Nino Ortiz is a portrait photographer who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. His work can be described as elegant and captivatingly intimate, capturing his subjects in a way that allows ambiguity and renders them vulnerable and empowered at the same time. His subjects offer their own stories to the photograph, but there lies a subtle intensity within his work that creates an ethereal and poetic atmosphere for his subjects to thrive on.
Initially, Ortiz utilized digital means to create his images that were based around beauty and fashion, but ultimately felt that his work lacked depth and meaning. As he grew as an artist, he chose to photograph on film so that his subjects may feel more real and tangible. Simultaneously, his subject matter became more focused, typically consisting of models who identify within the vast, heterogeneous community of underrepresented social groups. Therefore, his portraits also serve as a means for the underrepresented to emerge to the foreground.
Ortiz applies an honest and inquisitive approach to his photographic style, often requiring an open dialogue between himself and his subjects in order to understand one another and maintain a natural connection of energy. He has his models dress according to their own unique sense of style - playing to his early interest in fashion photography - then thoughtfully poses them within a real-world frame. His photographs provide introspection of one’s own identity and place in the world as he arouses thought beyond the border of the static photo, provoking feelings of humanity in spheres of shared space.