Nigel Parry began his photographic career in London and moved to New York City in 1994. Since then, he has been commissioned by the most distinguished publications, advertising agencies, entertainment, corporate and music companies worldwide. He has been privileged to photograph not only celebrities but also the most famous cultural and political figures of our time. Hahnemühle teamed up with Nigel Parry for photokina 2018. His iconic portrait of actor Robert De Niro will be an eye-catching large format FineArt print at our booth, in hall 3.1.
Do you want to feel as if you are in the same room as the sitter? Then read on as Nigel tells us how this is made possible.
When did you discover your passion for photography?
I became interested in photography when my mother won a camera in a competition and gave it to me.
What is your favourite genre in photography?
If by ‘favourite’ you mean what sort of photographs have I taken for 30 years, it’s portraits – people pictures and the occasional landscape on Instagram.
Which of your projects/motifs opened the door to the art market/professional market?
The project that opened the door to my becoming a professional photographer was an exhibition for The Groucho Club (London) in 1988 where I was asked to photograph 50 of their members.
How would you describe your personal style in portraiture?
I don’t believe I have a particular photographic style. That said, however, the people that do, say that my style is one that amplifies my sitter’s character, or imbues them with what I believe their character to be. Others say that it is black and white and close-up and hard-hitting.
How important is the printed presentation of your works of art?
I believe that print is the only media to show photographs. There’s nothing like having a tangible piece of art you can hold or look at on a wall – the bigger the better!!
How important is the paper choice for your works of art?
In the pre-digital era, I was able to enhance the viewers experience of the sitter’s character by not only the careful choice of lighting and location but also by the choice and style of paper upon which the final image was printed. In this digital age, paper choice is no less important (even though much of the intimate knowledge of the contrast qualities of different grades of paper that was essential to complete classic print has now moved to digital manipulations on a screen), and this is where Hahnemühle printing papers work their magic.
Which is your favourite Hahnemühle paper and why?
All my prints, whether it’s for collectors or exhibitions, are now made on Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth white paper. This paper has the welcome familiar weight of a conventional photographic paper when handled, and holds the rich deep blacks that are so characteristic of a ‘Parry’ portrait. And its whites are on the slightly warm side which help bring out the beautiful lifelike skin-tones that transport the viewer to being right there in the same room as the sitter. This paper is vital to both the communication of my message and the receiving of it for many years to come.
Currently, I’m in the early stages of planning a book and retrospective exhibition of 30 years of portraiture. That, and of course various day-to-day commissions by clients and magazines worldwide.