It’s impossible to miss Mark Nicdao’s work. From billboards to store windows and book and magazine covers across the country, this photographer’s high-impact style is always arresting.
He’s top of mind of local celebs like Anne Curtis, Kris Aquino, Sarah Geronimo and KC Concepcion for all their big campaigns; he has even shot international superstars like Adam Levine.
If you need a refresher on his work, there’s his photo book “Vantage” (ABS-CBN Publishing), and the star portraits in his one-man show, “Alive.” His list of projects may be too long to mention, but we got him talking about his career highlights, inspirations, and secret to a sharper image.
The people I’ve grown with in the biz are… KC Concepcion, Pam Quiñones, Georgina Wilson, Liz Uy and Ton Lao. Back then we were all just starting out in our respective careers. KC was still in Paris and modeling while studying; Georgina was likewise a part-time model while studying; Ton was also modeling; Liz and Pam were both editorial assistants in magazines.
My coolest projects and career highlights are… Shooting Adam Levine for Bench, which gave me so much exposure by also letting me shoot other international campaigns and endorsers. Bench sent me to Shanghai and the United States. It also gave me the opportunity to shoot its big local stars like Kris Aquino, Anne Curtis and KC Concepcion for Human. It was so cool
that Bench preferred to let me do its major campaigns.
I’ve likewise done a Guinness beer project in the US. When I was signed exclusively to do all the covers of Rogue magazine in 2009, (Thank you, Maricris Zobel!), I was paired with its creative director Miguel Mari and open-minded editor in chief Paolo Reyes who gave me absolute freedom to experiment.
Looking back at the path I’ve taken, I have to say… My Preview covers gave me a lot of mileage for experimentation in my early years with the tenure of the maverick Vince Uy and editor in chief Pauline Juan. Mega sent me to Paris twice (2005, 2006) courtesy of editor in chief Carla Sibal and Michael Salientes. My magazine shoots gave me as much buzz as my advertising shoots. It will always go hand in hand.
My work has taken me to such cities as… Paris, Tokyo, New York, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh; and other countries like India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy.
The part of my job most people don’t know about is… It’s not easy, it’s very stressful, but fulfilling. It’s fun, at the same time frustrating, but worth it.
Work that I’ve done which people probably don’t know about is… My published work in France, for Cahiers du Cinema. I did a portrait of Brillante Mendoza for the Cannes Film Festival issue, shot stills for a Catherine Deneuve movie by Andre Techine in Paris, and had a sitting with Tommy Lee Jones in Monaco for a film festival! I’m totally elated about those!
I have an extensive collection of… Rare books signed by Richard Avedon, Grace Coddington, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson, Glenda Bailey, Stephen Gan, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino and Kate Moss.
My staple outfits are… Any cotton long-sleeved shirt, jeans, slacks and boots and a cap or beanie.
Things you’ll find in my bathroom are… Free hotel stuff like shampoos and shower gels; Aesop’s, Caudalie, Molton Brown, etc. I use the best deo in the world, Driclor.
Scents I love are… Creed, Penhaligons, Francis Kurkdijian and Prince Jardinier
When it comes to hair, I’m obsessed with… Haircut and style by Celeste Tuviera. I don’t shave that much, but in case I need to, I go to Bruno’s.
Shooting deadlines and lack of sleep due to long nights of editing cause high stress. While everyone knows that stress can take a toll on a person, physically and psychologically, it can
also lead to dermatological problems such as acne, brittle nails and even hair loss. You heard it right, stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive.
Factors like stress and over-styling can cause hair to thin or fall out unnaturally. It’s not uncommon that by age 30, one in four men is balding; by age 60, two in three men are balding or bald. Although it’s impossible to avoid stress completely, there are at least ways to keep it from showing in your mane.
Kérastase introduces Initialiste. It’s the first serum based on native plant stem cells that enables it to grow stronger. This exceptional formula, developed like a skin serum, optimizes the follicular regenerative capacity.
After the first application, hair is more tonic, more resistant and stronger with 93 percent less breakage during brushing. After around one month, hair is stronger at the roots, and hair quality is visibly enhanced and revitalized. Initialiste is a leave-on product that is applied on towel-dried hair, directly on the scalp, just before styling. SRP is P2,850. Sold in select salons nationwide.
Visit www.kerastase.ph. Follow Mark Nicdao on Instagram @markednicdao.