OMC speaks to Elio Nogueira in New York:
Élio Nogueira is a fashion photographer from Oporto, Portugal.
After beginning his career as a photographer at 19 years old Élio has developed his skills and experience and today has shot for International magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, L’Officiel, Glamour, Grazia, and Nylon. OMC caught up with Elio in New York to find out more about the man behind the lens.
You have shot for some of the biggest International magazines but how did you first get started and who was your first cover for?
Well, first of all thank you so much for this interview and your interest in my work! My first “big” publication was in 2015, I was shooting for 2 years at that time, and I did a 10 page editorial for Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong. My first cover was this year, for ELLE Croatia, it was also my first ELLE publication so I was super exited and also, it’s a very important cover for me, was shot in New York, when I went there the first time, with my amazing team and the super sweet model Barbara Fialho from The Lions NY.
What was the thing that first attracted you to photography and want to make it a career?
I was always attracted by fashion, by the feeling of expressing your creativity through collections, editorials, etc and the possibility to create stories and meet and learn with amazing people everyday. That was the feeling that attracted me.
Do you remember your first shoot? How was that experience?
YES! I was 18 years old at that time…and i was shooting a friend just for fun. It was horrible looking back now to that shoot! I don’t see it as a fashion shoot but was the first time I captured someone through my lens and did all the production.
Whose work do you admire now and who inspired you when you were starting out?
I always were inspired by Steven Klein, Tim Walker, Paolo Roversi, Steven Meisel and Mert&Marcus. These are the photographers I admire the most and Grace Coddington, whose creativity is beyond everything.
What was your first camera and what set up do you use now? What’s the one piece of equipment that makes your life as a photographer easier?
My first camera was a very cheap one, Canon 450D, I started practising with this camera, shooting nature, some portraits etc. Then I got my Canon 60D which I continue using now. I hope to upgrade my camera soon, but I always heard that is not the camera that makes the photographer. Well right now I can’t think of any equipment that makes my life easier as a photographer..we have to wait for the next interview! ahah
You have shot in some incredible locations all over the world but what are the main challenges and differences between this and shooting in a studio?
Shooting on location is always more interesting and fun for me. But it’s also a nightmare because I’m always freaking out about the perfect weather for the right moodboard! In studio it’s easier and comfortable of course, but it can also be challenging sometimes!
Where is your favourite location to shoot?
Any location that inspires me at the first second!
What would you say has been your most enjoyable shoot so far?
I can’t give you an exact answer because every shoot I enjoyed a lot and I learn with all of them…but I would say all the shoots in New York.
Is there a particular model you would love to work with? If you could have worked with any model through the ages, who would that of been?
Ufff… the real question! Of course Kate Moss, she is one of my icons. Linda evangelista also..Naomi Campbell. And from this new generation I would say Cara Delevingne because her amazing carisma as a model and perfect face.
Do you prefer to work with your own team of hair and make up artists or are you happy to work with different creatives? How important is this relationship?
It’s always enjoyable to work with a team that I already know because we are a family, and its not work actually, its a creative fun process and I think it is very important to have that, but I always want to work with new people, learn with them, grow with them and this also is helpful to spread your name as a photographer, so in my opinion both ways are very important!
What are your feelings on retouching and the part it plays in modern photography?
Retouching for me is very important. We can make a photo better, it can save some works, for example, when I shoot my elle cover, it was supposed to be sunny and colorful for the May issue, instead was rainy and super bad light, with retouch I could make it look more summery, otherwise it wont make sense in the final result. I do my own retouch, it’s a part of what I’ve visioned for the final result of the photo. Of course one day I will need a retoucher that I truly trust, if I have a big affluence of jobs (hopefully) but for now I will keep it my way, and learning by practice.
Photography equipment can be very expensive, what equipment would you recommend for beginners to photography? What would your advice be to aspiring photographers looking to get started?
If a new photographer don’t have much money to spend I suggest to do the same I did, and buy a cheaper camera and a maybe a soft light and just get inspired! I started by using only natural light and when I shot in interior locations I used my bedroom lamp so, if you have creativity and passion you can make non professional equipment give you good results!
Give us an insiders top tip to getting the perfect shot?
For me it’s all about the angles and light. If you have to throw yourself onto the ground to have a perfect shot just do it. Go with your flow, explore and if your stuck in one photo just change location or light, don’t focus on the problems. Using a reflector is also a good help to balance the light.