THE WORLD IS HIS (an exclusive interview with Paolo Nacpil by Alexis Lim)
When did you start to take photographs?
I started taking photos when I was 17, which I guess at this point is already ages ago. It certainly doesn’t feel that way. The interesting thing is that it has always been a continuous learning process, there’s always something that you can always improve on or change or approach a different way. It’s always a constant and fulfilling challenge!
What pushed you to continue pursuing photography?
I’d say that photography has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve taken up. I’ve seen myself grow and be molded into who I am and a huge part of that is because of photography. It acted as some sort of a synergist in my life. I’ve always been into the outdoors and into traveling and all that, however photography became something that pushed me to take all that to a different level. It gave me even more of a reason to find myself out there in the world trying new things and discovering new places. It helped me break out of my shy shell and made me connect with so many like-minded individuals all over the world. It was also quite neat to have a visual and tangible representation of my artistic progress through time.
We all know that you are a landscape photographer. But what other genres in photography you would like to pursue as well?
I’ve actually shot some outdoor portraits here and there and I found it quite enjoyable. Portraiture in itself is a very broad field and I definitely would love to do more outdoor portraits or shots where people are incorporated into my style of landscape photography.
What was your most memorable shoot?
Oh that’s a tough one to answer. It’s definitely hard to choose a favorite since there’s been so many amazing experiences throughout the years so I’ll just go with the first one that came to mind even though my answer would probably be different each time I’m asked this! I’m going to go with my hiking trip up in the Northern Cascades National Park in Washington. To make a long story short, I flew in that day to Vancouver with the intention of staying in that area for a couple of days and meeting up with my Mom when she flew in the day after. Once I got my rental car from the airport location I then thought to myself that I might as well drive the 2 hours down to Washington State as I’ve never been there yet. So I did just that, drove down there and got to the park. It was absolutely pouring rain but I still hiked anyway on the mountain ridges with water cascading down like impromptu waterfall all over and I took as much photos as I could which was barely any at all, even with raingear for the camera. I then decided to sleep overnight in the car at the park in hopes that the weather would cooperate the day after. Woke up before the sun rose and went out to hike again, it was a beautiful day and I spent half the day just taking in the scenery and enjoying the solitude up on the ridges. There’s just something so freeing and fulfilling after an experience like that.
Anything nature and landscape related and with which I can incorporate a sense of movement. Mountains and seas most definitely!
What is photography for you?
Photography is a means of forever immortalizing a moment in time with your own artistic vision of the scene and a means to share the fleeting feelings and emotions you felt in that moment to the viewers.
Who are the people you look up to in the industry?
I’m actually not the type to be solely influenced by a certain set of individuals; I try draw inspiration from anything and everything whether it be fictional characters in movies, random strangers I interact with, music that I listen to, and whatnot.
5 Weird things we don’t know about you.
1. Not necessarily weird but a lot of people don’t know that I’m actually working in a totally unrelated field - healthcare. They just assume that I travel around all the time I guess!
2. I was not born with curly hair. I guess one of the defining characteristics for me now is the long curly hair. I used to have straight hair though all the way until it turned curly on me sometime in high school!
3. I used to be really shy back then! Examples being me practicing my “speech” when in line to order food at a restaurant!
4. I’m an only child that always wanted siblings. My solution to this as a child was to have a doll that I named ‘Matilda’ who I pretended was my sister!
5. I used to not eat spaghetti or any sort of pasta, french fries, burgers – except for separating the meat and not touching everything else, chicken – except for the skin. This was when I was a really picky eater in my childhood. Grew out of that quickly enough though!
That one iconic photograph you wish was yours/ your shot.
That would be the time-lapse sequences that were shot from the International Space Station. It’s quite literally so otherworldly. It’s such a surreal perspective that I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to see with my own eyes in this lifetime.
What advice can you give to those kids or anyone who are just discovering their knack for photography?
Biggest way to improve your photography is to be highly selective and critical of your work. Put it this way, the artists that you look up to, you mostly just see the top 5% of their work that they publish and you never see the 95% that they consider to not have made the cut. No reason for you let the 95% of your work that is mediocre be your defining factor. Quality over quantity! Find inspiration in anything and everything. If you find a photo you really like, stop and take a moment to analyze what makes it have such an impact. Keep doing this to all the work that you find inspiring. Look at your work in a similar way and imagine what you would do differently or how you could possibly have changed your approach in order to improve the shot you got. Analyze, absorb, and apply.
Words you live by.
I work to live, I don’t live to work.
Be a genuinely good person for the sake of being a genuinely good person.
If you want something, make it happen for yourself.
Where can we visit your photo gallery?
(All Photographs courtesy of Paolo Nacpil)
Paolo Nacpil is a 25-year old BS Nursing graduate at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, and is now working as an Orthopedic Nurse in Florida, USA. Aside from landscape photography, Paolo is fond of doing outdoor activities which include off-roading, hiking, mountain biking, and free diving.
“At work here we do 12 hour shifts, meaning we only have to work 3 days in a given week. It just depends on how I schedule the 3 days that I work so I typically have anywhere from 4 to 6 days off on a regular basis; hence being able to have the time to do exactly what I love which is traveling, being out in the elements, and capturing these special moments.“