Photographer: Nino Batista @ninobatista Model: Valentina Pakhtusova @vallsova @Neil Jou Agency
When did your passion for photography start and what were the main milestones that turned you into the artist you currently are?
So, I grew up with photography since birth. My father, a professional photographer my entire life, meant that I was around the industry as long as I can remember. Eventually, “I picked up the camera” at 33 years old, and thus my new career path was born.
What's the best part of being a photographer?
In my case, as I am a portraiture artist, I thoroughly enjoy the engagement and interaction with my subjects. The personal element is what drives me, whether it’s making a client feel beautiful and empowered, or sharing inspiration to create artwork with my subject.
From your experience, what is the key to getting the best out of a model?
Clear communication, of course, is the main thing. Being friendly, welcoming and concise in your communication cannot be overstated. Secondarily, I always teach my students the importance of mastering the technical aspect of photography so you don’t waste a model’s time and energy because you’re fumbling with equipment too much or too often. Your model is performing, and the flow and energy on set radically affects their performance. If you’re slow, clumsy and unsure of yourself, it will show and it will affect your model’s on camera presence.
Do you remember your first paid photography gig? How did it go?
Sure, it was shooting exotic cars for a secondary marketing vendor. Did months of shoots, totaling 206 cars, almost a decade ago.
What gives you ideas and what inspires you to create your beautiful images?
The beauty in everything, trite as that may sound, drives me. Striking visuals – shape, form, lines, color, contrast, power and energy – are as enjoyable to me to view as a beautiful piece of music is to hear. The beauty in the beauty, if you will, beauty for beauty’s sake. There is no overt, practical reason I create what I create except to explore and celebrate feminine beauty.
How long does a shoot day typically last and what is the preparation like?
Varies, of course, but generally my shoots run 2-3 hours. To prepare, communication about the vision and aesthetic are crucial. When artist and subject are “on the same page”, the results are the most powerful. Sure, some gigs are just gigs and perhaps the vision is lacking or not harmonious with photographer and model, but one should always remember to be an artist first, even as a service provider by profession.
What from your point of view makes the shoot successful?
Energy. If the energy is right, it usually comes together perfectly. After all, I capture images of humans, nay, humanity itself in my work. Engagement, emotion and energy are paramount to any technical aspects.
How has photography influenced or changed you as a person?
It led me down the path into an entirely new career over 10 years ago. And this industry has been truly remarkable to be a part of. The people is what makes it worth it.
What projects are you working on next, and what are your goals for the future?
I have been in the studio almost exclusively for the first half of 2021. Going into the autumn I am exploring location and outdoor again, and very much look forward to that. In fact, I just started on this trip! (I am in Las Vegas as I am writing this)
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
My website, which shows my recent work, but of course all my social media too: ninobatista.com and instagram.com/ninobatista and facebook.com/ninobatistaphoto