VIP: Hugo Comte Nominated by Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa jumps in the journalist seat to spotlight her friend and creative collaborator, photographer Hugo Comte

Dua Lipa You’re the first person I’m ever interviewing. I’m kind of winging it, but I’ve been interviewed a lot of times, I feel like I know what to do [laughs]. You come from a background in architecture. How has that affected your perspective and approach [to photography]?

Hugo Comte It opened my mind, opened my eyes.

DL I feel like you’ve nailed that form of perspective and depth so well, and when people see your work, it’s very you, you know?

HC I think it’s the urge of taking something that is rooted in reality and [capturing] it in [an image]. I like this feeling of this in-between territory.

DL What inspired you to pursue photography?

HC I didn’t know anything about this business and this world. Then, step by step, I was like, “Okay, I’m not in school. I have to learn.” I started to research what was done in the ‘80s and ’90s. And basically, that’s what inspired me. I thought if I want to be the best, I have to be inspired by the best. I would look at pictures from [the late’90s], [study] every single detail, and try to [capture] this energy. When I started, in photography, I was obsessed with shooting the [old school] girls. That was the idea, hearing their anecdotes and getting it right.

DL Who’s your favorite artist or photographer?

HC Thinking about artists in general, the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. He is really the one that changed my life and opened my eyes. I was listening to interviews with him and I thought, “Wow. How is it possible to have that many layers in your mind?” You discover that life can be many different things and this is creation. And in photography, Steven Meisel is obviously the best; he’s also my favorite. He’s a genius. [His work] is magic.

DL Who are you most excited to work with?

HC I really want to do a series of family pictures of the Kardashians and Wests. I want to take three or four pictures like a composition; capturing a group with the kids, creating this major iconic family picture of them.

DL I feel like when you say things out loud, you almost manifest them and when they go into print, it’s like a form of manifestation. Do you believe in manifesting?

HC Of course. I’ve been seeing three numbers for a year: nine, seven, two. It’s even on my passport. They’re postcode numbers of Martinique in the Caribbean. It’s where half of my family [are] from. I’ve been twice, when I was ten years old, and I see these numbers all the time. I think I need to go there. Those islands are very mystical. Now when I speak about it, I have goosebumps.

DL What’s your star sign?

HC Here we go! I was waiting for that question! [laughs] I am an Aquarius, and I think that I’m Libra moon and Taurus rising.

DL I’m a Libra rising and Cancer moon, so I’m severely emotional and all over the place. Then my sun sign is Leo. I’m a big mess. Do you ever read your astrology? On one of our shoots, I made you get [the app] Co–Star. I’m obsessed with it.

HC I respect so much [of] this. I believe in it, but I just don’t want to know. I’m just going to wake up in the morning and go for it.

DL What kind of music do you like to listen to on set?

HC “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak.

DL Can we talk a little bit about how you love to keep one song on loop for each shot?

HC It’s always based on an attitude. If you have five girls and boys, they each need to have their own attitude and direction. When it’s a single face, it needs to be intense. I think music is the easiest way to get someone in the mood. It really opens my feelings, I’m more sensitive and I also get in the mood. Because of this music, I’m going to be able to capture the right moment.

DL It creates a world out of every single set up. What’s your go-to snack when you’re on set?

HC That’s easy. A ginger beer and blueberry Naked bar.

Discover More