The Rosewood Questionnaire

Picture Perfect with Pascal Dangin

By Peter Schlesinger  •    •  October 23, 2018

Picture Perfect with Pascal Dangin

By Peter Schlesinger  •  October 23, 2018


The Photo Whisperer answers the Rosewood Questionnaire and reveals his true nature as a traveler.

Since the early 1990s, Pascal Dangin has been a quiet but dominant force in the world of fashion photography. The master of retouching has worked his magic for the industry’s most celebrated photographers (Annie Leibovitz and Steven Klein are clients), the world’s highest-profile celebrities (Madonna turns to no one else), and the most prestigious publications (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair). Dubbed “the man who makes the picture perfect” by The New York Times, the Corsica native has been spending more time working behind the lens as well, photographing and directing campaigns for major brands including Balmain, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and, recently, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Dangin is the visionary behind our Rosewood Regulars series, including last year’s rocker chic images at Hôtel de Crillon and this year’s girlfriends getaway–inspired looks at Rosewood Mayakoba.

Here, the photo wizard answers our Rosewood Questionnaire.

What sparked your initial interest in photography?

When I was a teenager, I started noticing that reflections resemble an image with the boundaries of a frame. The mirror became my frames and my prints.

How does a shoot or campaign’s location affect your creative process?

Greatly. Geography, climate, architecture, customs, traditions form the basis of an image. All these elements dictate the sum that can be expressed in an image.

Style and fashion have always been linked to journeys.

 

With Hotel de Crillon’s #RosewoodRegulars campaign, you went with a strikingly modern, rocker look inside a historic property. What was the inspiration for that discrepancy?

It was not designed as a discrepancy but rather merely as a juxtaposition. A modern one. The new “regulars” come from all walks of life. I wanted to illustrate, albeit on a primary degree, the modernity of what Rosewood Hotels had in mind when envisioning their hotels.

How do you see travel and fashion shaping each other creatively?

Style and fashion have always been linked to journeys, when we can give our appearances the greatest examples of how we project ourselves. And the places we go are where we tend to meet and be introduced to many new people, expanding our horizons.

Where has been one of your favorite places to shoot a campaign, why?

Near San Diego, in Glamis, there’s an area of dunes reminiscent of an Arabian desert. I placed models and huge concert speakers lining up a pristine black road in the middle of a white expanse, creating a dystopian environment where music, a road and fashion can co-exist.

When you touch down in a new city, what do you look for first to get a sense of the destination?

The colors and the light. The people, the kids and their parents. The odors and street lights. The roads signs and the street. The hotel. In that order.

Any favorite moments of inspiration from recent travels?

I recently stayed in Hong Kong’s Central district, scouting for an upcoming shoot. I had my long lenses with me, and the flatness of the perspectives at long distances literally painted the volumes on one plane. The textures at sunrise were amazing, drawing the outline and structure of the building. And the colorful markets of Central, with their displays of products under fluorescent and vapor lighting reminded me of paintings by Paul Gauguin, André Derain or John Frederick Lewis.

Who’s your ideal travel companion, real-life or fictional?

My assistant in the real world. My private jet pilot in the fictional.

Tell us about a time when you were completely lost.

Driving a Mini Moke in the sugarcane fields on Barbados, accompanied by three top models. It took us hours well into the night to find our way back to the road.

What’s the one place in the world on the top of your wish list?

The top of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

What’s a place that you’re ashamed to admit you haven’t been?

I am not ashamed of any place I have not been.

If you could only visit one destination for the remainder of your life, what would it be?

An isolated island in the Mediterranean.

Do you have a favorite museum?

The Louvre. But equally important to me are The Prado in Madrid and the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

Where was your very first trip, and how old were you?

New York City. I was 17.

If you came back to life as another city, what city would you be?

I would have to create one.

Sum up your travel philosophy in one word

Enlightenment

Rapid Fire

Aisle or window? Window

Early bird or night owl? Night owl

Beach or mountain? Beach

City or countryside? Countryside

Sweet or savory? Savory

Plane, train or automobile? Plane

Film or digital? Digital

Travel planner or ad libber? A planner

Where to next? California

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Written By: Peter Schlesinger

10.23.18

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