Nabil Elderkin

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Nabil Elderkin
Born Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Music video director,
Film director,
Photographer
Website
www.nabil.com

Nabil Elderkin is a professional photographer, music video, and film director of mixed American and Iranian origin. Born in Chicago and raised in Australia, he is now based in Los Angeles, California.

Beginnings[edit]

Nabil Elderkin is the son of an American father and Iranian mother. Born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, his family moved to Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia when he was just two[1] and became a naturalised Australian citizen. He studied at Port Macquarie High School and was a keen sportsman, particularly an avid surfer. His initial experience of photography was through photo shoots of the surfing scene in Australia.

In early 1990s, his parents separated and his mother returned to the United States. Soon Elderkin, just 17 at the time, joined his mother in Chicago. He studied photography and for some years photographed music bands and concerts and Chicago-based DJs.

His big break came when he befriended the then relatively unknown rap artist Kanye West. Elderkin had heard a Kanye West mixtape and had tried to contact the rapper by looking up www.kanyewest.com. The website came up as unregistered but available for registration, so he bought the domain name on an impulse. Three weeks later an executive from Roc-A-Fella Records contacted Elderkin to tell him the label had just signed Kanye West to a multi-album deal and wanted to know how much he was asking for the domain name. Without a monetary transaction Elderkin agreed to transfer the domain name provided he could meet the new artist and do a photoshoot with him, these images went on to be the artist's first publicity photos.[1]

Career[edit]

Nabil Elderkin's work has appeared in many platforms including advertising, magazine editorials and covers, artist branding, music videos, books, album covers and photojournalism. His clients list includes, amongst others artists, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Frank Ocean, Nas, Bon Iver, The Black Eyed Peas, K'naan, Seal, John Legend, record labels Capitol Records, Universal Music, Sony, Warner Bros. print and broadcast media Billboard, Rolling Stone, Vogue, MTV, Rizzoli, fashion personalities like designer Jeremy Scott and model Heidi Klum, the charity Oxfam and manufacturers Coca Cola, Foot Locker, Nike, adidas, Vans.

Elderkin also photographed Kanye West's biographical book Glow in the Dark[2] documenting the Kanye West's "Glow in the Dark Tour" in 2008. His endeavour into photojournalism in war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo through co-operation with Oxfam worker Claire Lewis resulted in a critically acclaimed exhibition at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2007. He also has directed numerous films for Frank Ocean, such as Pyramids, Novacane and Thinkin Bout You.

His debut long feature is the award winning documentary film Bouncing Cats[3] about a breakdance workshop for teaching b-boy culture to Ugandan disenfranchised youth. The film was financed by Red Bull through its Red Bull Media House.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 2009: Glow in the Dark (Book and CD) – by Kanye West, photography by Nabil Elderkin

Filmography[edit]

Videography[edit]

Awards[edit]

Year Project Ceremony Category Result
2012 Frank Ocean, "Swim Good" MTV Video Music Awards Best Direction in a Video Nominated
Best Male Video Nominated
Kanye West, "Mercy" Best Hip Hop Video Nominated
2010 Bouncing Cats Newport Beach Film Festival Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking Won
Urbanworld Film Festival[4] Best Documentary Feature Won
Bahamas International Film Festival Best Documentary Feature Won
DocUtah Audience Favorite Won

References[edit]

External links[edit]