Patrick Nicholas moved to Italy in the early 1980s not long after graduating in Photographic Arts at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Walthamstow). There he was fortunate to have studied under two outstanding photographers: the cinematographer Erwin Hillier and seminal portrait and industrial photographer Walter Nurnberg.* He found work immediately as a portrait photographer in a smart seaside hotel near Rimini and although his destiny took him to fashion photography, then advertising and finally art photography with his own gallery, he has never abandoned portraiture. He used to do his own printing in the darkroom, but now prints digitally with his own printer.
He, his Italian wife and daughter live in Orvieto in Umbria, one of the loveliest parts of the entire world – but it wasn’t luck that brought them here, it was a conscious decision. Orvieto apart from being one of Italy’s loveliest and most historic cities, is extremely easy to get in and out of. It is less than an hour from Rome on the main Autostrada and rail line. It is 120km from Florence and an hour from the Mediterranean. Orvieto is a cosmopolitan place and without a single traffic light – now that’s civilisation!
This is his website: www.photonicholas.com where you can see more portraits and other work
If you think you would like to have your portrait done in Italy please contact me
* Both were charming men and we were extremely fortunate to have been taught by such illustrious photographers even if neither of them are household names. Both were Germans who came to Britain before the war. Hillier had worked with Murnau but sadly his father took him away as he feared the great director’s homosexuality. I still remember a tip he gave us – always turn up on location with your camera loaded and ready, you may get off a shot at first light, before anyone’s even got their kit out that will be just right. Hillier is best known for his black and white work with Powell and Pressburger and for the Dam Busters. Nurnberg I chiefly remember for his very strong German accent (Hillier had none at all), his plaster demonstration model Lotti, and his wonderful red herrings about the Bauhaus; he always brought us back to portraiture and the present with his catch phrase, ” und zen zer vas ze var”. I would like to think that I picked up something of German Expressionism from them but I fear that is wishful thinking, however I do think I must have absorbed a feeling for mittleurope, for its art, its culture – the only individuals I knew personally who actually lived it.
Patrick Richmond Nicholas Photo Gallery Orvieto, the pictures at the end are 2x1m