Movies and Hip-Hop with Music Photographer Nick Mahar

To see more of Nick’s photos, check out @nickmahar on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

When Nick Mahar (@nickmahar) wanted to shoot photos of rap stars like Logic and Macklemore, he went straight to the source.

“I reached out to them and they liked my stuff and it kind of snowballed from there,” says the Dublin, California, native.

Nick’s first love, however, wasn’t photography — it was film. He began making stop-motion animation clips at the age of 6. By middle school, he was dabbling in green screen techniques.

“Originally I wanted to direct,” he says. “The first film that I ever did in high school, we had a decent budget and pretty good equipment, but I realized how much I hated talking to actors. I liked lighting them and talking to them that way.”

Still, the experience would help later on, when he handled cinematography duties on the concept video for Logic’s album, The Incredible True Story. At that point, Nick had already switched gears to photography and was fully entrenched in the Maryland rapper’s camp, helping out with video production and photo shoots. On the side, he was able to photograph other stars, including Trey Songz and 50 Cent.

While Nick’s end goal is to shoot large-scale composite photos with musicians, for now he’s good just working with someone he can collaborate with.

“With Trey Songz, it’s mainly club events where I am shooting him. Whereas with Logic, I can be like, ‘There’s this really cool place, want to come over here and shoot?’ Sometimes I get five shots. Other times we can have conservations and I am telling him jokes, telling him to look this way and that way. He’s very good with direction.”

—Instagram @music