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  • Writer's pictureHeart of Gold Gallery


Heart of Gold Gallery brings a little California cool to Charleston with its newest photographer.

Meet photographer Nico Guilis, a true Californian. Her work personifies California cool in the most organic way possible. Nico focuses her camera on surf and skate culture and has a beautiful way of making you feel like you’re out West skating down palm lined streets or surfing the Pacific ocean.

Nico’s passion for art and photography started young and from there, she built her all-out creative brand, Find Your California.

My dad gave me a 35mm Pentax at age 9. Taught me how to load and wind the film. I’d take photos of my friends and develop them at the market.

I think for anyone, finding your California is just a circle back to happiness. That longing for summer nights where your skin feels warm, being carefree at the beach with your friends. Bottling moments and memories, I try to capture that same innocence of emotion in my photography.

Over the years, Nico found her niche photographing the surf and skate community, often paddling out next to her subjects for the perfect surf shot or positioning herself in line to capture the epic skate trick.

Anything in motion is my vibe. I grew up next to Malibu and when I moved to the east coast I spent winters in Puerto Rico. I really developed my skill with the girls in Puerto Rico, [shooting from] sunrise to sunset.

We asked Nico what it’s like to work with the surf and skate community and her experience being a female in a predominately male sport:

Well girl power didn’t exist and I was always being hired by male brands to visually create their Women’s divisions. I had to be tough and tell them to back off when need be without bowing down on what I wanted to do.

[When working with the surf and skate community], it’s all about respect, knowledge and working hard toward a goal. Surfers and Skaters are always evolving as the years progress, one thing that doesn’t change is they are all getting after the same natural high. 

We are thrilled to bring you the work of Nico Guilis at Heart of Gold Gallery. We will be showcasing her work in our upcoming Surf Show, July 2020.

Visit our website to shop Nico’s collection online.

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