Life is so much more exciting when my camera is hanging from my shoulder. It’s a magnet for adventure. Since 2011, when I quit my day job to be a full time photographer, my camera has lead me to 37 states where I’ve pursued a variety of photo essays on the American experience. I publish these projects in places like the New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine (see nolanconway.com).
You might think this editorial background would have a great effect on my wedding photography, but in many ways, it’s the opposite. My very first paid photography gig was a wedding. Shooting weddings over the years has really shaped me as a photographer. I’ve built my career on being creative. And there are no photography subjects, more open to doing fun and interesting things, than brides and grooms. Weddings are nonstop experimentation and inspiration.
Why do I enjoy shooting Weddings?
We spend most of our adult lives doing emotionless activities. A wedding is a rare instance where you can let your emotions explode. You can laugh, you can cry, and you can even get angry. Basically it’s the one day when you have a free pass to experience life like a five year old. Aside from shooting a five year old’s birthday, I can’t think of a more interesting event to photograph.
How do I get people comfortable in front of a camera?
I’ve always just had an easy time with other people. This is probably most evident in my editorial work where I frequently have to approach complete strangers. I’ve never thought anything of the fact that regular going about their lives will gladly dedicate a half hour or more to whatever project I’m working on. Other photographers are amazed by this, and will ask how I do it, and I tell them “I just act naturally, and I’m upfront with them.” I apply these same practices to my wedding photography.
What is my style of photography?
When people look at my work, it comes up frequently that it is very representative of my personality. I like to think of myself as a creative, fun person who seeks out interesting things. Hopefully that is what people see in my photography.
I know that some photographers prescribe to specific styles of photography. Some shoot everything candidly, and others pose everything. Ideally people would pose themselves perfectly in every situation. Since things don’t often work out that way, in addition to shooting candidly, I encourage couples to pose one way or another. Thankfully, I have an effortless time with people
Is your wedding at an unusual or new venue?
In all my years taking pictures I’ve never shot at the same venue twice. The tri-state area is so big that shooting new venues is the norm for me. I’m certainly excited to experience new things. If I were to shoot at the same venue again, however, the photos will still be unique, because you are all so different.