For Chloe Gaget, 20, photography has always been a part of her life. Growing up, she sat through long beauty editorial shoots watching her father, photographer Bruno Gaget, click away working with clients like L’Oréal, Redken and Condé Nast.
Although she grew up as an unofficial photography assistant, she didn’t seriously pick up a camera until high school when she took her first photography course and instantly fell in love. Gaget jokes she “wasn’t great in the beginning,” taking pictures of things you may expect, like the “usual sunset pictures” or “random pictures of friends.” While perhaps her skill wasn’t all there yet, Gaget’s passion for photography was, and she studied photography at SUNY Purchase for two years, before enrolling in a more hands-on program at the New York Film Academy in 2020.
There, Gaget took a course titled Photographic Essay in which she was assigned the task of telling her story through photos. Inspired by the work of Elinor Carucci, who often inserts herself and family members into work to better tell her story, Gaget decided to recreate and modernize her father’s photographs, some of which adorned the walls of her home. She set out to emulate his work to test her technical skills and show off her unique style through a series titled “ReVision,” which she worked on between September 2020 and January 2021.
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Her process started with a hunt for images. She was limited in terms of what she had access to. Though she reached out to her estranged father during the process, he did not provide her with additional material. Therefore, her series is made up of 10 photographic recreations of original prints in her home or works she was able to find online.
Over the course of five months, Gaget fully immersed herself in the project. “I pinned up the photos on my wall, his original prints, and studied them every single day,” she said. “I would walk past them every single time I went in or out of my door and really just tried to understand where the light’s coming from, the shadows, how the makeup was done.”
Although these are recreations of her father’s original prints, Gaget’s work differs from his stylistically. She tapped her close friends to act as models and even posed in some shots herself. Gaget and her friends would huddle around mirrors doing their own makeup, referring back to the original images.
“The imperfections in my photos and how they’re obviously not real models, it’s very raw. It adds a certain emotion to it. It’s almost childlike in a way, because everything is not perfectly clean and it’s a little bit more abstract than his work was or is,” Gaget said. “That kind of just adds something more modern, and that’s also a part of me.”
To Gaget, this project was all about strength and growth, enabling her to hone in on technical skills like lighting and serving as a creative catharsis for her, as she explored her relationship with her father. The experience brought her closer to her sister and mother, too, whom she turned to for questions and advice. “My mom really helped me push this project forward,” Gaget said of her mother, who remembered details about Bruno Gaget’s work and his approach. She also is featured in one of the photos Gaget recreated.
Although this series, like much of Gaget’s work, explores a specific time in her life, she hopes it will inspire viewers and show them “a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“The big thing that I would want people to see is that any obstacle that happens throughout your life, you can overcome with time and effort,” Gaget said. “One thing that really stands true for this project is an overall beauty. Anything that you could possibly go through can come out on the other side as beautiful.”