Name: Nick Nikolaou
Book: celestine prophecy
Movie: big blue
Food: spaghetti bolognese (greek recipe )
Quote: Respect your self.
Luxury Cars: Lamborghini.
Luxury watch: Panerai.
Sports: Snowboard,Free dive,Surf,Scuba,Calisthenics ,
For how long have been in photography? I have been passionate about photography for over two decades – working as a professional photographer for 15 years.
How did you start? Photography wasn’t always my thing, from a young age I was into painting and street art. In my early 20’s I already loved art and fashion, so decided to do a degree at UAL (University of Art London) in fashion photography. I was fascinated, I loved the course and so I put all of my focus into photography.
How would you define yourself as an artist? I wouldn’t define myself strictly as one kind of artist or another, but I would like to be thought of as someone who captures images that evoke strong emotions. I like to take different types of pictures, but my favourites are fashion photos and underwater art.
Where do you find inspiration? Why do you do underwater photography? I find my inspiration in Greece that I love so much, and of course from my muse. Underwater I discovered a new world with so much potential to apply my existing knowledge and style..the sense of anti-gravity, the shapes, the rocks, that Aegean blue. It’s just amazing -I love it.
Were you always interested in photography? I always liked photography, but over the years my love has grown more with each passing day.
Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life today? It’s not a who, but a what. I think I would have to say life itself is my greatest inspiration – the moments, my surroundings, the people.
What was the defining moment that made you want to become an underwater photographer? The truth is that I started experimenting underwater with a GoPro on the beautiful beaches of Mykonos with my muse, and the results were so much better than expected..so I was inspired to take it further.
How do you get ready for a dive trip? I put on my mask, my fins, put my camera in its housing and I am ready to go! Simple as that.
Where is the last place you travelled? I was in Mykonos last weekend doing a shoot for a fashion look book.
What has been your biggest challenge in your life? I think that in an industry that is ever changing, the challenge is constantly finding new and innovative ways to express yourself.
Describe your best experience as underwater photographer? My best experience was my opening exhibition of my first underwater collection. It was the first time that I could see my vision in reality. The first time that I could see peoples’ reactions, the emotions that they felt, if those emotions were the same as mine when I created the pieces.
Where is the most amazing place you have dived? Definitely Mauritius.
Is Brainstorming not the only creative method use to create new concepts? Sometimes I don’t think, I just dive and improvise. The best pictures happen when the photoshoot is spontaneous!
Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology? I belong in the last generation of photographers that use medium format cameras. When I was doing my degree, DSLR cameras were just becoming popular. The dawn of the digital age completely changed our lives and how we work, but there is still something classic and timeless about using the original format.
What type of camera do you use most? DSLR Canon
What is your favorite lens? 24-70 USM II
Walk me through a day in your life. It depends where I am in the world and what I’m doing. Mostly I am looking for projects that involve different people, places, ideas in order to create new images.
Where do you feel most like yourself? When I’m creating.
What goes through your mind when you’re in deep below the surface of the ocean? My thoughts vary depending on what the project is; the location, the subject and the equipment. The one thing that remains constant is how much I enjoy what I’m doing.
What countries have you dived in and which would you say is the best dive site? Indonesia, Mauritius, Greece of course and the Red Sea are some of my favourites – but every spot has its own beauty.
Who are the photographers you admire the most? I always admired Mario Testino as a photographer. I like the rawness of his images, the way he is able to capture emotion. Then there’s David LaChapelle because he takes me to weird places in a good way..the energy that his pieces have. His composition and art direction are amazing. Then there’s Darren Jew, an amazing Australian underwater photographer. I think our philosophies are very similar, it’s not about just shooting it’s about experiencing your surroundings. You can see that in his photos, you should check out the whales.
What about architects and designers? I like designers that create statements through style. Tadao Ando is one of my favourite architects that combines complex and simple in order to create wonderful spaces. Santiago Calatrava for his organic and clean designs that incorporate so much movement. There are so many that I can name because I admire them and their different styles for different reasons – I admire people who express themselves creatively no matter how they do it.
What are your next projects? Follow me and you will see!
Define KLASSIK MAGAZINE for the audience? Cultured and creative – there’s always something awesome to discover.