the right elements, it all just flows perfectly together. I like to work with the contrast of things, the softness and the darkness brought together, simplicity and complexity or minimalism mixed with well thought out details.”
This mixture of elements is what separates Dylan from most photographers and why we love working with him so much. His unique capability to creatively adapt is truly a force to be reckoned with. He does not set limitations on what he is able to create and becomes the blueprint of what it takes to becoming a successful photographer. Dylan says, “I find beauty in things most people don’t. I like to push boundaries, my creativity and redefine the “norm.” I’m dedicated to photographing the world and how it really is, which is what draws me to your magazine and what you stand for.”
It is safe to say that Dylan plans on not slowing down anytime soon and will continue to do what he does best; create. Whether you are scrolling down social media or flipping through the pages of a magazine, you are bound to come across the beautiful work of Dylan Perlot.
Hi Dylan. First and foremost, we wanted to say thank you for taking the time to interview. How are you holding up during quarantine?
Thank you so much for having me! It’s definitely been a very strange time and I didn’t think 2020 would look like that. It’s a time to reflect on life and the world. It’s also like a pause to regenerate and come back stronger as an artist, but also to work on projects I didn’t have time for before.
Although this time may be difficult for a lot of us creatives, we have been given a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of our jobs and time to slow down. How have you been staying busy and creative during this time?
When it first started, I really wanted to do a FaceTime photo shoot which I had the opportunity to do for an Italian magazine with such an incredible team. We have to find new ways to create and to stay inspired especially during hard times like this. I have also been writing a script I’ve been wanting to work on for so long as well as finishing my editing to do list that used to be endless. I’m now really looking forward to create again in our new normal and put out the most amazing shoots!
“Creating fashion stories with models and teams from all different backgrounds and ethnicities help me bring the vision I intend. There is no other feeling like creating a piece of art with other creative people and watching that work become something the whole world is able to see."
We understand that you’re originally from France. Could you let us in a little about growing up there and what it was like?
I grew up in a small town of Eastern France where everyone knew each other. I remember hanging out with my friends outside in nature a lot and making the best childhood memories. Growing up there now brings me a source of inspiration while creating. Even though I wasn’t born in a creative environment, I kind of made my own around me.
You’ve been into the arts ever since you were a young kid. Is there any activity that you can recall that was your favorite?
I can recall making short films with my friends or my cousin. I have this memory of putting actors casting calls on the walls of my middle school so we could find actors for our next project. If I wasn’t doing that, I was taking pictures of everything I could find. I remember posing my friends all the time to create the best photo shoots for us. Little did I know at that time that this would be what I’ll be doing for a living.
You told us, “When you grow up, you have to follow the path everyone followed in order to have a good job and start a family early. However, I was never going to follow that path most of the people around me did.” Why did you choose to go against traditional expectations and pave your own way? Why was it so important to you?
I just internally knew this wasn’t going to make me happy. I didn’t know why, but I knew I needed more. It’s very hard to know when you’re young what you want do with your life and I decided that this was the time for me to explore all my options and go with my gut.
You are taking the world by storm! Your work has been published in numerous publications such as Vogue Italia, V Magazine, and Gay Times. This exposure is crucial for photographers to get their name out there and book more jobs. Is there a special shoot of yours that you’ll never forget?
I feel like all my shoots have something memorable in them. Each year I have new favorites. I do tend to love all my recent shoots in NYC or the ones where I got to travel abroad.
You said, “I like to work with the contrast of things, the softness and the darkness, simplicity and complexity…” Why is this an important recurring theme throughout your work? What messages do you have hidden inside your photos?
It’s very hard to explain, it’s always been challenge for me to choose between one thing or another as I can find something interesting in things that are complete opposites. I’m addicted to creating a photograph that is beautiful, but also powerful, and in a way I feel like I need to play between those opposites in order to achieve that. I find inspiration in so many art forms, and all my photos represent who I am in a way. I have so many messages hidden in my photos and if you put them all together, you kind of understand the person I am and where I come from.
You seem to be a shapeshifter when it comes to your work. You can shoot editorial and commercial, yet there’s something about each one where you input your own recognizable flare. Do you have any major influences on your work? What are some things outside of photography, where you draw inspiration from?
I think my work represents who I am or the more I grow and discover myself the better my art represents me. Life is a learning journey and everyday I find new inspiration. I find it in movies, music and fashion itself. Traveling also opened my mind so much over the last couples years, like I love taking memories from my childhood in Europe and mix them with the American culture I discovered when I traveled here. It sort of brings a new source of inspiration.
It was an honor to work with you on our January digital cover. It truly spoke the language of what Slippage stands for. How do you stand out in a crowd of people? What makes you unique and different?
I stand by what I believe in and don’t care as much as I used to about what people think of me. My art is kind of my shield against negativity. I started standing out from the crowd by simply growing up, having my own opinions and definitely when photography became my #1 priority as I wanted to make my voice heard.
"It’s what makes my heart beat so fast at night, I can not fall asleep thinking of the endless possibilities of creating and telling my own stories through photographs.”
You said, “It’s what makes my heart beat so fast at night, I can not fall asleep thinking of the endless possibilities of creating and telling my own stories through photographs.” This fire inside you seems like it will ever be put out, yet only grow bigger and brighter. What is some advice you can offer to anyone looking to step foot into this industry or even to keep going when things get hard?
My advice would be to shoot constantly, never stops, find your style and surround yourself with creatives you vibe with. Things can always get hard, even when you’re established, but you have to keep pushing and put your authentic self into your art.
Social media is a powerful tool in allowing practically the whole world to view your work. What is your biggest pro and con of social media for you?
The biggest pro for me would be that I can connect with anyone in the world just by sending them a DM. You can meet so many creative people on there and get inspired which is what I love to do. In my opinion, the con is that it makes the industry even more saturated than it already is, which makes the competition harder. That being said, I use it as fuel to challenge myself even more.
What do you have planned for your future? Any big goals or dreams you are looking to accomplish?
I’m really looking forward to be able to travel again and get new inspirations. My head is full of dreams and goals for this year, and I can’t wait to put out in the world some new work.
Any final words for those reading this interview?
If you find yourself trying to figure out who you are, remember that life is a learning journey. Photography was my personal way to find myself and differentiate myself from others. I hope to inspire as many people as the artists that inspired me to become a fashion photographer.