Who am I?
My name is David Sdika, I am based in Brussels where I work as a professional photographer. I am specialized in children and family lifestyle photography but also in editorial and studio corporate portraits.
Born in France, I grew up in Brussels, where I studied to become a veterinarian. At that time, photography was already my passion. I moved to Paris in 1999 and worked for two years as an assistant to great photographers at Magnum Photos agency. I then became a freelance photographer before moving to Brussels in 2007.
Photography is the way I found to fulfill my curiosity and interest in people and their lives. Showing the best face of people, beautiful without any artifice, naturally.
This has become my mission in a world where images are everywhere.
The film photography process takes its name from the silver salts used to create the light-sensitive surface on the film. These silver grains shape the image once the film is exposed to light.
In practice, film photography was used by the pioneers of photography in the 19th century, but also by the great portraitists and reporters throughout the 20th century. Nowadays, digital photography has largely replaced the processes used in the past. Despite this, some photographers still use analog film and cameras.
Is an apple better than a pear? “It’s just different,” concludes the fruit lover.
Digital photography is a revolutionary technology that has democratised photography. No need to buy or develop expensive film, no limit to the number of photos you can take, extraordinary image quality, easy sharing on the internet and social networks…
For me, shooting with film is not a question of looking back to the past. It is a choice, a philosophy. Digital is fast, I like slowness and contemplation. Digital is very sharp, I like what is organic, clean, but not too much. Digital is impalpable and in the cloud, I like what one can touch, and sometimes even feel.
So I made a choice. I shoot film with my 1950s cameras, develop the film and then scan it to provide my clients with high definition digital files as well as beautiful paper prints if they wish.
I also use digital photography a lot, especially for colour work such as professional headshots.
Once developed, the films are scanned in high definition. Each image is carefully taken care of in terms of colours, contrast, exposure, etc. However, I don’t do any retouching like you see on magazine covers! Just subtle retouching to erase a fly on the wall or a small stain on a jumper.
My clients’ needs are various, so budgets fluctuate with the type of service required. First, I need to understand your expectations before making a proposal based on the expected result.
For your information, you should know that a corporate headshot session done in a studio costs 350 euros (excl. VAT), a child’s portrait session or a lifestyle family photo shoot at home or in the place of your choice costs 470 euros (incl. VAT and transport in Brussels).
Flash is a very powerful and creative tool. Unfortunately, it affects spontaneity too much. Here again, I made a choice by working with natural lighting This involves shooting between sunrise and sunset. I only use flash for LinkedIn profile pictures taken with studio lighting.
Most of my clients had never been in front of a professional photographer’s camera before. Often I heard “I’m not photogenic, I’m always nervous when someone takes a picture of me, how will you handle it? ”.
For several years I took photos in the fashion industry, with professional models who knew how to pose perfectly and hold the pose for hours. That’s their job. These models offered what was expected of them, but in no way did they expose themselves. They all wore a mask. Is this what being photogenic is all about?
To me, photogenics is measured by our ability to be comfortable when the photographer presses the shutter.
We all can do it!