Nick Borelli

Nick Borelli is one of a handful of amazingly talented photographers currently coming out of Northern California. His amazing use of lighting, texture and outstanding incorporation of surrounding backgrounds and features gives his work a depth and feeling that is lost amongst most shooters out there. Glas caught up with Nick and hit him with a few questions so more of our fans get a glimpse of this incredibly talented lensman.


Nick, tell us about yourself, where are you from?

I grew up in Santa Cruz body boarding all the local breaks, lived on the east coast for 8 years where I earned a degree in English at the University of Massachusetts, and now I have been back in Santa Cruz for the past 9 years.

When did you first discover a love of photography?

Since I was young I was always interested in photography and the workings of the camera. I would look through magazines and admire the work of surf photographers and nature photog's for that matter. Unfortunately, I never bought a camera because all the equipment seemed so unattainable. At 34 a camera was given to me, and I had a job that afforded me a few lenses and film, so I began shooting.

That first published shot as a photographer is such an important step in ones career. Where and when was your work first published?

One week after I bought an SPL water housing, a good south swell hit town. All the boys were out at 26th ave beach. I swam out and shot a couple photos of Noe Kaulukukui. The next week the local paper "The Good Times" asked for a few photos for a surf article and one of the photos was run on the cover. That was a few years back and local. The first shot published nationally was in Longboard magazine 07.

Santa Cruz has such a hot bed of surfing talent and there is almost no reason to ever leave home, have you traveled anywhere else to shoot surfing?

I haven't traveled a great deal to shoot surfing. Most of my traveling is for landscapes and geological oddities, e.g. volcanic formations, sand dunes, fires wrath and water creations. For surfing, I mostly stay in the Monterey Bay are and travel local in California, for now.

Your work is amazing with great texture and use of lighting, are people finally catching on to your ability and the quality of the shots you have been able to produce the last couple of years?

It's weird, when I feel like I am not making any progress and begin to change tactics, big doors open. The process has been slow, but yeah, I am beginning to get more acceptance in the surf industry and outside the surf industry.

Do you find it harder to gain recognition for your work in the surf industry or is it equally tough outside of the industry?

My experience shows me that it is about hard consistent work and a great deal of rejection no matter what industry. The surf industry already has it's players in place, and to break in is tough.

What do you feel the future holds for you and not just as a surf photographer but in your career as a whole?

My current goal is to be a solid freelance photographer for advertising and editorial, traveling the world in search of surf, landscapes, and geological oddities, but I also aim to be very involved in the art community. As a result of networking in the art community, galleries, restaurants and coffee houses have begun to show my work. I am also working on a documentary of Native Americans and their existence today. My work is just at its infancy stage and I look forward to where it brings me.