Nicko Baills was born in St. Raphaël, France on 12/24/1994, after a year, his family moved to the province of Malaga, where he grew up. He currently reside in Málaga City, Spain. His desire for artistic expression manifests itself from an early age. When he emancipated, he started photography. His training is largely self-taught by circumstances. Thanks to this he have known how to experience himself freely. With effort and desire everything is possible.
He started his career in 2014 practicing with friends and family. Little by little he was connecting with professionals who taught him a lot about this art.
In 2015 he was able to face a more professional photographic equipment – as a result of that he began to ask himself what kind of photography he wanted to do. He chose the world of portraits. Above all, the self-portrait. His photography is expressive and dramatic with a cinematographic touch. His source of inspiration is based on personal experiences, music and films.
In 2016 he created his first individual exhibition #DEBUT, exposing, as the name suggests, his portraits throughout the first two years.
In 2017 He started an individual project: “Relatively Ephemeral …” an exhibition that talks about the self-reading of feelings found in the love field, analyzing the language of our subconscious-how we react to internal emotions and where they lead us. The project was short and composed of a mixture of personal texts, photography and structures applied to it in a conceptual way to address the meaning in its entirety.
London Prestige Interview with Photographer Nicko Baills
London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?
Nicko Baills: I was born in France, on the Côte d’Azur, but my family is from Perpignan. I grew up in “La Costa del Sol”, Málaga. Since I was a child I always liked to photograph; in family events, trips, etc…. I always had an interest in the creative world. If I wasn’t drawing, I was singing or dancing. In fact, I keep doing the same thing now and I still don’t make any money for it, what a pity!
London Prestige: How long have you been a photographer?
Nicko Baills: I don’t really know if I like to consider myself a photographer. Technically I am, but I like to combine other disciplines and techniques in my work. I consider myself a visual artist, almost plastic. I’ve been taking serious photography for four years. I’ve been fooling around with the cameras of my family and friends since I was a kid, so I’ve been one since birth, I guess.
London Prestige: What type of photography are you interested in?
Nicko Baills: At first, fashion photography caught my attention. After a little probing, I realized that it’s not what I like the most because of everything behind it… As time goes by I realize that for me the most important thing is the authentic, the natural and the spiritual. The story of a gaze conveys more to me than showing clothes that will no longer wear next season. One gaze is eternal. So I opt for portraiture – it may be related to fashion, of course, but my style is more artistic, dramatic and theatrical.
London Prestige: How would you describe your style?
Nicko Baills: Changeable (haha). I change a lot of style because I am always experiencing… But the essence is the same. I consider myself autobiographical, dramatic, personal and a little kitschy.
London Prestige: What do you consider the most important breaks in your career and why?
Nicko Baills: One of them when I traveled to London to work with a stylist friend who called me to make a look-book. It was a nice experience… But that’s when I realized that fashion wasn’t what I wanted to do.
Also my last exhibition, “Relatively ephemeral…” which dealt with the reading of inner emotions in the field of love, the interpretation of the subconscious, etc…. I have learned to give great value to the work involved in exposing myself to others. Preparing such a personal and special exhibition is very stressful, but it is also a form of positive personal growth.
London Prestige: What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done?
Nicko Baills: All the pictures I take are interesting to me. I wouldn’t know what to say. Basically, I get very carried away by the moment and I am always alert because there is always a key moment to make the ideal photograph.
But I dare say the shooting with my mother was the most interesting. We organized it at her cottage where there were lots of cottons fields and seeing my mother as a model at the dawn and among cottons through my lens is priceless. I know she was very excited about it and I confess she gave me a little bit of embarrassment at first because she is my mother. It’s also a way to break some barriers with her, so it’s cool. I’d say they’re the most special ones I’ve ever made.
London Prestige: Who’s your favorite model you’ve done a shoot with and why?
Nicko Baills: Um… do I have to answer this question? (Haha) Myself. Because with me I do what I want, I can transform myself without limits, without modesty. I like to control the situation and it’s easier with me. But if I have to choose someone: My friend Nuria Ortega, is a mega artist… A super singer and performer. I love her because she knows how to capture what I have in my head. Working with her is very fluid and magical.
