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‘Revenant’ photographer shares career tips with students

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“The Revenant” still photographer Skyped with the Cosumnes River College photography department on Feb. 3.

Kimberley French is a well-known and respected still photographer in the film industry. She has worked on countless films such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “Red Riding Hood” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

French’s newest project was photographing for the movie “The Revenant” starring Leonardo Dicaprio. She captured pivotal scenes of the actors on and off-screen.

Photography Professor Kathryn Mayo said she was very excited that French agreed to Skype with the aspiring photography students.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to be able to connect to an artist they wouldn’t normally have due to the budget,” said Mayo. “Someone who is already in the business like French can give the students insight and inspire them.”

To some students and professors, talking to a well-established photographer can be an honor.

“I get to see the personality of the photographer and you understand the photographer’s process when you get to talk or skype with them,” said photography major Kim Duhamel.

For some it was just a great experience to talk to such a well-known photographer.

“She’s so amazing,” said Photography Professor Patty Felkner. “She is one of the most important photographers of our country and it’s so timely.”

French started off like any other aspiring photographer by becoming an assistant to a photographer already in the field of photography she wanted to pursue. She was mentored by photographer Phil Hersee, who encouraged her and also had a love for helping young photographers get exposed to the industry.

She was very inspired by Hersee’s love of helping, so she joined the organization Cameras for Change.  The organization teaches photography to various communities around the world and is sponsored by Nikon.

French is now known by Hollywood as one of the main people to call to capture still photography. Before, she would have to do whatever job was presented to her due to the competitive nature of the field.

“The reason I’m successful is because I focused on one thing for 20 years,” French said. “If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Do what moves you.”

The still photographer said she has lived by the rule, “a person’s measure of success should come from where you started to where you are, rather than using the world to measure your success.”

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‘Revenant’ photographer shares career tips with students