Nathan is a published lifestyle, product, and portrait photographer in Southern California. With a genuine interest in movies, surfing, and adventure, Nathan loves to travel.
1.How did you develop an interest in photography?
It started with music. I would see photos of my favorite bands and get inspired to make the same kind of art. Through music, social media, and close friends, I thendiscovered graphic design, which led to photography.
2.How did you start your career as a photographer?
I started by practicing with my friends, siblings, and bringing my camera everywhere. At the time, I found a community of creatives that positively influenced my career goals.
3.Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking,photographing, and career path?
One of my first influences is Jeremy Cowart. He not only expresses himself through his art, but also in what he stands for as a person of integrity and selflessness. He has such a heart for building community and I really admire that.
4.What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
I love people. There’s a special kind of trust that’s built when you’re on either side of a camera. In front, you kind of have to be vulnerable to make a good photo.Behind the camera, you have to be vulnerable also. Good portraits come from ateam that trusts each other well. Those kinds of relationships are difficult to comeby, and I think they’re what makes photography really fulfilling for me.
5.How has photography transformed you as a human being?
Photography has changed me in two main ways. First, in how I see others.Second, in how I see myself. It’s ironic – photography has transformed me most when I’m not even holding a camera. It’s because of who it’s connected me to.
I’ve been able to meet some of the most amazing people through taking photos.Those relationships have made me see value in other human beings, but also realized value within myself also. Community.
6.What are the key differences you can identify in yourself before and after starting photography?
Before photography, I took a lot of things for granted. Architecture, human communication, shapes, colors, and most important of all, light. I’ve been able to learn more about all those things and it’s literally changed how I see the world. I’ll be driving down the road, or walking through the mall and see ads. Then, I’ll start to analyze how a certain image was created. Or I’ll walk through a building and the way light comes through the window might catch my eye, or a reflection in a car window, or a pop of color in an unexpected place. I’m much more creatively inspired after photography.
7.What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
Surround yourself with the right people. Find people who will not only encourage you in your goals, but who will also challenge you in a healthy way so that you don’t become too comfortable.
8.What equipment do you prefer to use?
I switch between my Canon 6D and my iPhone X. I’m really impressed by the performance of my phone camera, so I’m currently challenging myself to use it more often.
9.Do you have any formal training?
In graphic design, I have formal training, but in photography, I learning mainly from my close friends.
10.What is your favorite photo you ever took?
So far, my favorite photo is one I took of my wife underwater. I have it saved as my phone wallpaper.
11.What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
I’m still learning how to do this well myself, but I think the story behind the photo is a lot of times more memorable than the photo itself.
12.How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with his subjects to bring out their true self?
This is so important for me. I think non-verbal communication is the most effective and important among all forms. If I’m able to communicate clearly and respectfully with my subject, it makes all the difference. I put high value on the person in front of the camera, because they’re in so much more of a vulnerable position. It demands respect and that’s really important to me.
13.Who was your favorite person to photograph?
So far, it’s my wife. We have a way of communicating so well together, it’s just so fluid and easy to create with her.
14.Colour vs. Black and White. Why one over the other, and is the photographic process different?
In my own work, I love using color. It’s a little more challenging, but in a way that keeps my mind vigilant, which I like. I have a lot of respect for B&W photographers, though.
15.What do you have planned for the future?
I plan to connect with more dancers. I feel like I don’t yet have a good understanding of how the human body expresses emotion, but I think good dancers do. I really want to challenge myself to explore that more.
Thank you so much to Nathan for agreeing to the interview ! I personally have been a huge fan of his work and it was so wonderful to get to know the man behind the photos ! You can find Nathan and all of his other links on his site