When you think of current professional photography in Mallorca one name springs to mind, that of Nando Esteva, who despite his youth, already has a 20-year trajectory under his belt. He has been the worthy receiver of many accolades both for his work for his clients as well as the artistic series that he creates “to order”.
We were able to pin him down at his Palma studio between his many trips to the Caribbean or Asia and get him to dedicate us a few minutes of his precious time, for which we are eternally grateful.
–When did you discover your passion for photography and when did you realise it was the life for you?
–I decided I wanted to follow this path at a very young age, at 16. I have been fully devoted to photography for 24 years now and I have enjoyed every moment.
–How old were you when you got your first camera? Do you remember what it was?
–My first camera was an analogue Hasselblad that I bought second hand in Barcelona.
–What regulated studies did you complete?
–I am totally self-taught.
–Mallorca isn’t renowned for its great photographers, so who were you influenced by?
–There are great photographers such as Pedro Coll for example, Paulino, etc… Some famous artists have emerged from Mallorca in other disciplines, a few less in photography perhaps…. but they were all masters.
–You have specialised in food and restaurants, in the hospitality sector, which do you prefer?
–I have specialised in gastronomy and architecture/hotels, it’s all connected really. And thanks to all of this I was able to create “Food Art”.
–I really love the artistic side to it. Right now I am selling lots of my work as art for decorating homes, hotels and for collectors. I love seeing how my photos are used in interior design.
–I understand that your artistic streak is more closely linked to the possibilities of a dish rather than those of a hotel room, right?
–That’s true, photographic production is one thing and your artistic side is quite another. The art inside of me motivates me to keep growing. Logically, without leaving the production side of things. It’s like a drug, I can’t give it up.
–LUX, IPA, One Eyeland, Florence-Shanghai, Paris Px3, Moscow, Hasselblad Master Awards… This long list of awards from different places and with such a diverse range of judges, tells us something of your international appeal.
Do you have non-Mallorcan buyers among your client base?
–Many of my customers from the island and those from outside of it put their trust in my work year after year. I can only thank them for their faith in me and my professional evolution.
–Which of your works is your personal favourite?
–Rostros (faces) because it involves the entire collection, with Rostros I paid homage to my father and to people suffering from cancer.
–When are you going to open a studio overseas?
–I’ve had a permanent studio in Madrid but really the island pulls me more… My studio is wherever I am working at the time. I am lucky to be able to travel all over the world doing what I love most.
–It has been difficult to locate you. How much time do you spend away from the island?
–I spend much of the year coming and going from the island, and always with the unconditional support of my family.
–What human and technical resources do you have on your team?
–I have a fantastic technical assistant and I use freelance professionals according to the project in hand.
–What is your next challenge?
–To follow along a progressive line in the world of art, creating new photographic collections that continue to attract worldwide recognition.
–Which client have you still not worked with that you would like to?
–I am very fortunate with my customers, if I was to ask for more I would like to become more known in Northern Europe, this motivates me in the world of productions.
–As with other professions, technology obliges me to keep myself up-to-date, or die! Is that right? What is your opinion of the increasing use of drones for photographic work?
–Actually, three years ago I decided to apply for my unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) remote pilot’s licence. Everything evolves almost too quickly and this obliges you to stay abreast of these new tools.
–Premium is a magazine with a great graphic base. What is your opinion of photojournalism?
–I love photojournalism; in fact I have great respect for it as you need to have a good eye to take a good photo. I admire press photographers for their skill and ability.
–Finally, in the future do you see yourself giving master classes in your own photography academy?
–I really love to give talks to students on training programmes, but holding too many classes is complicated, as I believe they end up better prepared than me, the boss!
We would like to finish by adding that apart from your high professional standing, you are also a great human being, as you have proven by sharing your time with us.