Nicole Pagan is the ultimate slashie: photographer/filmmaker/creative director/model and all-round lovely human. In our 5 minutes with-interview series, we chat to the @leavesyoubreathless artist about her photography style, passion and the best thing about Puerto Rico.
Your artistic flare grabbed our attention right away. How did you get into photography?
It was around six years ago, in collage. One of my classes was photography – they told me to buy a camera and have a go at snapping photos. That’s when I realised immediately how much I loved playing around with it. So after that I came out here [LA] to continue driving my passion. My work pushes me everyday to be better – and that’s magic.
Your work conveys a lot of colour and captures moments really nicely. Where does your inspiration come from? Do you just vibe it or wing it as you go?
I normally go with the flow but stay with the same aesthetic. I love light and I’m eternally inspired by it.
How has your style changed and developed over time?
I think it’s always been pretty clean and girly but it’s definitely evolved over the years into more of like a dreamy style. I’m doing what I love and so I guess as my taste changes, so too does my photographic style.
Where do you want to take things? What’s your five month/five year plan? (Hah.)
I definitely want to have a bigger studio to create more, and I always want to meet more creative people. Photography makes me really happy, it’s like my baby and it’s what gets me out of bed every morning. So I really just want it to thrive. I really appreciate that everyday I have something that keeps me so focused.
I’ve been really fascinated with Australia, and in particular Australian music, since high school. So it’s really kind of amazing that this is happening right now [collaborating with Aussies]. It’s been so fun.
Did you ever feel any pressure on you to do something else?
No, not really. I discovered photography after having a moment of “I don’t know what to do!” and so the whole thing kind of just happened. I connected with this path really naturally, so I’m lucky I guess.
The shoot in Puerto Rico was a lot of fun, right? What’s the best thing about Puerto Rico?
It was so much fun and so seamless. I love the people and all of the amazing areas I’m surrounded by at home. I mean beach 24/7… who wouldn’t like that? (Laughs).
What would be your perfect location to shoot? And your favourite muse?
The ideal scene would be Gigi & Bella Hadid in Bali. Or somewhere similarly beautiful and tropical! But otherwise, I love shooting my friends in spots close to home.
Portraiture or landscape?
Portraiture all the way!
Who do you look up to, fashion-wise or other?
I love Brigitte Bardot, and that era of fashion. I also look up to a lot of people in the fashion and photography industry currently, such as Nadia Lee Cohen.
Any tips for young creatives starting out?
Sounds cliche, but never give up. Consistency is key for everything in life.
Some days I still feel like I’m trying to push boundaries to get the opportunities I want. Breaking into photography is hard – it’s something you have to really work at. I worked in a radio station for years as a 9-5er, while still going with my photography. The more I tested and played around with it, the better I got, and the more opportunities presented themselves.
What’s your favourite thing to do for fun?
I don’t play any instruments or sing or anything.. but I love music. And obviously, photography! I don’t have a “typical day” or anything – unless I have a shoot planned, I tend to do my own thing. I create for fun – I find it relaxing and enjoy the time with friends. There’s always travel, too.
Finish this sentence: it’s time to…
Capture every single moment!
All photos by Nicole Pagan, @leavesyoubreathless.