Last week Nous was fortunate enough to cross paths with one of the hottest young photographers in popular culture, Maddie Córdoba. For those of you who are familiar with her work, you would recognize her uniquely glamorous yet vulnerable photos anywhere, and for those who don’t, you will very soon. Córdoba has worked with Famous Dex, NBA Youngboy, Dougie F, PNB Rock, Rebecca Black, Leaf, and Larsa Pippen to name a few.
That kind of vulnerable glamour is what Maddie so special and really shines through her personality and personal Instagram. Her ability to capture emotion and invite viewers into the personal lives of the people she is shooting is an ability to take notice of. This six-foot tall woman with a septum piercing has a very promising future.
Maddie is from LA, more specifically from the valley and formally studied photography for four years at New York University. A place that has birthed many some of the greatest stars of our generation including Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, James Franco, Martin Scorsese, Mahershala Ali, and many more.
Historically vocalist received all the credit, something that has begun to evolve with the rising popularity of the intricacies of music production, namely Metro Boomin’, Travis Scott and others with recognizable sounds. In addition to the vocalist and person behind production, the person behind the camera has a big influence on how we consume music from the cover art to the music video. Which is why it is important to know and understand the work of people like Maddie.
Learn what Maddie has to say to young photographers and a bit about her story below, and don’t forget to check out her portfolio here.
Where are you from, how did you get your start, is there anything I should know, how did you get into photography tell me a bit about yourself.
I got into photography because my dad had a Yashica film camera he taught me to use. He was taking photos of things like his friends and cars on Fairfax in high school after moving here from Argentina. I got a digital point and shoot for my birthday in 7th grade and started posting stuff to Flickr and haven’t stopped shooting since. Everyone needed a new Myspace photo… you know how it goes.
I was super skinny when I was younger, and 6 feet tall as I am now, so I actually thought I was going to model. My mom said I had to go to high school first, so that kind of solidified my role on the other side of the camera.
As a photographer who has seen some success, what advice would you give to young photographers?
Don’t stand in your own way. Value yourself. Don’t stress if you feel like you fucked up a shoot — people probably didn’t notice and you can often pretend your mistakes were deliberate.
You have worked with some of the best up and coming artists in the game, which was the funnest to work with?
I would say PnB Rock because of how much fun we had with that shoot and how much we put into it. He was willing to jump on the couch, hold hairless cats with tuna juice in crystal goblets disguised as Hennessy and dance to Playboi Carti on top of a convertible in front of the Chateau Marmont. It’s kind of hard to top that.
Many people may not know that you have a BFA in photography from NYU, how has that shaped the way you approach the industry and how has it given you an upper hand against those who do not have formal training?
It’s tricky for me to decide how I feel about college because lots of super talented kids I met had to drop out or couldn’t go at all because they couldn’t afford it. With that said, I made the investment myself for many different reasons, maybe the main one to get me to New York. I use my formal training to remind myself of my value as a business. I think it’s important to know the masters and know how to read images and how to make them dynamic. There’s a lot of people running the game though that didn’t get formally trained — I think our generation is definitely shifting the way society views college.
What story do you try to tell with your art?
People have told me that there’s a certain “look” that my subjects give that is so signifying of my work. From a shallow standpoint, I like to make my subjects look cool and sexy. Who doesn’t want to look cool and sexy? On a deeper level, I like to catch them in moments people haven’t seen before. The best subjects are the ones that give me personality to work with, and we find a mood from there.
I also love to make statements on pop culture. I have worked with pop culture icons from Heidi Montag to Larsa Pippen to Paris Hilton. With people like that, I like to simply “witness” with my camera and let them be who they are. The answers are right there in the photo.
How do you keep yourself busy, other than photography? What are some of your hobbies?
I love working out. I have struggled with depression and anxiety issues in the past, and when I was told exercise would help, I really didn’t believe it. Since then my entire vibration has changed. I’m grateful every fucking day. When good or bad happens, I feel like I laugh with God either way because I know it’s all part of the plan.
For people who have never heard of you or seen your work, What should they know about Maddie Cordoba?
They should know that I know my worth. They should also know that nothing is really strange to me and no idea is too wild to shoot!