London Prestige: What cameras and lighting gear are you currently using?
Nicko Baills: I started with a Nikon D3200…. I’ve been using my canon 6D for 3 years now and I’m very happy. I usually use natural lighting. But anything that brings light is fine with me. In the future when I can afford a good lighting system I will buy some good flashes but I’m telling you, not having a studio with super expensive light bulbs is not limiting at all. I’ve taken pictures lighting up with a normal light bulb. Therein lies the key to creativity.
London Prestige: Do you have an all time favourite camera/lens combination?
Nicko Baills: I honestly don’t think much of the camera. As long as it’s got a good sensor, it’s fine with me. I currently use the 6D canon and my 50mm 1.8 fixed lens. I would like to try Sigma’s Art lenses… in the not too distant future, I hope.
London Prestige: How much do you research your subjects before photographing them?
Nicko Baills: It depends. There are days when I wake up, I call a friend to meet to take pictures and we just let ourselves go for the moment. And others in which I have an idea and I express it to the maximum, pointing out ideas, locations, researching the history of that idea, the concept, the time, the aesthetics, the colors…
London Prestige: How important are competitions and award shows? Have you taken part in any?
Nicko Baills: It’s not relevant to me at the moment. I feel a little different from that kind of presentation. Maybe I’m wrong.
Nicko Baills: I am a freelance person, I have my own crazes and my own way of working…
London Prestige: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Nicko Baills: Umm… I think my greatest achievement is to notice that little by little I’m beginning to have more visibility. To have positive feedback and see that people with great talent and experience support me in everything I do and believe in me. That’s my greatest achievement: meeting wonderful people through my work.
London Prestige: Who would you like to photograph next?
Nicko Baills: I’d love to photograph the singers who mark me so much with their music every day. Music and musicians are my fetish models. I’m passionate about music and sometimes I sing, so I think I have an affinity for that kind of artist. There is a French singer who transmits a lot to me, her name is Juliette Armanet, she has a different beauty and I would love to portray her someday.
Her music could define my photographic style.
London Prestige: Who/what inspires you?
Nicko Baills: Many things, anything… in particular the everyday life, the sentimental drama, the subconscious, the music, the cinema, the sea, the sky and the countryside…
London Prestige: Have you traveled much for work? Do you have a favorite location?
Nicko Baills: Not much so far, I’m just getting started. My favorite location, which I have not yet used to photograph for certain circumstances, is the town where I spent my childhood vacations. It’s in the French Pyrenees, it’s called Prats De Molló and it’s simply magical.
London Prestige: Do you have a dream client?
Nicko Baills: Yes, every client who buys my work…
I usually work for myself. I don’t do commissions anymore. Now I’m focused on working for galleries.
London Prestige: Favorite quote?
Nicko Baills: Isabelle Adjani’s phrase in the film Subway where she ends up saying “Je vous emmerde tous” which basically means Fuck You All.
It’s just wonderful in context.
London Prestige: Which other photographers or artists do you really admire?
Nicko Baills: Well, Honestly ,I’ve never been one to look at other photographers, but I really admire Pierre et Gilles, Jean Marie Perier, Silvia Grav, Nadia Lee, Bran Sólo, Xavier Dolan and my musical idols, which are many, I would be there until tomorrow to mention them.
London Prestige: What is your advice for aspiring photographers?
Nicko Baills: Do whatever the fuck you want, let yourself go, listen to yourself, set no limits, dream big and love a lot. Don’t be afraid to show your feelings about what you do, show yourself as you are in your work… You are the owner of the essence you cause around you.
London Prestige: Your current projects and future plans.
Nicko Baills: I am now preparing a project which I was inspired by the illustrations of Michel Tomas and Margaret Keane. I can’t tell more…
For my plans; I tend to live in the present quite a bit and I don’t like to make a lot of plans for the future. But my future plans are to be able to dedicate 100% of my time to photography in order to live exclusively on it. It’s hard, but I don’t think it’s impossible. I need to keep walking this way and I’ll get it. Sure. I’m sure.