10 minutes with Nathaniel Welch

Interviews with Photographers August 15, 2011 10:31 am

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I knew I wanted to be a photographer in high school…I took a photography class, and got an A+..school was always pretty tough for me, I was a solid C student..but photography and art classes I always did well in, and knew that was where my future would be…

 

Nathaniel Welch

 

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

 

How can an editor be most helpful when giving you an assignment?

An editor can be the most helpful i think by being supportive about the whole shoot experience, and not putting any ideas into a photographers head that makes them second guess themselves. Hire the photographer, give a little bit of direction, but be decisive and clear.. any wishy washy direction only makes a photographer nuts with insecurity second guessing what the editor meant.

 

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

 

I love your series, Spring Broke, what gave you the idea for the project and how long did you spend working on it?

 

I grew up in florida, went to college in daytona beach, and lived spring break every spring for several weeks… my friends and I would watch MTV spring break coverage and be like, “that is so fake, spring break isn’t that clean, the people aren’t that pretty, and theres plenty of pain, not just partying happiness, as that is all they show.”  So it was really just me wanting to lift the carpet and show the truth.. I knew it was there, and it really wasn’t that hard to find once I started the project..the book really is about growing up and making good and bad decisions, but that ultimately the young adults in the book aren’t bad people, just trying to navigate young adulthood..

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Who would your dream subject be?

 

My dream subject would be like this: I’m in my 70’s but still working all the time on great projects.. I get a call to photograph a man for a great magzine, as this man is the best at what he does and a magazine is putting him on the cover…then the editor tells me the subjects name “Henry Welch”, and I realize it is my own son… that would be awesome, because I will still be working all the time, and my boy will have grown up doing something that he loves and doing it better than anyone else ..bonus if he is the president! …I have no one famous or infamous person that I would love to shoot.. but I will say this, I have the best time photographing regular everyday people more than the famous…

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Nathaniel Welch

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

 

Show the world what you know to be interesting, but feel like it hasn’t been shown the way you see it. When I did Spring Broke, a lot of people said “its been done. Mary Ellen Mark has done it, so has so and so”..etc etc….but I knew that there was a lot more than what other photogs had shown..and with “Jesse James and his beautiful machines,”  same thing. I knew it was a great subject, building metal things from scratch with your hands.  That book isn’t about motorcycles like a lot of people think. Its about building things out of metal from scratch…follow your gut and show the world what YOU KNOW to be interesting. Thats the best advice I can give, trust what you know without having to ask anyone’s opinion…you are probably right…

 

(Natty is based in NYC. See more of his work, here.)

2 Comments

  • I bought this guys “Spring Broke” book awhile ago and thought it was awesome to see what really goes on just like he mentions. The pictures toward the end of the book of just utterly run down people was awesome.

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