Nican Robinson: A Look into a Photographer’s Soul

It’s always interesting to watch an artist’s life unfold right before your eyes and I had a chance to meet one that was so inspiring it immediately took my weekend into a world of creativity.  Nican Robinson is a local photographer in the Bay Area that may be seen at your Monday soul events or local concerts but he possess a talent that I rarely see in people that take pictures; it is his ability to capture the beauty of the human body.  Born and raised in Oakland, a graduate of UC Berkeley, college athlete, and a salsa dance king, Nican Robinson proves me to be one of the most outstanding and illustrious photographers in the Bay Area.

Reesa: When did you first start doing photography?

Nican: This may be a surprise but how long do you think?

Reesa: I’m not good with guessing but your work is phenomenal so I would say in High school.

Nican: February 14th at 9 pm 2009.  My life was surrounded by athletics, all the men in my family played basketball and football.  After the big game with Stanford, I sat down with my dad and expressed to him that I wanted to pursue photography so immediately my dad ran into the room and brought out a Nikon B50 and just gave it to me and from then on it was history.

Reesa:It’s not so often that you find a photographer who started only two years ago and has built a professional platform that can rank with some of the veterans. So what do you have an eye for or what is your inspiration when shooting?

Nican: Different aspects or occurrences that happen in my life are my inspiration.  I come from a very loving and nurturing family, sometimes my family is referred to the Cosby’s…like no joke.  My father does not wear the sweaters but were pretty much Cosby-like.

Reesa: (laughs) Ok, I was looking at your photos on your website and I really liked your black and white portraits. What makes you choose to do black and white versus color?

The Blackout

Nican: That a good question. The reason why I think that black and white photos should be used is number one; depending on what you photograph, colors tell you the answer but when using black and white it has to be read and felt. And two; the energy of the photo is locked into your imagination and you really have to feel the emotion.

Reesa: How do you go about capturing the perfect photo?

Nican: When I go about capturing a picture I use all different type of models and bakcgrounds.  Whether you are big, small, tall, the human body is a model.  It all depends on the situations on how I’m feeling.  I’ll go and reach out to a certain person and express the situation through my photography.

Reesa: One of my favorite models you shot is Adryan Sterling.  I love how you can capture her beauty from a different perspective. How do you define Beauty in the human body?

Model: Adryan Sterling

Nican: My answer is very simple but my meaning is deep. Everything is beautiful.  Everybody has a beauty about them; they may not see or recognize it.  As an artist/photographer you can pull the inner beauty out of someone.  When you look at my photos you can feel the beauty in every one of my models.  My goal is to define the beauty that people ignore within themselves.

Reesa: As an artist we tend to appeal to all of our senses when it comes to creativity.  So choosing one of the five; what sound or noise do you love the most? And why?

Nican: I like the sound of the dishwasher.  It’s really calming.  My mother would turn the dishwasher on and it at night and it would be soothing to me when I fall asleep. Also, I love the sound of Sam Cooke, even the song “Keep Moving On” he talks about how things in life happen but you have to keep moving on.

Nican Robinson is currently working in Oakland to pursue his career as a professional photographer.  Every week he has current projects that he displays on his blog and his portfolio at

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