Working with Wig Tysmans
Working with Wig Tysmans, one of this country’s foremost lifestyle and commercial photographers is more like play than work these days. At my recent shoot for the fashion pages of this luxury issue, the atmosphere was relaxed and infallibly focused. The seamlessness of working with the best in the industry reminded your jotter of his first fashion shoot more than a decade ago.
Photo shoots then took much longer to finish. More than technical skills and keen eye for composition, taking good photographs required much patience because before a single shot was taken, the photographer had to take several Polaroid shots to check the focus, exposure, composition and whatever elements went within the frame.
In the analog days of photography, Wig worked with a six by six centimeter medium format Hasselblad, the Swedish brand that set the standard for the medium format in professional photography in 1948. A bit more of trivia on Wig’s choice of equipment would be that Hasselblad cameras were used during the Apollo Program missions when man first landed on the Moon. Almost all of the still photographs taken during these missions used specially modified Hasselblad cameras.
I was impressed; not with the equipment but with how Wig used it to capture light and shadow in fashion and with his compositions and eye for detail. Fresh from an art school then, I understood the timelessness of his frames. This first foray into fashion photography with Wig benchmarked my standard for this art form. In more than a decade of my editorship, I have since then been rarely excited of a photo shoot as I was for this luxury issue. For me, this is a reunion of sorts.