Angelo Kritikos has taken Hollywood by storm. In addition to being named W Magazine’s top upcoming celebrity photographer, Kritikos has been called upon to shoot some of the industry’s biggest names, including Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Nick Wechsler (Revenge) and Giuliana Rancic (E! News). As if that wasn’t enough of a full-time job, he’s also directing music videos for names like Pussycat Dolls’ Jessica Sutta.
Pursuitist had the opportunity to speak with Kritikos recently about just what it’s like behind behind the lens with some of Hollywood’s biggest young talents. Here are the answers to our top 10 questions.
What made you decide to become a photographer? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always had an interest in photography, but it wasn’t until high school that I began taking proper film classes. I absolutely fell in love with it and decided to look into art schools.
Canon or Nikon?
Fashion and celebrity photographers are getting a bad rep for their use of Photoshop — what’s your thought on the whole phenomenon of radical “retouching”?
I think Photoshop is only okay, in small doses. I definitely think that celebrities are overly retouched but it comes with the territory.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My photographic style is a reflection of my personal fashion style. I’m currently in love with street wear and the West Coast lifestyle. My fashion has become more playful and eccentric these last few months, so I love shooting those types of looks on the celebrities I work with. I’m currently shooting at locations around Melrose or Sunset because that’s typically where you’ll find me and my friends out and about. There are always pieces of me in my photography work.
Many of your subjects are celebrities, but your fashion work is also impressive. Would you prefer pre-planned shoots or are you more inspired by street style?
My pre-planned shoots are heavily influenced by raw street style, so shooting both is fun for me.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a photographer?
I have no clue!! I see myself doing so many different things. I’d love to eventually work overseas as a fashion editor for a major magazine, or possibly open up an art gallery… Maybe even launch a small line. Possibilities are endless! If I wasn’t doing photography, I’d be expressing myself in some other creative field.
You’ve recently started music video directing. Is more of that in your future?
Totally!! Directing is so challenging and fun for me. I’m currently prepping music videos for these two cool emerging artists named Alexx Mack and Evan Mellows. It’s gonna get trippy in my next two videos.
What photographers or artists most inspire you?
My inspirations range high and low. One of my all time fave photographers is Steven Meisel. His work is so poetic, romantic and at times, controversial. One of my favorite spreads of his is ‘Water & Oil’ featured in Vogue Italia. On the other side of the spectrum, I also turn to sites like Tumblr for inspiration. There are so many new-level artists that I think are so raw and creative.
You’ve photographed so many people at a young age! Is there anyone you haven’t yet photographed on your “bucket list”?
My bucket list is endless! I’d love to shoot with Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto. They both have a killer sense of style. I also love how expressive and quirky they are in photos.
Everyone wants to know how to pose like a celebrity — they always look so fabulous. What are your tips for the average person to look more natural when posing?
The trick to looking natural in photographs is to be natural! I think the most beautiful portraits I’ve taken are from subjects who are authentically themselves. Be confident and yourself and it will read in photos.