Jacket / Gap Kids
Pants / Gap Kids
Boots / Cherokee
Finally we had the chance to catch up with one of our favorite photographers. His name is Noah C.E.O.ah. Yup, he is that fly. Noah and his equally dope wifey Clariza, and two kids Nohli and Manolo (yes, like the shoes!) are a family with so much flavor, it spills out all around them. It creates for some of the most brilliant images.
1) Your photos of your kids are mesmerizing, unforgettable, and at the core are just very honest. What inspires you when you are looking through that lens?
My kids are definitely my biggest inspiration. It was after my daughter Nohli’s birth that I really started to OD on the camera. She was so photogenic. She made me want to document all these moments and steps as she grew. When my son Manolo was born, it just doubled the inspiration. My kids are always motivating me to grab the camera. Clariza is a big inspiration as well. I always say it’s easy to take beautiful pictures when you surround yourself with beautiful people. New York is also a major inspiration, but every photographer that lives in New York will tell you that.
2) Your technique is very special. The effect of the photos are always surreal and distinctive. What is your process?
I feel like everyone is a photographer (fauxtographers everywhere) now on some level, so I really go out of my way to make my pictures stand out. I only shoot film. I think film just adds a level of depth & texture that digital doesn’t. I love the little unique mistakes that film picks up. Film also motivates me not to over shoot by taking a million pictures. I think overshooting, especially with kid photography, ruins the special moments because at the end of the day a great picture will never out weigh a great experience with your children. With film every shot is a lot more meaningful. I shoot a wide variety of film from Black & White to Red Scale to Slide film. I really like to change it up for different looks. I also love double exposure. I guess that’s the Gemini in me. I like a real saturated, colorful backdrop, and I try to take the shots that aren’t the typical point of view. I don’t like the over propped, staged shots. I like to catch the realness as it happens. My best technique is to have the camera ready at all times.
3) I love seeing the world through your eyes, its like seeing things for the first time. How did your style emerge? Where was it “born” from?
I liked the camera from a young age. One of my first cameras was a Polaroid. I had a really unlucky run with cameras after that. I think I had about 5 cameras that were either lost or stolen. That kind of turned me away from the lens for awhile. Right after my daughter was born, I headed to B & H searching for a better digital camera to go along with my Canon Power Shot. I left with a massive Nikon F-5 Film camera instead of a digital joint. Since that, I have been on the film tip hard. I would say my style is gritty, dirty, classic, raw.
4) You have 2 small kids, you are based in NYC but travel constantly. Tell us about your favorite places to take the kids.
It’s not easy traveling with kids. I could tell a lot of stories about the stresses of children & travel but I think its important to continue to travel even as the parent of young children for you and for them. My kids are half Dominican and Clariza has a lot of family there including her mother & younger sister. As a family tradition every winter, we spend at least a month down there. We visit with her mom in Santiago and then travel by bus or car all over the island from Montecristi (where she was born) to Sosua to Punta Cana to Las Terrenas. We go every where! The trip is always an adventure, the island is beautiful, the people are happy, the food & drink-delicious and of course pictures are plenty. My parent’s live in New Hampshire & our kids love the healthy fun of nature & the beach in the country. We make trips year round to New England. A childhood favorite of mine & now for us as a family is Block Island. We have also visited Florida. My family is always traveling. I’m sure the kids will definitely have some great memories. On a photography tip, its amazing to capture children in new surroundings. Next stop on the Simo von Ritter Tour…the West Coast!
5) Nohli & Nolo are always dressed super fly! You and your beautiful Lady are always on point. Can you tell us where the flavor comes from? Where do you shop for the kids and how does it all come together?
Clariza is a straight pro when it comes to fashion. She is as creative with the kids as she is dressing herself. She puts most of Nohli’s outfits together. Definitely all the ones that are Planet Awesome Kid worthy! But I try to keep the kids fresh too. I’m a little more “accidental” when I dress my kids. I usually grab what ever is laying around closest to me & what ever is clean (enough). Often times I get reprimanded for some of my “choices”. Nohli is lucky to have 2 older girl cousins (Noelya & Noemi) as well as her favorite (boy) cousin Cairo so she receives a ton of HMDs (hand me downs) from them. Because of this, Nohli has this chic tom-boy/city-girl style. When we are dressing Nohli, she always asks “Who gave me this?” She knows that a lot of her clothes were passed down to her from someone else. We really like to intermix contradicting yet complimentary styles both in fashion & in our lives. It seems like Nohli’s style just keeps evolving as she starts to make more of her own choices in fashion & personal style. Some of her favorites included rain boots in the sun, tutu skirts over jeans,her brother’s shirts ,mama’s sunglasses, and my camera. Now that Manolo is a year old, his style is starting to show up more. He’s a classic man’s man and future “Lo Head”. It’s exciting to think about how their personal style will grow. If I could offer any advice, for what its worth, it’s all about layering and the forced creativity of mixing the new with the old. As far as shopping goes we love second hand shops in random cities. There’s also a lot of personal items we have already started to save for both Manolo & Nohli…fashion comes and goes but style, style is forever!
Here are some upcoming events for See Thru Money:
I’m doing another “No Matter What I Always Win Dough” which is a show I did using vintage windows as the frames for my pictures. They are great pieces showing in Brooklyn early Spring
Planning a show in Santiago, Dominican Republic for the Fall
And finally I’m working on a few photo books that will be dropping soon.
It’s gonna be a busy year for The CEOah and See Thru Money