Nino Gehrig won series Gold in Let’s Face It: 5. The series was already in his portfolio and represents one of his favourite projects. “It was done with lots of passion,” he explains. “It took me weeks of planning. I was inspired by the work of Sara Moon.
“I did this project three years ago; it was an editorial about wedding clothes. I wanted to do it in a burned forest but the dress makers did not allow me to pursue my original idea. I told my assistant to rent two old theater backdrops I had seen, and they were brought to my studio. I arrived the day of the shooting from a 14 day photo trip that had taken me around Spain photographing farmers and the fruits of their labour. I was very, very tired!
“On one hand, I wanted to follow the structure of classical paintings, and, on the other, I wanted to continue getting the intense expression that I got from the people I photographed just the day before. I thought that the kids that came as extras could have a more important role, and carry the emotional weight I was interested to capture. The images themselves were screaming at me: “take me, press the button!” he says. “I love that they say lots without a word.”
Nino is excited to know that very competent professionals are looking at his work and judging it. “I’m anxious to meet them, and to continue some kind of exchange with them,” he says.
Originally a ceramist, Nino changed to photography as a way to get quick creative results. Initially an assistant to still live photographers, he continued with Kay Degenhard doing advertising and portraiture. “Working with Kay taught me how to best bring the essence of people to the surface of images,” he explains. Nino moved to Barcelona trying to develop a more personal style and to search for new subjects.
Nino’s ideal work involves “oserving, catching moments, and living a circumstance without drawing attention to what I do.” An example of this, he says, is when he did a reportage project at the Mini factory in Oxford. “Nothing could be stopped. Production went on as usual, and I had to merge with it.
“Working with kids is somewhat similar,” Nino says. “One can anticipate things by doing lots of research but, ultimately, one needs to learn how to pay attention, and how to finally catch the most meaningful of moments.”
Nino has photographed Alex Criville, the famous Catalonian motorcycle racer. His images became a very well-known campaign that urged motorcycle owners to drive with care.
Nino would like to travel more, to shoot more editorials and advertising jobs. His aim is to collaborate with creative people, to achieve strong and intense imagery which will endure. He is also keen to produce a fairy-tale book using the kind of pictures which won series Gold in Let’s Face It: 5.