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Life & Work with Nathan Cool

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathan Cool.

Hi Nathan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I always had a love for photography, but for many years I paid the bills as an engineer while doing photography part-time. Shortly after venturing into real estate photography, I became so busy that I had to make a tough choice: stay with the comfort of a regular paycheck, or take a chance to follow my passion of photography. I went full time into real estate photography some years back and being motivated to keep food on the table I worked more than ever to hone my craft, never being satisfied, no matter how I progressed. This led to discovery, which I started sharing on YouTube. In very little time, my tutorial videos went viral (so to speak) which grew not just my subscriber count but also requests for more information, which, long story short, turned into best-selling books on Amazon on photography, video, and virtual tours. It was an entirely organic process; I never set out to gain a YouTube following or write books on photography. I thought I’d just be able to get a decent income shooting houses. But now I keep a full shoot schedule, I’ve written eight books with another due out next year, and I have over 52,000 followers on YouTube. I still can’t believe all this has happened, and I don’t take any of it for granted.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve hit a number of bumps along the way. I had the toughest time photographing real estate interiors since I decided to take the hard yet high-quality path of using lighting. Anyone can churn out so-so HDR photos, but I wanted to produce architectural photography quality, knowing it could get me higher paying gigs. And it has. Working with lighting is tough at first, but once I got over that hump, the rest fell into place. I did very little marketing as word-of-mouth spread. Then the pandemic hit, which you would think would have slowed things down, but just the opposite happened. Realtors wanted not just photos but also virtual solutions like property videos, 360 tours, and websites. Since I had diversified early on before the pandemic, I gained new clients since their existing photography didn’t provide all of these services. But, complicating a rush-rush schedule to fit everyone in was that not everyone seemed to realize the severity of the pandemic; each time I showed up to a property, I would stress whether people were wearing masks, was the place clean, had someone been recently exposed, etc. I created a Covid-19 policy and started to strictly enforce it; in fact, I still do.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a photographer and writer. I specialize in real estate photography, which some may say lacks artistic appeal, but far from it. There are numerous challenges and creativity that I apply to my work every day, especially when creating marketing videos and emphasizing the feel for a property to appeal to certain buyer markets, telling a story when shooting photography. I also take on art projects in photography, challenging myself to create unique things with light. I think this is what helped me overcome some of the hurdles when I got into real estate photography. I’m extremely proud that I haven’t had to market myself and that people seek me out for my work. I’m also very humbled that books I’ve written on photography have become best-sellers and that photographers from around the world are willing to pay me for my time to train them as well.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
Fishing with my dad in the streams near our home when we lived in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t the fishing; it was time in nature and being with my dad. My dad, btw, was a real shutter bug; he took pictures of everything.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All photos copyright by Nathan Cool

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