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On Set with Mahé Charpentier

March 8, 2018

I’m a 21 year old photographer from Montreal, Canada. I started photography when I was 14, during a trip to Russia with my mom. I started fooling around with her camera, and she was impressed when she saw the pictures I took. Later on my parents got me my first camera for Christmas, and I fell in love with photography immediately. I started doing portraits and landscapes for fun, trying to find my style - which took years.


Years went by, and eventually I was doing a Cinema, Media and Communications diploma in Montreal, which is when I realized that it was more than a hobby. I knew that it was what I wanted to do with my life, so I applied and got accepted at Spéos Paris Photographic Institute. I moved to Paris last September, completed my first year of professional photography and I am currently in my final year at the Photographic Institute.


As I mentioned earlier, it took years for me to find my style. At one point I almost gave up, but I finally found something I was pretty good at, which is nightlife photography. I've always been passionate about bright colours, and concert photography is the perfect way for me to express it. I've been a music photographer for about 4 years now, but I'd say the last year has really been the craziest one. I met so many people, had crazy opportunities come to me like going on a Europe tour with a group of musicians for example. I developed my own way of editing images and capturing moments. I am always trying to do something different than other photographers!


My main focus for now is really nightlife photography, but I also love portraits, street & travel photography. Maybe later on in my career I'll become a photojournalist, I think about it from time to time. 


I had a great experience being a 500px Studio photographer. I have to admit I was pretty nervous at first, but everything went perfectly. I would totally do it again, I really appreciated the fact that even if it was an "assignment" with specific requests, I was still able to be very creative and do things in my own way.


For new photographers who are starting out, I have to say one thing: never stop creating. Even if people judge your work, turn you down, try to discourage you or tell you to do something else - If it's really what you want to do with your life never let anyone tell you you can't do it. I know it sounds really cheesy but you have to be super stubborn to be a photographer. The same goes for finding work. When I look for work, instead of sending one email to one person, I send 100 emails to 100 different people. A lot ignore me, a lot say no, but a few will answer and that's how it all starts. Finally, don't neglect social media for job opportunities, especially as a photographer. Without Instagram I don't think I'd be anywhere near where I am today.


Check out more of Mahé's work at



500px account is also @shotbywozniak



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