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Interview: Photographer Nikoletta Nerpel (Hungary)

Can you tell us a little about you?

My name is Nikoletta Nerpel, I am a professional portrait and fashion photographer, retoucher based in Hungary. Beauty and aesthetics are at the heart of my work, and I strive for timeless elegance in my photography. I mainly shoot creative and painterly portraits, composite and staged photography in the following themes: beauty/fashion editorial, fantasy, evocation of the past. I also produce business portraits and catalogue photos.

How and when did you get into photography?

When I was a little child I found an analog camera on a family trip. At the time I did not attach much importance to it, but now I find it an interesting and fateful coincidence. In primary school I was the one who took photos of the class trips, and in high school I won photo competitions. I loved capturing the beauty of nature and the diversity of wildlife. Later, concerts of my favourite bands. During my university years, I changed photography for economics, but after graduating I immediately enrolled in a photography school, where I fell in love with studio portraiture. Soon after, in a fashion show, I met the editor-in-chief of an online fashion magazine and I started to work with her. That's how I got into fashion photography.

What does photography mean to you?

For me, photography is not just about capturing the moment, but also about creating it. It is about bringing an idea, a vision, a dream to life. I have never felt comfortable in the world of documentary and reportage photography, I don't want to photograph what is, I want to show a reality that I have created. I love beauty, aesthetics, my aim is that when someone looks at my photographs they are momentarily taken out of the ordinary and find themselves in my fantasy world. I want to show people something beautiful and harmonious in these difficult times.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

In my own projects, I like to evoke the atmosphere of paintings, movies and fantasy video games. I often create the final image from several photos or add extra lighting effects and elements. The result is a modern digital work with an evocative atmosphere of the past. A kind of Digital Renaissance.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Literally everywhere. I can be inspired by a person, a place, a dress, a feeling, a mood, a song… I am most fascinated by costume movies and series. I remember after watching the Merlin series, I immediately styled my brother as a medieval knight. Poor guy in the summer, in that thick heavy armor... Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unexpected places: I was driving on the motorway few weeks ago, I saw a grassy wasteland next to the road... I immediately imagined a lady archer with long, curly hair wandering alone in the dried grass. No... not alone, there could be a dragon behind her. I organised the project in a week.

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

Yes, of course. With the exception of my artistic selfies, I always work with a team of creative professionals and we plan every detail of the shoot. However, during the shoot we are flexible, if we have other, better ideas, we will modify the concept.

Studio, on location or both?

Both, depending on the theme of the shoot. I'm a perfectionist and like to have full control over the lights, if given the choice, I'll go for the studio. Of course, there are projects that require outdoor space, but even then I go with full studio equipment with battery flashes. I often change the background in post-production, so you never know where the original photo was taken.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I am a paid professional with the heart of an enthusiastic hobbyist.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

Once I took fashion editorial photos on the wing of an airplane. It was scary, but so much fun. I have never photographed in such a special place before. I also really loved the Cinderella photo shoot, which was commissioned by a client of mine. We designed it down to the smallest detail with the team, even the glass slippers, they were made with 3D printer. A Hungarian fashion designer made the beautiful blue dress from the Disney movie version. It was winter, so I took the photos in a studio. Each photo took several hours of post-production, as the different locations were added afterwards behind the model. It was one of the biggest and most creative challenges I've ever had.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Nikon, by the way and the camera I found as a child was also a Nikon. What a coincidence. My favourite lens at the moment is a Sigma Art 50mm 1.4. But basically, I think the equipment almost makes no difference. And the brand really doesn't matter. The most important thing is the knowledge, creativity and the soul of the photographer.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Difficult question. If I could start over now, I would do a lot of things differently. For me, the hardest thing was to understand that in the photography business, the most important thing is not to take good photos, but to sell your service. My advice is that, as well as constantly improving your photographic skills, you should also study marketing, sales and law. Also, do your best on every shoot, do it with enthusiasm and passion. Photography can only be done (for the long term) with dedication and love for the profession.

What do you think of our new magazine?

It gives us a great opportunity to “meet” talented artists from all over the world. Thank you for being part of it.

Facebook: Website: Instagram: @nerpel_nikoletta_fotografus

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Kinga Nguyen MUA: Anikó Ország Styling: Mária Vanyovszki

Selfie Series Photographer, retoucher, model, styling, MUA, hair: Nikoletta Nerpel

Selfie Series Photographer, retoucher, model, styling, MUA, hair: Nikoletta Nerpel

Selfie Series Photographer, retoucher, model, styling, MUA, hair: Nikoletta Nerpel

Selfie Series Photographer, retoucher, model, styling, MUA, hair: Nikoletta Nerpel

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Éva Katona (she also did the make-up and hair)

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Krisztina Mayer Styling: Mária Vanyovszki

MUA: Henriett Gercosz Hair: Anikó Vereczkey

Dress: Alexander Richard

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Tamás Nerpel

Armor: Red Line Cinema Kft.

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Orsolya Nagy

MUA: Krisztina Szűcs

Hair: Lili Rohonyi

Headpiece: Innirvana_Overdose

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Eszter Farkas

MUA: Anett Szabó

Dress: Olívia Hermeczi

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Bogi

Dress: Noemi_Design

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Orsolya Nagy

MUA: Henriett Gercosz Hair: Tamás Krucsó Dress: Olívia Hermeczi

Photographer, retoucher: Nikoletta Nerpel Model: Nóra Horváth

Styling: Mária Vanyovszki

MUA: Henriett Gercosz

Dress: MERO- PeterMero

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