Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Patric Pop

NAME: Patric Pop - Pop like the art. Pop like the corn. Pop like the stars. Pop like the champagne corks to celebrate those big wins! - https://www.patricpop.com/
https://headshotcrew.com/patricpop

WHERE DO YOU LIVE? I live right in the heart of Geneva, Switzerland just a few steps away from the lake. Although it only has 200,000 residents, it's the country's second-largest city. Nevertheless, by headquartering hundreds of UN organizations, NGO's and multi-national companies, Geneva is one of the world's most international ones. You may know Switzerland for its famous chocolate, watches and banks and Geneva itself is often portrayed in movies as the location of a discreet private bank, where the shady characters hide their dirty money in numbered accounts. Unfortunately, you or I would need at least 1 million dollars to open such an account in a private bank :( Geneva was recently awarded the "honour" of being the world's most expensive city. I've heard of many an ex-pat getting sticker shock when they realize the cost of living here.

Geneva is surrounded on three sides by France. From the center to the city, you can get to the French border in 20 minutes on the tram. This close proximity to France makes it a tweaked competition for the local economy for example, a typical French salary can be one-third of an equivalent Swiss one. Many Genevans do their grocery shopping in France since it's significantly cheaper, even if it takes a good chunk of their Saturday to do. For headshot photography, this means that potential clients often are price-driven. It seems that they often have a preconceived idea for pricing and don't value quality so much. Many prefer the inconvenience of going elsewhere in order to spare some bucks. However, some tire-kickers occasionally come back to shoot with me in the end, as those cheap sessions elsewhere did not bring the same results.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS? Photography classes were part of my studies at Art Center College of Design in L.A., although portraits or headshots were not specifically covered in the curriculum. When I first started working as an Art Director, I was asked to take colleagues' headshots, ca. 2000. Besides directing other photographers for big professional shoots, I was often in charge of photographing packshots and small products for some communication concepts. Leaving the classic ad agency world to be in charge of marketing and communications, as well as CRM for a small family enterprise, ca. 2009, I started including headshots in my regular line of work. Inevitably, any communication project commissioned by an SME also included taking headshots. My focusing exclusively on headshots commenced ca. 2013/14. But, please don't remind me of those fledgling days! By my present standards that work was almost amateurish ;) Reflecting back now, I am amazed how much I have progressed in the field of headshot photography, thanks to Peter Hurley and my fellow buddies from the Headshot Crew!

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT? Is there anything else besides headshots? Seriously, I so enjoy taking them! Many photographers seem to lack enthusiasm when tasked with shooting headshots. For me, headshot work is absolutely an art form in itself. It starts with studying the subjects' facial features, discerning their personal energy and reading their entire body language and then working around their particular insecurities.

Having taught yoga to small and large groups for nearly two decades, I am able to focus on every person as an individual within that multitude. I am a people-person who is at ease in front of others and I want to understand the true nature of this unique human being in front of my lens looking back at me. I find that this is a process and I need to make smart choices in adapting my coaching techniques to draw the best of out him/her.

I like to think that with every client, I have a special moment of connection! Every single time that I present the final collection of pictures from our session(s) together, I cannot believe the progression made from where we started with the first image. Besides headshots, the next logical step was to shoot portraits. Today, I like exploring the grittier side of people in these types of shoots. Companies often ask me to take indoor shots of their offices as well, either with or without staff members. I enjoy the process of staging a room so that it shows well. It's a bit similar to finding a face's perfect angle. It's a lot of work to get everything right since one always need to think in terms of perspectives on the final image. But seeing the results on my Mac is always highly satisfying. In my everyday life, I like to document the little moments of life that make me smile, that spark my curiosity, that I can tell a story about. In street photography, I tend to catch details that no one else seems to notice.

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS? Anyone can set up lights in a specific way to get decent lighting. The difference in the quality of the imagery comes from coaching the subjects! Generally, my lighting setups vary between clamshell, parallel or triangular. I like to work with as few lights as possible. Depending on the facial features of the person and the style I want to achieve, the number of lights involved varies between 1 and 4. Indoors, I use studio strobes, the most basic Elinchrom gear with different light modifiers and reflectors that either act as V-flats or as sun bounce. Outdoors, it might be a simple Omega reflector with or without combining with an off-camera flash or simply using a bath towel as a scrim or a surfboard as a reflector.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC? I had been working in advertising agencies for many years as a Creative Director with numerous photographers from all fields. We shot cars, luxury objects, FMCG, packaging, portraits, campaigns with models and testimonials with the companies regular employees.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO JOIN THE CREW AFTER YOU FOUND IT? I was immediately sold on Peter's tips. Sure, there was this big-mouthed, brash New Yorker character - but I felt that he had something real to offer. Shortly after finding him, in 2013 I signed up for the then so-called PH2 program and got to know Peter as the fairest and kindest person that I know. Shortly after graduating from the BFAS (Bachelor of Fine Art of Shabanging), I became an associate alongside my buddies Maurice Jager, Pedro Jorge, Anita Watkins, and Richard Waine, to name just a few.

