Like the first subject in my series, Bryan Sutter, Nate focuses his photographic efforts primarily on music-related subjects. And like Sutter, he also sports some fantastic facial hair. What is it with music shooters and beards anyway?
Now I promise that not all of the subjects in this project will be music photogs, nor will they all have beards. It just so happens that since I shoot a lot of music myself, I’ve gotten to know many of these folks in the pit at shows.
Nate and I recently spent an afternoon chatting over lunch and beers and among the many fascinating things I learned about him is that he has a clearly defined vision when it comes to shooting shows. While a lot of music photographers tend to deify the artists that pass in front of their lens, Nate shoots in an intimate way that instead closes the gap between viewer and subject. Sure, he captures the live performance but by focusing on things like hands & feet, set lists, equipment details and such, he gives his audience an insider’s viewpoint.
As a result of his approach, he has forged personal relationships with many of his subjects that have led to new opportunities to photograph them both on stage and off. This is particularly evident in his work with the artist Pokey LaFarge, a St. Louis native that’s quickly gained national recognition via a relentless touring schedule. Nate is launching a full-fledged website very soon, but in the meantime you can check out his work at http://www.flickr.com/natebnate. Here are two examples:
The brilliant Mr. B is also unique in that he presents his work almost exclusively in black and white. In homage to his style, I decided to shoot our session accordingly. We spent another afternoon chatting and drinking beer then took a walk around the block in Nate’s new ‘hood, shooting all the while.
Now while you check out the photos from the session, I’m gonna go work on growing my beard.