We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicola Majocchi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicola, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking a risk is always a crucial and primary part of the creative process. It is paramount to challenge ourselves always to reach higher standards and goals, and the more risk involved during this process, the more rewarding the results are at the end. It is important not to be afraid of failure, but instead to learn from it. During my teenage years in Italy as a downhill ski racer, taking risks always played a key role in our training, and with time, it became second nature. A photographer should take risks every time from behind the camera regardless of the nature of the photograph. The final outcome, whether a portrait or fashion, an action shot or still life, can be elevated as a direct result of taking risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m always in love with motion and I think that dynamism and athleticism are often reflected in my images, which for the most part carry one common denominator: simplicity. Simplicity goes along with beauty. In fact I’ve always been a true believer that beauty can be found everywhere, but it’s up to us staying curious and open minded in order to see it. It’s not always easy, but definitely obtainable. Also, no matter what one strives to become in life… whether a doctor, teacher, insurance agent or photographer, one needs to become first of all an excellent ‘problem solver’ in the most effective way before mastering his or her chosen profession. Over the past thirty years, as I’ve worked around the world with perseverance to master my profession as a photographer, I can’t count how many times ‘problem solving’ saved the day! Often the best results come from an accident or an unexpected moment, so we must be always ready to capture that magic moment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough question to answer as I’m currently in Italy but if I had to show my best friend the best time ever, I would probably be back in NYC (…although maybe the NYC of ten to fifteen years ago) and simply walk around to take in the super high energy of the city and to observe a unique, creative and cosmopolitan crowd. A real diner experience at Eisenberg’s on Fifth Ave bet 22/23 St. would be a must. It’s one of my favorite places to indulge in a tuna melt on toasted rye with extra pickles! A walk in Central Park always reserves wonderful surprises, and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot during sunset is a priceless experience.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve always lived my life by the model that good luck is when our own preparation meets the right opportunity. I had a passion for photography at a very early age and I remember borrowing my father’s Voigtländer 35mm camera to take B&W portraits of my school classmates during breaks. After spending my teenage years hurtling down the snow covered slopes of the Italian Alps as downhill racer, fifteen broken bones and knee surgeries gave me ample reason to trade my skis for an Hasselblad and move to the States to nurture my passion for photography. After graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1987, I headed to NYC and a fateful interview with Irving Penn, when I managed to parlay my long meeting with the venerable Penn into a five-year collaboration. Irving Penn became my mentor and still today I consider him my Master. He taught me so much about photography… but most importantly about life. In 1994 I struck out on my own and due to the training with Penn, I could solidify my position among NYC’s most versatile photographers.
Photography by Nicola Majocchi ~ All Rights Reserved