After looking through his portfolio, you would never guess that Nick Suarez, a fashion photographer in New York City, is only twenty-two years old. His striking images of men and women show talent and experience well beyond Suarez’s years. Getting started at just fifteen years old, he transitioned from high school darkroom classes, to a bachelor’s degree in photography from University of Central Florida, making the move to New York City shortly after graduating. The best is yet to come for Nick Suarez who is just starting out and has his whole career ahead of him. Resource talks to Nick about his career, reflecting on his journey in photography thus far.

Can you tell me about your photographic background? Did you study photography or are you self-taught?

I was always interested in the arts when I was growing up. In high school, I took all of the art electives that I could and eventually got put into a photography class my sophomore year. I fell in love with it instantly and decided to pursue it as a career. After high school, I attended college at the University of Central Florida and majored in photography, graduating with a bachelor’s degree last summer. Shortly after, I made the leap to New York to focus on my career in beauty and fashion photography.

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© Nick Suarez

How old were you when you started shooting? Why do you think photography sparked your interest?

I was 15 years old when I got my first 35mm camera in high school. Photography felt like a natural transition for me coming from a somewhat artistic background. I think the hands on experience of developing your own film and making prints in the darkroom sold me on the medium.

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© Nick Suarez

When did your photographs begin to gain popularity? How did you get your name out there? 

In 2011, I started noticing a boost in my social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and later on Instagram. Using these social media networks has proved to be a pretty powerful tool for spreading the reach of my name and work.

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© Nick Suarez

Where do you find inspiration?

A direct source of inspiration is always so hard for me to pinpoint, but I feel that most of my personal inspiration comes from the experiences I share with my friends and family. As of recently, I have been hiking a lot as a stress reliever and my creative juices have been flowing pretty strongly. I’ve been trying new techniques and stepping out of my comfort zone a lot more. On the photography side, although it doesn’t particularly relate to my work, I find myself more inspired by documentary photographers like Bruce Davidson, Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin and Larry Clark.

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© Nick Suarez

What is your favorite thing to shoot?

Photographing people has always interested me the most; I love photographing unique faces and capturing the essence of a person.

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© Nick Suarez

Is it hard to get the facial expression or emotion you’re looking for out of your subjects?

I do not find it difficult at all, but I guess that comes with experience! It’s all about the environment that you create as the photographer.

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© Nick Suarez

Do you have a method to get what you want out of someone who is uncomfortable in front of the camera?

If I notice that the person is uncomfortable, I tend to slow down on shooting and start talking to them more to find that common bond between us. This helps them let their guard down and get more comfortable during the shoot.

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© Nick Suarez

Do you have a favorite image or shoot that you’ve done? If so why is it your favorite?

At this point, I do not have a favorite image that I’ve done. My work is constantly evolving and I am still at the start of my career. I tend to be a little spastic in regards to my own work as well. One minute I’ll like an image, and a few days later, I’ll pick it apart completely.

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© Nick Suarez

Do you find your clients or do they find you?

Right now, most of my clients find me. I am currently updating my branding and plan to start seeking out the clients that I want to work for in the near future.

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What equipment do you use?

Digitally, I shoot primarily with Nikon, but I also use a mix of film and Polaroid cameras. My favorite lens is my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II and I use it on almost every shoot. If you were to catch me walking around on a random day in New York City, you would definitely see a Fuji Instax with me. I’ve been documenting pretty much every aspect of my life with it for the past four years and plan to do a book with the body of work soon.

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© Nick Suarez