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Mobile Photography & Art – ‘Intimate Interview’ with Emilo Nadales from Chicago, from Chicago, United States


Our thirty fifth interview in this new series of intimate interviews enables talented mobile photographer Emilo Nadales to illuminate our pages with his earnest prose whilst simultaneously delighting our viewers with his enlightening photography.

To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Whalberg, Andrea Bigiarni, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios, Linda Toki, Deb Field and myself, go here.

All images ©Emilo Nadales

What was your childhood or earliest ambition?

As a child, I dreamt about travelling and photographing all around the world. At school, there were children from South, Central and North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa as a consequence of the economic turmoil in the globe and the bonanza in Venezuela. I fell in love with the vast beauty and diversity of our planet.


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First Recognition?

I was 11 years old at the end of elementary school year when I was called to receive honors on stage, I didn’t expect it. As a photographer, I received recognition from CNN for covering news about the extreme weather during the winter in Chicago.

First Job?

As a manager at my family business which has been running for over 50 years in Venezuela and in the United States. My first job was as photographer and I feel so blessed doing what I love.


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Private or State School?

There is the option to have education in most countries in Latin America for free but it can be tough. Teachers have the wrong approach about teaching. Most of them think about punishing the students all the time. Also, there are children from mixed social classes, students can’t get into a private school because of their behaviour.  Some classmates have been in reformatories (prison) for committing crimes at young ages. It is a bizarre scenario to describe.

University or Work?

I graduated in Advertising in 1997 and studied Law, Philosophy and Politics from 2001 until 2007 because the dictatorship was accentuating over the time there.


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Who was or still is your mentor?

Many mentors, many books, my parents and education at home. There are outstanding public libraries in the U.S, and I tend to go there and study the geniuses and their work in my free time and I assure you the greatest and brilliant minds are approachable and humble. I had the opportunity to meet Art Shay before they passed away, I am always thankful to have met Marie Laigneau at the right time, superb human being, teacher and photographer. I am honoured to have worked alongside Brian McConkey who as a photographer, is out of this world.

How physically fit are you?

I practice yoga everyday and have a vegan diet therefore, I am flexible, healthy and in a good shape, thank God!


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Ambition or Talent? What matters more to success?

Ambition, absolutely. Ambition defined as to set goals and focus on achieving them. Everyone has different talents and everyone is capable of learning or achieving, anything, someone has done before.

How politically committed are you?

I’ve been committed politically from a young age. I grew up listening to my grandfather and father talk about Politics all the time. I had the blessing to gain perspective at Law school and based on it nowadays, I think that Politics must be taught at school considering that Politics are inherent to every person in the world. I lived in a country absorbed in a dictatorship and it has been the worst nightmare in Latin America because people don’t know how all the mechanism operates and all the characters involved.


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What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

I am not a materialistic person however, in view of the fact that I am focused on my photography, I work on getting all the tools I demand for it. Last year, I had to travel swiftly, to Latin America for personal reasons and received  news that all of my belongings had bee stolen from the basement at the art gallery where I used to be a member.

What is your biggest extravagance?

I love books and I love photography and, as I mentioned before, all the tools needed to work on my post-production. It doesn’t seem an extravagance, right?!


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What places are you the happiest?

As artist, photographer, and human being, I focus on seeing the beauty everywhere. The light even in the darkness. Happiness comes from our inner-self. There has to be beauty in you to see it out there indistinguishable from happiness. As I show in my photographs, I capture an ineffable fraction of second of our beautiful existence that you are not aware of at that moment. Our existence is a blessing.

What ambitions do you still have?

Wow! I fee there are lot to do, see, and give to others.


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What drives you on?

Life, our existence, love, art, the truth, and a wide etcetera.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

My photographs have been showcased in solo exhibitions at art galleries in Chicago, UK and South America and being able to talk of my vision through lectures enables people to feel touched by the meaning.


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What do you find most irritating in other people?

Based on my beliefs, whatever I can find irritating in other people, I can find also in myself too. Therefore, it is a reminder to be humble and work a little on my self-growth.

If your 20-year old self could see you now, what would he think?

He would feel proud of my achievements and would say I have always loved you and believed in you. I am happy you believe in yourself.


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What is the greatest challenge of our time?

Respect and compassion. Dogma because I think we worship gods, goddess, stars, and any clown and forget about our own divinity. The awareness of our interconnectedness and being able to make the changes we want to see in the world.

Martin Luther King, Jr, said “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All humankind is caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

Do you believe in an afterlife?

As Queen and Michael Jackson song says “…What good is life, if in the end we all must die.

There must be more to life than this…”


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If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?

7…to infinity and beyond!


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Contact Details for Emilio Nadales

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