INTERVIEW WITH FREELANCE PHOTO COMP WINNER | NICK GREEN
When I saw that our 2019 judge Trent Mitchell had chosen one of Nick Green’s photos as the winner- I’m not going to lie. I was pretty stoked. I have been trying to get Nick on the show for a while now, but he certainly is one busy man. Although I couldn’t get him on for a podcast episode I was still lucky enough to be able to send through a few questions for him to answer and they certainly didn’t disappoint. So many words of wisdom and great pieces of advice in here. Thanks for taking the time Nick!
Where do you call home?
Whose work do you admire the most currently?
Sebastien Zanella’s work intrigues me a lot
A lot of quotes resonate with me, most of them are cheesy or cliché..
The quote that’s relevant as I answer this would probably be ‘you cant have a rainbow without a little rain’ literally and metaphorically I think its quite clever.
Tough one! I really like; Into the Wild.. The Truman Show.. probably more for the concepts behind them more than anything.. but I watch a lot of movies actually, it really depends on how I’m feeling or what I’m in the mood for.
What’s your favorited thing to do in your own time?
I’ve been long boarding a fair bit lately.. id say a good session in the water with mates is an ideal day for me if I’m not shooting.
What’s a book that you would recommend?
Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, its fucking raw and super entertaining.
Cascade Lager/Draught.. beer in general
Nick’s Winning Image
Tell us all a bit about yourself? Where did you grow up, why photography, and who/what have been your biggest influences?
Im a proud Tasmanian, lived her my entire life and whenever I leave I fall in love with this place more and more, don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and experience other places and cultures or whatever but the lifestyle we are lucky enough to live down here is insane.. I think that in itself is a major influence to my photography. My parents bought me a shitty little waterproof camera when I was a teenager and that really started things off for me.. taking photos when me and my mates would go surfing and all that. It was around this time that I went through a fairly significant life changing event. Not to get too heavy but I tried to end my life, I was just a confused kid who had all these thoughts and feelings in my head that I couldn’t stop, I was in pain and wanted them to end. Im so grateful that I survived though, I really am. But the next few years were really tough.. I was diagnosed with major depression and severe anxiety and had to go talk to a pyscho every week for a pretty long time. Its kind of weird looking back on it all now but I guess when all of this was happening, I just kept taking photos.. and I was enjoying doing so. It wasn’t for anyone or anything, I just felt good when I did it and at that point anything that felt good I held onto pretty tight.
What is something that you feel has held you back in the past?
Caring what other people think.. I think that’s a pretty common thing for anyone who is in the creative industry these days.. , with the infinite possibility to negatively compare yourself with others simply by scrolling through your newsfeed on your phone. Not wanting to shoot something a certain way or even at all because you aren’t sure if its what other people want or whatever, its bullshit but it’s definitely something that’s affected me. I dunno maybe it’s more a confidence thing, not being sure of my work, if I think it’s good enough? I know that when I shoot something i’m really stoked on, I couldn’t give a shit if other people aren’t into it though, so it’s not always there.
How has your vision changed from when you started photography to now?
Yeah 100%, when I first started shooting I didn’t really have anything that was directing me as such.. I was just shooting whatever and sharing whatever. And like I was saying before, shooting things that maybe I didn’t necessarily even want to but thought that other people would be interested.. These days I shoot pretty much only stuff that I want to shoot, and I often find myself spending a lot of time planning these images and then holding onto a lot of them for future projects, trying too create something with a little more meaning than a single image.
What’s the one thing you look for in every photograph you take?
Aesthetically pleasing with a touch of intrigue.
What drives you to do what you do? Do you have an goals or things you would like to achieve with your photography?
It all really comes back to the shit I was going through as a kid.. photography has kept me motivated to get out of the house and actually live my life, it’s been a saving grace having this creative outlet that’s also managed to fund my lifestyle. It’s something that requires you to be super in the moment and present which is something that I can struggle with at times so it’s a really good practise to transfer over into my everyday life. I had a goal to get the cover of a surf magazine, and I ticked that off this year, scoring the cover of Surfers Journal, that was really cool and I’ve been trying to give myself more goals so I’ve got stuff to aim for. I’ve been working on a few different independent photo books as well as working towards having a small gallery opening at the end of the year.
Tell me about the best piece of advice you have ever received? Are there anything thing that you wished you had known earlier?
Don’t try and be someone you’re not.
How do you relate to the fear of failure? Has there been a time in your life where it has affected you?
Yeah for sure.. I fail all the time haha. But if you don’t fail you don’t appreciate succeeding and you don’t ever learn anything. Sometimes it can be hard to think that optimistically but for the most part I try to remind myself that. The money side of things can be tough.. when you’re in-between gigs and questioning when the next one will pop up, what your going to do to pay rent or buy food..
What have been some of the struggles (work wise/head-space wise) you have had in the past and how did you go about dealing with them?
Living in Tasmania has been pretty hard to branch out. We have such a smaller population down here and with that comes a much smaller demand for work, especially in the type of work im looking for. Last year I was actually considering moving to the ‘mainland’ (east coast Australia) to try my luck with getting work up that way.. It seems a lot easier up there to score the odd job here and there.. go to the beach, link up with a talented surfer or a beautiful model or shoot for a local surf brand or whatever.. very much who you know not what you know, it isn’t like that down here. But then I considered how many people would have had that same thought or how many people are already doing that.. and do I really just wanna be another person doing the same shit as everyone else? Tassie is fucking amazing and there’s so much opportunity for really rad projects to happen down here.. I mean it’s hard work as a freelance photographer down here.. it is. But when the jobs come, they’re worth it and I can always travel interstate or internationally for work. I guess right now i’m trying to do as much as I can to create a brand for myself, to show people what I can do and to create my own unique style.
At your lowest point what picked you up to keep going?
The idea of sitting at a desk working a 9-5
What is some advice you would give photographers or creatives who might be a few stages behind you or just starting out today?
Shoot what you want, however you want too.. it might not be any good but at least youre being true to yourself and not just copying someone else, youre creating something new and that in itself is a success.
Who would be your dream client / athlete / person to photograph?
Hmmmm, nat geo? Travelling the world getting paid to shoot your adventures would be pretty dam cool.
Links To More Of Nick Greens Work.
Instagram: @nickgreenphoto (click)