First Friday: Behind the lens of Nic Alegre
Born and bred on the East Coast, newly minted Whistler local Nic Alegre has managed to capture both the aesthetic and the passion that surround the mountain, snapping jaw dropping photos of moments between man and nature, powder and powder-fiend.
We sat down with Nic to find out where he came from, and where he is going. Take a look.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in East Hampton, New York – a beach town at the end of Long Island that explodes with vacationers in the summer months and pumps big hurricane swells in the fall. I was an ocean/surf rat as well as a an athlete, partier and a big history fan. It can’t be overstated how fortunate I was to have been raised in such a natural environment and surrounded by such outgoing, passionate and inspiring individuals. My hometown means a lot to me. I graduated from Villanova Univeristy in 2008, followed by a winter in Lake Tahoe and three years living with a contingent of close friends in the East Village of Manhattan. These days, I spend most of my time in Whistler.
How did you first get involved in photography?
Snowboarding is the most responsible for pulling me into the visual arts. MDP movies really got me thinking about shot composition and mood before I even committed to the camera. Blake Jorgenson’s photography summit in Whistler impacted me in a huge way, and there is no way I would be doing what I am without the inspiration and knowledge I’ve gained from Blake, Paul Morrison and Eric Berger.
Who have been your greatest mentors, what have been your biggest influences?
Blake, Paul and Eric have been constant mentors to me as I navigate all of the artistic, technical and practical aspects that come with the field. Tim Peare has also been a great sounding board for me.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
People. I love shooting people interact with the environment they are in. Whether it’s in the backcountry or engaged in a conversation on the streets, I try to find that emotive moment that as humans we can all connect to.
What type of camera do you use?
How have you honed your skills? Are you self-taught, or did you study photography?
I don’t have any traditional photography education, however I am lucky to have learned hands on from a few of the best. I think what has been the biggest factor in my development as a photographer is how hard I’ve committed to it. I’m really hard on myself, and it motivates me knowing that I have so much more to learn. You’ve gotta be a yes man doing this, and it’s important to have the energy to keep it going every single day; attitude is everything.
“It’s about persistence, and keeping an open mind to the world.”
How long have you been snowboarding?
Since I was 12. It’s just always been a way for me to challenge myself in a creative and fun way while connecting with my friends and with nature. When I’m riding, I’m purely in the moment and I believe there is freedom in that. I try to find those quiet interactions between rider and environment when I shoot…when that frame is all that’s going on in their world.
Where do you see your photography taking you, or, what do you hope to achieve through your work?
I want to go further, whatever that means.