Today we welcome our second guest, professional fashion photographer Chris Nicholls.
Born in England and raised in Canada, Chris Nicholls has emerged as one of the most sought after fashion photographers, splitting his time between New York and Toronto. Having worked with the likes of Taylor Swift, Kate Moss, Kate Perry, Christina Ricci, Olivia Wilde and Nina Dobrev Chris’ work has been featured in many famous magazines including Elle, Flare, Fashion, Wish, Scene and Essence. His advertising clients include M.A.C. Cosmetics, La Senza Lingerie, Lord & Taylor, The New York City Ballet, Birks/Mayors, Clairol, Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, Lida Baday, Alfred Sung, and Badgley Mischka.
The Black & White Idea: Hi Chris, it’s such a great pleasure speaking with you. Please tell us about your background and what inspired you to become a Photographer?
Chris Nicholls: My grandfather was a photographer and my father was always very interested as well.
My father bought me my first real camera and taught me the basics.
In the beginning I liked that photography was something that I could do by myself. I liked the idea of creating something in isolation and then showing people the result.
TBWidea: Why did you choose Fashion Photography?
CN: I was working for a fashion shooter and we always had a lot of fun on shoots.
I had never considered fashion as an option before that.
I came to realize that I like having a crew on set. I enjoy the interaction and collaboration that it brings.
TBWidea: What celebrities have you worked with in the Fashion and Beauty industry?
CN: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Olivia Wilde, Kate Moss, Daria Werbowy, Christina Ricci, Clare Danes, Beck, Nina Dobrev and many more.
TBWidea: And who impressed you the most?
CN: I am not so impressed by celebrity culture. Everyone is beautiful in different ways. All people, including celebrities, have good days and bad.
Having said that, Taylor was really nice.
TBWidea: What is the most important factor in making a good photograph?
CN: It’s obviously important to have the right elements. It sounds ridiculous to say it, but to take a beautiful photograph, make sure you have a beautiful subject.
TBWidea: What does Black & White Fashion Photography mean to you?
CN: Black and White is one unique view of the world. We don’t see in B&W, so it is an abstraction of reality.
TBWidea: Is there any of your black & white pictures you think is the best picture ever taken or has a particular meaning for you?
CN: I do quite love this image. It was shot for The New York City Ballet. It was incredibly hard to shoot. The lighting is all strobe, imitating natural sunlight.
It took us two days on a sound stage on Long Island to get the lights set up. Technically very hard and aesthetically very beautiful. Perfect.
TBWidea: Do you have a passion for fashion aside from your work?
CN: I very much respect the art and fabrication of good clothing design. I don’t buy or wear designer clothes, though.
I am more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy.
TBWidea: Do you consider someone as your idol in the Fashion Photography Industry?
CN: There are so many great photographers! Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Mert and Marcus and Craig MacDean, to name a few.
TBWidea: When it comes to Fashion…US or Europe?
TBWidea: What projects are you working on right now?
CN: We have a lot of regular clients and shoot a lot of retail to pay the bills.
I just came back from shooting in Bermuda. We did some nice shoots in LA about a month ago.
We are doing a fun shoot with Slinky’s as props tomorrow. On the weekend we are going to NY to shoot some videos.
TBWidea: And the last one: Ask yourself a question and answer it! 🙂
CN: “Let’s imagine our next shoot not in colour and also not in B&W. What is the third option?”
I don’t know the answer, but I am looking into it. I will let you know when I find it…
TBWidea: Ha! That was a good one! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!