Nic Nicosia’s studio is currently located in the desert outside of Santa Fe. Known for his staged photographs, Nicosia shared the story of the making of the well-known burning tree picture, Real Pictures , No. 11.

He had only lived in the suburban Dallas home for a few weeks when he rounded up some children in the neighborhood and took the now infamous shot.

It’s actually a limb that I cut off of a pecan tree and stuck in the ground. They are just standing around. They don’t really have gas. Well, I don’t know if I’ll tell the whole story. The only thing that’s on fire is that small limb, but somehow it looks like it grew up into that large tree. It’s all very safe. The water hose is right there. Again, I don’t take that many shots. I already know what I’m going to do. All I have to do is place the little actors, light the fire, and shoot the picture.

Complete Interview Transcript

Behind the Scenes Photos