GMARO & Interview with the genius photographer Nick Starichenko.
Photographer: Nick Starichenko @nickstarichenko
Model: Belen Videla @belenvidela Agency: State/New York
Where are you from originally? Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not, opportunities that led to breakthroughs.
Originally I am from Donetsk, Ukraine. I grew up there and my parents wanted me to learn a new hobby while I was in middle school. They decided that it would be dance classes and I quickly realized, dance was not for me. So, I would escape in the middle of the class and learn photography at the MIG studio for kids at the age of 13. By the time I was 14, I had won my first local photography competition and at 15 I got the champion prize of a digital camera for the international photography competition. After completing high school, I received my photography diploma and began working as a part-time assistant at the professional photography studio during which I studied Economy, another passion of mine, at University.
In 2013 I got a chance to move to Milan, Italy to challenge myself on the international market. That is where my fashion photography path started from the test shootings for local agencies such as Urban, ITM, Major.
In 2015 I moved to the USA and worked as a full-time freelance photographer in New York City. Over the last few years I have been published in Vogue, Harper`s Bazaar, Marie Claire and my photos were used by brands such as Nissan, Axe, Vodafone, and Nescafe.
How does your background affect your work? What is your creative Mantra? Like what do you live by to stay on the cusp as a creative image maker?
I have a master`s degree in economy and that affects my work and my style in some way. I truly believe as an artist, I am supposed to create value through my photos and my art is supposed to create profit and brings success to all my clients, models, businesses. My Mantra is a combination of my vision mixed with the markets’ demand.
How important are early references to fashion, music and other culture to your creative process?
Human evolution involves the focus and application of previous knowledge and using it to create something better and unique in accordance with the new experience. Early references in fashion, music, and art is a must know, something we all studied, but keep in mind, the goal is not to replicate the past, as artists we are there to create a brighter looking future.
Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?
I like works of Richard Avedon and Mario Testino, both huge classics for me but I am also very impressed by some of the newer age photographers that I follow and continue to enjoy their works and accomplishments.
To date what do you think is your most memorable shot and why?
The most iconic shoot for right now was on Oahu island in Hawaii. The mere presence of the island inspires you beyond any belief. And I shooting fashion models there in the middle of tropical jungles. To get to the location we had to climb on the rocks, all the while carrying heavy equipment and we had to cross the mountain river on foot. The Mosquitoes were very aggressive there, but of course, it was worth it and the photos came out beautiful.
How do you feel fashion is influenced by our culture and or vice versa if you feel culture is influenced by fashion and entertainment, how?
I can see that fashion has changed a lot over the last few years. It has diversified and social media has given it the opportunity to become a star overnight. Some trends are good, and some are just silly but the market, in general, presents more opportunities which are good altogether.