We had the good fortune of connecting with Riccardo Constant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Riccardo, how do you think about risk?
When you grow up in a country like Haiti, you learn how to fend for yourself at a very young age, especially when you come from a low-income family. I had to do with what I had, and it wasn’t much. When the massive earthquake hit in 2010, the family house collapsed, and I lost everything. I could’ve gone to live with some relatives, but I didn’t. I decided to take a chance on myself. The earthquake destroyed the city, and the casualties were innumerable, and here I am with no money, no shelter. The only things I didn’t lose were my dreams, skills, and motivation, and I used that drive to build myself back up. It was a complex and challenging process, but that’s what got me to Los Angeles. When I moved here a couple of years ago, I had to start all over again; I had to start at the bottom of the food chain. I worked minimum wage jobs for about a year, and something didn’t feel right; I felt miserable. Then I realized I can’t be doing ordinary things and expect extraordinary results. So I quit my job and took a leap of faith without a safety net. A wise man once said, ” To get what you didn’t have, you must do something you never did.” and it became my motto ever since. Now I’m a full-time photographer and a film student, and I love it. More clients are reaching out, I’m building my own creative network, and it’s fantastic. I’m incredibly grateful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After my home in Haiti was destroyed by an earthquake eleven years ago, I picked up a camera and I began to grasp the core of the human experience. I quickly realized that making women sparkle and helping them feel at ease in their own skin was my genuine calling. I grew up in a household of women and too often I witnessed the damages low self-esteem can do. Up until today, in this modern society, women are sexualized and objectified in the media, and when they claim their body and sexuality they get shamed for it. I felt like I needed to do something about this hypocrisy and Boudoir was one of the best ways to get it done. A boudoir shoot is an excellent way to honor a woman by capturing some stunning images that showcase her true vivacity and beauty. It was not an easy process and the most challenging step was to unlearn thousands of years of sexism to overcome the issue. It has to be done from the inside out, and if you don’t understand how a woman feels you simply won’t be able to bring out her sensuality and I believe that’s what sets me apart as a photographer and my goal is to motivate women to discover and identify their own unique beauty.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big fan of good food, even though I’ve been here for only 2 years, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with mexican food and the best Tacos I ever had is from a Taco Truck on Hungtinton Dr by Food 4 less called La Golondrina tacos. I would definitely take my friend to San Diego for a day, we would have breakfast at the Breakfast Republic, they have a mean benedict egg, I usually take the Jurassic Pork. Since I’m a Caribbean boy, I love the ocean and so far Mission Beach would be my next destination on the list. On our way back from San Diego, I would stop at Fishbonz for a refill, in Costa Mesa. I would take them to Mt Hollywood Trail for a Hike to see the Hollywood sign. next on the list is Santa Monica pier and we could have a bite at Seafood on the Pier. I would also take them to Venice and El Matador state beach, LACMA, The Broad museum, the Walk of Fame and all the major touristic attractions. I’m not much of a dancer but If my friend wants to have some fun and have a drink, I can take him/her to La Cita bar on S Hill St next to Grand Central Market.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many thanks to my wife and best friend, Nyka. She’s always been supportive of my craft since day 1. Hugue Robert Marsan and Edz Antoine, two excellent photographers from whom I learned a lot. Veronique Craan, Sophia Stransky, Suyen S. Bertrand and Nicholas Menos, and my friend Stephanie Siomara. My crew Remontas Demervil, Joseph Wesner, Jemps Civil, Calito Saint Fleur, Val Kemberlee, Wadner Joseph, and Frederick Alexis. There were two books that set my mind on the right track when I needed it the most. The secret by Rhonda Byrne, and The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read The secret right before the earthquake of 2010 and thanks to this little gem, I discover the power of the will and it guided me through hardship like the northern star in a moonless night. The four agreements opened my eyes and helped me become a better person. The first agreement alone taught me the power of the word and how to turn it into blessings. These two books sort of complement each other and I truly believe that the message they convey can help anyone on a self-discovery journey.