Photographer: Nino Batista @ninobatista Model: Alex Eissinger @alex_eissinger @TNG Models
Nino, could you please briefly introduce yourself, and tell us about your first encounter with photography? Who has influenced you to start taking photographs?
I grew up with photography, thanks to my father. Since I was born, photography has been a part of my life to some degree. I always used to look at fashion and lifestyle magazines and ads when I was young, and always wondered what doing that sort of work would be like. After being everything from a graphics designer to a musician, I eventually took on photography seriously in my early 30’s.
From your point of view, what are the most difficult aspects of professional fashion photography?
The most difficult thing to truly grasp in fashion work, or really anything similar in portraiture, is the abstract energy needed to make an image of work of art and not just “a picture of someone”. All the technical things in the world fall away when you truly come to realize that the mood, emotion and energy of a portrait is what literally makes or breaks it.
As the expert you are, what are the unique features of this kind of photography and the keys to master it?
Being able to have a strong grasp of the production side (styling, shooting, lighting, composition, retouching, etc) is vital for one main reason: So you can focus on the art. While there is always something new to learn in photography of any kind, being able to work with a subject on set to produce these images really, truly comes into its own when the technical is no longer your main hurdle. Crafting something beyond a technically perfect image is harder to me than anything else. It’s an exploration, an expression, and not just a procedure.
In your opinion, how beauty is perceived at the present age? What does photography mean to you personally and what really makes a woman beautiful?
Beauty is beauty, and often frighteningly subjective. However, the perception of strength is directly objective. When an image comes across as strong, as powerful, there is something more to the shot than simply beauty. For me, beauty is the delivery as I enjoy experiencing it, but strength is the intent as I enjoy capturing it.
What type of models do you prefer to shoot with? Why?
A subject that express something more than “stand there and look pretty”. Mercifully, beautiful models are everywhere. I gravitate to those who can clearly convey more than characterless beauty in frame.
Are there any other photographers you lookup? Who?
Not as such, to be honest. I am inspired by so many, and it varies day to day. Browsing social media, I can experience hundreds of artists, and I take something from each.
You are going about conducting a photoshoot, could you take us through the typical planning process for your images?
I try to put together a mood board, or inspiration image collection, to share with the models. But first and foremost, the location is everything. Even if its a commercial studio, that dictates my core approach more than anything as I start to get an idea of what I want to create. If it a collaboration, I work steadfast to ensure all parties involved are contributing to ideas. A proper, balanced collaboration ensures everyone on board is motivated and inspired to do the project.
In addition to being sharp and well lit, your photos are beautifully edited. What is your retouching/production philosophy?
I can wax technical on retouching all day, to be honest. It is, however, not so much “fixing” as it is “finishing.” A proper retouch is how a photographic artist finalized their work, and usually helps define the artist’s style more than anything else. Retouching is not an annoyingly necessary evil as some may believe, it is genuinely how an image is properly completed.
What would be your tips/advice to models looking to expand their portfolio?
Take every collaboration more seriously than your jobs. If you’re not being paid to sustain your life / lifestyle, then there had better be a major benefit to the collaboration, no? Take on collaboration with zeal and passion, and look to step your portfolio up with each one you do. Additionally, if you are a photographer or model looking to expand your portfolio by making an investment in it, then hire the artists/models you feel will move it forward the way you want. It will come back to you one day.
What projects are you working on next, and what are your goals for the future?
I am moving, or trying to move, firmly into the editorial space a bit more. Except, in my own style. Years of traditional glamour has been fun, but I am eyeing different aesthetics and styles this year.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
Generally speaking my website, as it leads to my social media accounts and email, etc. ninobatista.com