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU? I speak 5 languages. Depending on whom I'm talking to, I can seamlessly switch in and out of conversations in different languages which makes it great fun at dinners or networking events. However, never ever make me talk about gear at these parties! I am a strong proponent of making the gear you own work for you. To secretly prove my point, when I am invited to present a bid in-person to a company, I bring two 60x40cm (23x15in) prints of headshots taken ca. 2014. They were taken with a semi-pro camera that I had bought second hand for 300 bucks. I believe the resolution was 12MP or so. My potential clients always are super impressed with the work they see. And then they are even more impressed with the latest work using the highest quality Zeiss lenses.

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU? People often have a hard time wrapping their mind around the fact that a person need not be limited to a single role in life. I have so many talents to offer which can be a blessing and a curse. I have an extremely hard time labeling myself. Basically I should have at least 3-4 different LinkedIn profiles and websites depending on which talent I'm dipping into that moment: Creative Director? Headshot Photographer? Yoga Teacher? Brand Strategist? Oh and finally, I wish people knew how I love matcha, instead of coffee! I stopped drinking coffee cold turkey in 2013 after ending in the ER. Despite having been a total coffee aficionado, I have never touched a single drop since. I have that obsession with whisked matcha - a longer-lasting caffeine hit with the bonus of the mood-boosting theanine as well.

19 Comments

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Wow, what a fascinating profile! It makes me want to sit down with you, drink some matcha and have a good long conversation. (Have you ever experienced a Japanese tea ceremony?) I bet your understanding of the philosophies behind yoga really inform and enhance all your other roles. And I'd tell you how much I love that trippy distorted reflection self-portrait.

I'll even bring the Matcha Lava Cake!

Patric Pop's picture

Thank you Beth,
I really appreciate your kind words - always a sucker for matcha cakes and icecream : )
The trippy selfie bemuses me… I took this many years ago with a disposable waterproof Kodakcamera while surfing in Southern California…

Mikala Freitas's picture
Protégé

Great to meet you, a kindred spirit in the crew. If you come to NYC we can definitely enjoy some matcha followed by Dharma Mitra Yoga. Ive been drinking matcha and teaching yoga for 30 years. Nameste

Patric Pop's picture

Namaste Mikala!
When I am finally making it to NYC one of these days to receive my official prize for winning the Headshot of the Month… Will be glad to meet up with the local crew : )

Tod Eltzroth's picture
Protégé

Wow! This guy has done it all! In 5 languages no less.

Patric Pop's picture

Appreciate it Tod!
Although I think there's so much more to do and enjoy in our life. Or am I lost in translation here?

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

So great to learn about you Patric Pop, thanks Kim Dalton

Chris Marxen's picture
Mentor

Love this guy! My Mentor! Helped me get to Associate. I'll always be grateful. Thank you Patric!

Patric Pop's picture

Thanks for the shoutout Chris,
It was fabulous seeing you excel!
(And now you are mentor and I am still associate ; )

Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

How cool is this!

Claudia Hoag's picture
Associate

Very cool all that!!
BTW - How do you make whisked matcha?? I have matcha here for my "matcha balls", I put a bunch of stuff in the food processor, dates, cashew nuts, tahine, vegan protein powder, honey, I can't remember what else, but the main taste (and color) is from the matcha and I absolutely love those balls, they're my "chocolate".

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Just Google "traditional match tea recipe." Whisking the tea is an integral part of it. Here's one recipe: https://www.justonecookbook.com/how-to-make-matcha-japanese-green-tea/

Claudia Hoag's picture
Associate

Beth, all I remember from learning about it years ago was that it was complicated. I guess it still kind of is. LOL

Patric Pop's picture

Thanks for sharing the video Beth. Very nicely presented. And I am sure that my wise will enjoy seeing the other recipes on that website!
I usually whisk the dry matcha powder in the bowls to prevent any lumps in the the powder. And I find that by giving the top surface of the matcha 3/4 of my attention while whisking, I get a superfrothy “mousse”.

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

(I hope you didn't mind my jumping in here... Claudia was actually asking you, not me!)

Claudia Hoag's picture
Associate

Thanks for the link, Beth!

Patric Pop's picture

All good : ) I guess I am going crazy with what's going on…

Ryan Lassiter's picture
Protégé

These are so cool. I'm glad we're getting a behind-the-scenes! These are HSC family portraits, I guess!

Patric Pop's picture

We have many thousands more to get interviewed in here ; )