Nicola D’Orta is an Italian photographer who studied art and architecture to develop his creativity and assert it through photography. He works with major brands and international fashion magazines. But beyond fashion, he loves taking portraits to capture emotions and thus freeze a moment of ultimate beauty and truth in time. Black and white is his favorite medium to get closer to the essence of things. His photographs are assertive and sometimes rebellious. They offer an uncompromising perception of reality. His portraits are suffused with freedom through captured expressions. Nicola D’Orta sees shadows and lights as the very roots to perceiving self-evidence.
Maison Sensey : How did it all begin ?
Nicola D’Orta : It all started when my father entrusted me with his precious camera. I was about 13 years old and I was impressed when I realized that light could actually be captured by a mechanical device… It felt like magic! Then I started taking black and white pictures – my favorites are still in my dark room – and I grew fond of the idea of becoming a photographer.
Which emotions do you wish to express through your photographs ?
In addition to beauty, which is usually the one that is most striking, I use photography as the best way to translate feelings, emotions and capture my mood just as I take the picture.
Which fashion brands did you work with and which ones would you like to work for ?
So far, I have worked with several Italian and global brands, such as the Italian brands Y’AM Capri or Serrese, the Brazilian brand DuSell, and the South-African brand Diane Paris. I love magazines like GQ, National Geographic, Domus, Vogue, Elle, The Life…
Especially those related to fashion and for good reason, as my pictures are taken for fashion magazines. But I would really love to shoot campaigns for Giorgio Armani! It’s my dream in life, because his style is natural and it’s mostly black and white.
How does fashion inspire you ?
Actually, I’m not always inspired by fashion when I take pictures. I rather believe that my images convey what the model shares with me through their eyes. I love portraits because I am able to capture the real essence of the person standing in front of me rather than them playing a specific character, as it usually goes in fashion photography.
What are your sources of inspiration ?
I love drawing inspiration from films like “The Danish Girl”, “Big Fish”… and from paintings, that’s really what I love most, whether it’s Rembrandt, Escher, Dali, Van Gogh… rather than drawing inspiration from photographs taken by famous fellow photographers.
What are you looking for in a photo ?
I try to catch the attention of the observer for at least 3 minutes, looking for details, through intensity, geometry and contrasts.
Which photography techniques do you use ?
I usually use optical cameras and vintage films. I love three-dimensionality and I think it can be better perceived by using these techniques. In addition, I am used to monochrome photography. I believe in reproducing reality through colors, but lights and shadows are the root of it all. Monochrome photography, through balancing lights and shadows, allows us to reach the essence of the representation and gives way to perception.
Do you have any upcoming projects ?
Actually, I have several projects in mind, including some that are unachievable for now. Most of them are about to come to life. I love traveling and I hope that it will allow me to shoot in different places, not only at home. I have a new project right now, but you will have to stay tuned to find out…
How would you describe your photos ?
That’s a hard one! Beyond defining them as portraits, I’d rather let the pictures speak for themselves…
What would you like to improve in your work ?
Another difficult question! In fact, I usually do not like my photos, not at all! I always try to renew myself and improve my style to associate it as simply as possible to my name.
What do you think of the evolution of fashion ?
I think that in Italy, where I live, the fashion business offers new opportunities to many artists. Unfortunately, I think there are also many imposters. I mean, there are too many imitations, too many people boast of a title they do not deserve. Today, anyone can claim to be a model, a photographer, a make-up artist or a stylist, and I think it harms the fashion business. In fact, I do not designate myself as a photographer, even though I have studied and practiced photography for many years.