"There is no one set way to be inspired… there are no rules when it comes to photography or creativity in general."
Photographer Nick Flesch is currently in his second year at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) Fashion Program. It is evident in looking at his work that he has an eye for fashion, a talent that shines through in each of his eye-catching, perfectly styled photographs.
“Fashion in photography to me is the core of why I think the way I do.” Nick says that he is a “huge follower and lover of fashion— whether that is designing collections, branding and marketing of a fashion brand or haus, styling— I’ve always been drawn to it.” He remembers how his cousins introduced him to online dress up games when he was young, and attributes much of his interest in fashion now to his early exposure. “I completely believe that me being introduced to that as a kid has played such a crucial part in my growth and interest in fashion photography, as well as fashion in general.”
Nick first became interested in photography in high school, where he convinced his friends to join the photography club with him. “In the club literally all we did was go to cemeteries or fields… and walk around and take pictures of the most random things,” he remembers. “ I had no idea why, but the instant gratification of photography was something that excited me.” As he became more interested in photography, Nick said that he and his friends “constantly put together spontaneous shoots, just because we could… I would go through my friends’ closets, pick out looks that would fit some kind of aesthetic, and drive around until I saw a place that could work to have a shoot.”
To Nick, fashion and photography go hand in hand. “In designing a garment,” he says, “I think of how I would want it to look in a shoot… how I would want it to move or look compositionally.”
“I've learned that there is no one set way to be inspired… there are no rules when it comes to photography or creativity in general,” says Nick when asked about his inspiration. He sometimes doesn’t even plan a shoot, saying “if I see something that inspires me, it all just comes together in my head… it’s a really exciting and quick process that makes what I do so fun.”
Nick also says that the people around him are big sources of inspiration and motivation. “Being surrounded by people with similar interests and passions as you,” he says, “drives you to want to do better. It teaches you how to better yourself in a way that isn’t competition, just straight up self growth.” Nick found these people who helped and inspired him in his high school photography club, in his university’s fashion program, and in TITLE, a fashion magazine at his university.
“With TITLE,” says Nick, “I was originally signed on for my first issue as just a photographer.” He began participating in the publication when it was only on its second issue. The photographers are led by the Senior Photo Editor, a role that Nick was soon asked to step into. “With my previous Senior Photo Editor taking the role of Creative Director, the position was open and I was asked by the new Editor in Chief to take it,” recalls Nick. “Since then I’ve continued to work with TITLE on their creative space submissions along with other personal projects, particularly with DAAP fashion students on their portfolios.”
When asked what advice he has for new photographers, Nick says, “I would tell them to just do it. You don’t need an expensive camera, insane editing programs, or other people’s approval to try something out.” He says not to put pressure on yourself or let others put pressure on you, because “there are no expectations set for someone trying to tune into their creative mind. Just go for it.”
You can find more of Nick’s work here: https://www.instagram.com/flescn/
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.