Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikk Rich.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nikk. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My introduction to photography was a MAC advertisement. My sister had a postcard on her fridge at the time I was living with her and every morning before I started my school work, I would eat my cereal and stare at that photo. I was intrigued by how they got the model’s skin so smooth and how they balanced the teacup on her head while the tea was spilling out WITH movement in her hair. I HAD to learn how to capture something like that. From there, I started getting more interested in photography.
My sister had a photography class, and I would use her camera playing with shadows and light. Then my grandfather gave me his Canon AE-1 35mm camera and that was it. I attended Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong to further my knowledge of photography and design. During my summer at home, I got an internship in New York at Trish South photo rep agency. Once I graduated from college I went home to save money for one year then moved to LA.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has not been easy at all! That internship that I mentioned in New York, I had to take a bus weekly from VA to NY 4 times a week just to keep it because a family member asked me for rent after staying at their house for a weekend.
I had to take another route.
Out of the eight weeks, I spent two weeks on a friend or family member couch but the remaining six weeks, I was on a bus almost daily. I had $20 to eat/travel off on each trip and my mom would give me what she could but that was when truly learned how to make money STRETCH .. really stretch. It all kind of paid off when during the internship, I was cast as a hand model for American Express and it paid for my summer struggle and more.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a photographer who also creates digital art from my own work and I create beautiful portraits of women and men of color. I started out wanting to change the beauty world and changing the idea of what we think “beauty” is as a society. I grew up seeing beauty through my family and never saw people who looked like us in mainstream until shows like Girlfriends popped up on UPN.
Lately, I’ve been moving into photographing what would be considered “beauty” with my own twist but I’m also re-thinking that too. I bring my own experiences to every portrait I create. The process that goes into making every portrait is extremely complex and unique to me.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was always reading, drawing or playing outside with my friends in the neighborhood. I was very imaginative and loved being outdoors. If I wasn’t outside, I would be inside reading from when I first opened my eyes, brushing my teeth and during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was always soaking up knowledge.
Portrait of woman on the green background with a black coat and afro – Hanine (@hello_hanine). Photo of woman in cow print – Dani ( @eclecticista). Photo of woman in red and with face half covered in plastic – Sarah (@sarahhh.a.o). Photo of woman with green eyeshadow – Olivia. Photo of woman with slick back hair and multiple frames around the image – Ruby