Thirty Minutes with Nick Crawford

I find it very important to always try and find inspiration Whether from peers, contemporary artists, photographers from the past (like Vivian Maier or Saul Leiter), music, movies, or anything else that drives you. I started by just getting out there and shooting whatever happened. Over time, I started to become a bit more calculated, using that inspiration but putting my own twist on it.

I’ve been shooting for about 5 years. I’m originally from Los Angeles and when I made the move to Chicago, I decided to pick up a camera so I could share with my friends and family back home what I was up to. That hobby became a passion, and now photography is a big part of my life.

I try to make all my photos feel like you’re in the moment and not just looking at a static landscape or street scene. I started as an architectural and street photographer, but now I've been focusing more on landscape and travel photography, in addition to capturing Chicago. For me, composition is key, as well as the balance of light and shadow.

As someone who wasn’t born here and moved when I was 29, Chicago will always hold as special place for me. From it’s iconic skyline to the elevated trains to the street hustle, there's a ton to love, especially if you're a photographer. And, when the seasons change, it puts a different perspective on every shot.

My absolute favorite way to see the city is from above, and I don’t mean with a drone. There’s nothing quite like seeing your home from a helicopter. If you haven’t done it and are thinking about it, do it! You won’t regret it and will have memories that’ll last a lifetime.

I have a couple full frame cameras from Nikon The Z7, which is their newest mirrorless camera and the D750, which is a workhorse. My favorite lenses are my f/1.4 35mm and f/1.4 85mm Nikkor lenses, which mostly stay on the camera. From time to time, I'll also use a f/2.8 14-24mm wide angle, f/2.8 24-70mm, and when I need distance, I'll throw on the f/2.8 70-200mm. I also have a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone for aerial photography and videography, which allows me to gain new perspectives and fun angles.

I edit all my photos using Adobe Lightroom as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, both for desktop and mobile. Their tools are super easy to use and robust.  Frankly, I’m still learning every day how to better use these kinds of tools and become more efficient with my workflow.

Social Media, specifically Instagram, has played a huge role in my photography. It's really pushed my limits in terms of creativity and my desire to travel the world. I feel very fortunate to have collaborated with some large brands on campaigns driven by social media, though I always make time to shoot for myself or for personal projects.

@nickcrvwford