Tell us about yourself.
Hello, I’m Dylan Nierstedt. I’m a 24-year-old aspiring filmmaker from Lavallette, New Jersey. My photography is something I’ve been using over the past two years to bring imaginary film scenes to life. It’s very experimental. I never go into shooting with a solid idea. They’re all by chance.
What is your favorite subject matter and why?
My friends are my favorite subjects, most definitely. I owe a lot to all of them. They’re all willing to do things that anyone else would question or be too uncomfortable to do.
Where do you gain inspiration from?
I gain inspiration everywhere and from anything. I was born in Brooklyn New York, where at the time was in the middle of the anime crazes of ‘Pokémon’ and ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ cards, so I would say anime plays a huge part in my visuals and how I edit my photos. Growing up and listening to punk, soul, goth pop, and electronica inspired my characters. I currently live on the shore of New Jersey in a small town called Lavallette. Surf culture has finally grown on me after a bad job experience and several of my mother’s friends whom I didn’t care for. I’ve recently been inspired by glam rock, psychedelic visuals, retro-pop, and European art films such as ‘Nymphomaniac’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
What is your favorite photo you’ve ever captured and why?
That’s a difficult question. I’ve taken thousands and thousands of photos in my lifetime. The good ones are the good ones and the bad ones are the bad ones. My favorites are the good ones.
What do you want people to get from viewing your photography?
I hope they see a sense of mystery and purity in my photos. I like to make everyone look as perfect as they naturally can without editing anyone’s physical appearance. I’m real. I have a beer belly and have a chipped tooth as I write this. You’re only perfect if you know how to accept yourself.
Why do you create?
I create because it’s an outlet for me to express myself both emotionally and spiritually. Filmmaking and photography make me happy and feel serene. I hope what I make inspires people.
Tell us about your photo book.
My first ever book is called ‘The Era of the Idiot’ and it’s about the last stretch of time between September and last week. I conceived the title of the book after the election and it features photos I’ve taken during my two-week stay in Oregon this past January, photos of my closest friends and a couple of family members, and photos taken in various locations. It’s out now.
Do you have anything else you’d like people to know about you?
“I’m gay!” – Ellen DeGeneres