Staying Creative in Quarantine with Tibods

Antwerp-based photographer Tibods offers a glimpse into his creative life during self-isolation. 

It would be an understatement to call Thibault (Tibods) De Schepper a veteran in the photography world. Active in the field for more than a decade, Tibods has played a vital role in shaping the minimal lifestyle aesthetic as we’ve come to know it today. With clients ranging from IWC Watches and Moët & Chandon to Bang & Olufsen and A Lange & Söhne, the Antwerp-based lifestyle photographer puts forth his signature style that’s resonated with so many across the world.

Keeping routine and staying productive is important during self-isolation. We caught up with Tibods to explore what it means to carry forward during a time of uncertainty, how to stay motivated during quarantine and what he’s looking forward to once the lockdown ends.

Tibods - LYFSTYL

What does an average day look like for you nowadays? 

Every day feels like a day off from before this crisis. Working as a freelancer always allows you to make your own plans and fill your agenda how you feel like, so I’m pretty used to having a couple of days without work every week. So quite the same: early start with freshly brewed coffee, emails, a quick run, exercising and a shower. I always cook lunch at home when I’m off, so my cooking skills improved. Then I read, watch movies or even give a second or third edit to old material. 

Tell us a bit about your home studio. 

My home studio is actually my home. Being a lifestyle photographer, I don’t really do studio work, happens every now and then for clients who need some pack shots, but mainly my work is focussed on real-life situations. I designed and decorated the whole house so that it could be used in many shoots, most of the rooms are a white canvas that I can easily transform to fit a mood or concept, even though I used to travel a lot before, I can luckily keep rather busy at home.

How are you staying productive during the quarantine? 

Social contact helps me stay productive and creative. Exchanging movie tips with other photographers, as movies always provided me with the best inspiration, or simply regularly updating each other on work-related things. I have taken this time to try to alter my personal photography style a bit, not to move away from what I was doing, but to find the next steps!

How has working from your home studio impacted your photography? 

The impact is rather small. For some clients, I can just do what I did before from home, so they keep me busy and in my free time I did make some meaningful connections with new potential clients. Being restricted to one place actually pushed me even further in creativity, in order to respect every client’s visual needs, it’s a process I was afraid of and finally tend to enjoy much more than I thought.

Tibods - LYFSTYL

What’s the thing you love most about your home studio? 

Natural light. I have six huge windows on the first floor, two in the staircase and one big window per room upstairs, which allows me to play with blinds and curtains to soften the light or create shadows, but not have to use flashes or spots. 

Any tips on staying creative while at home?

What worked best for me was to try to work on something new. I have been using light much more than before and my creativity around it has been pushed as light is different every day. Thank you Belgian weather!

What’s been inspiring you lately? 

Noir movies. Hence the use of light, contrast and shadows. 

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since the lockdown started? 

Having a routine isn’t bad after all. Every slight alteration to the plan feels like a surprise. I could just have said it made me realize how much I can enjoy the little things again!

Tibods - LYFSTYL

What are you looking forward to once the lockdown ends?

The first thing that comes to mind is travelling again, which, for me, means seeing my friends and working on new projects. Belgium will be ending the lockdown in steps, I should be able to host a dinner with a couple of friends over two weeks, that’s another thing to look forward to sharing my new cooking skills haha. 

Any projects you’re currently working on? 

Quite a few yes. Mainly focussing on the shoot of the new styles of Oliver Peoples and some editorial work for IWC watches, plus many test shoots for new contacts. I have been productive, being creative also means finding new ways to work around the conditions and restrictions we get to live with. 

Words by Mo Topping – Explore Tibods work here.

Creative Director