ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Behind the Lens with NIK WILLIAMS on the Art and High of Photography, feat. Neels Visser


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Photographer Nik Williams started young. At age 16 a camera came into his life that would send him on a path towards his creative future. For just being a kid at the time, Nik built an old-school foundation using a 4X5 large format camera, exploring every possibility the perhaps limited machine held within it. His first loves then, artistically speaking, were a box, a lens, and light. The once novice picked up the technical side of photography quite naturally, dabbling in landscape work over the following years where he began refining his eye, until his next challenge and passions presented themselves: fashion and portraiture. Now at 21 and currently studying photography at ArtCenter College of Design, it may not seem like it's been enough time for a young artist to have actually honed all that much of his craft. But one look at what Nik can do with a camera and he might have you thinking twice. NEELS1819 NEELS1502 I spoke with the photographer about his recent shoot with Internet sensation and Next model Neels Visser: "I wanted to convey Neels a little differently... as a strong, sturdy young man," Nik specifies to me, noting a clear deviation from how the model might typically be perceived through his insanely populated Instagram and Vine channels. "Every model has a limit, and the creativity is in finding how to get the most out of each person, how to find something new in them," Nik says. NEELS2319
"I wanted to convey Neels a little differently... as a strong, sturdy young man."
NCW_7438 It doesn't take much for Nik to start diving into his deepest passion point in photography — the art of portraiture — "clean, high-fashion, editorial styled," he specifies. It's his extreme interest in the mystery of his subject's face, the mood he's able to capture, that captivates his audience. "I'm just interested in style and the intimate connection I'm able to get with a model. I like creating a sort of bond. It sounds weird, but it's a little bit of a high. Nothing else compares to it." Unsurprisingly, Nik's own perception through sight and experience has evolved with his artistic eye. "I see differently now. I can't watch a movie without seeing everything as a still image — how they did it, how I would have approached it, where the light source is..." NEELS1895 NEELS1933
"I see differently now. I can't watch a movie without seeing everything as a still image."
NEELS1859 Nik credits a life-changing internship with JUCO among the impetuses that helped expedite his creative process, and notes them as one of the dream brands he'd love to work with one day, among St. Laurent, Miu Miu, and Valentino — quite the high-ranking list. Not forgetting "healthy competition" among his peers, Nik says he continues feeling inspired to level up to what his artist friends are creating, if not transcend them. "I'm always trying to bring something new to the table... whether it be a big designer brand or old rag, [the challenge is to] make anything look good through photography." Check out how good Neels looks in the old rags below. NEELS2087 NEELS2200 NEELS1984  
Credits Words by Henri Maddocks / Instagram @henri.maddocks Production Credits Photographed by Nikolas Christian Williams / Instagram @nikolaschristianwilliams  Talent Neels Visser / Instagram @neelsvisser Styled by Jacob X Jordan / Instagram @jacobxjordan_  Grooming and Makeup by Michelle Burgo / Instagram @michelle.burgo  Photography Assistance by Gustavo Soriano Wardrobe Credits Look 1 Neels Visser wears Jacket Beautiful Fül Shirt BLC Clothing Look 2 Jacket Beautiful Fül Shirt BLC Clothing Look 3 Grey overcoat Represent Co Sweater Hugo Boss Shirt BLC Clothing Look 4 Blazer Maison Martin Margiela x H&M Shirt stylist own Pants The Squad Co Look 5 Jacket Beautiful Fül Overcoat (worn as second layer) Beautiful Fül (throughout) Shirt BLC Clothing Pants stylist own Shoes Vans Look 6 (repeated) Jacket Beautiful Fül Shirt BLC Clothing Pants stylist own Shoes Represent Co Look 7 Clothing The Squad Co Shoes Represent Co Represent Co, Beautiful Fül and The Well provided by Lush Network Showroom.