Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathan Cool.
Nathan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I remember my first camera, I was just 8 years old. I always loved photography and as time and technology marched on my love for all things photo grew. I was fortunate to have a 30-year career as an engineer, 20 of which I also worked as a part time Forecast Meteorologist, which I still do today for Surfer Magazine. I also ventured into writing and published a few books along the way. My technical career helped to launch my photography venture and support my art, both financially and, more importantly, aesthetically, giving me an eye for how things are made, displayed, and perceived by the human mind.
When I was young I studied piano and also played guitar (classical and heavy metal). I loved the classics –Liszt, Beethoven, and Chopin — and my parents would have appreciated me pursuing a career in music — something I felt was not a financially-worthy venture. Nevertheless, learning the classics shed light on artistic endeavors in a way that, only recently, I’ve learned to appreciate.
I learned (or at least feel) that having a broad view of life, function and form, allows one to see the world differently. If I had studied “only” photography, I think my work and style would be limited. But having experience with design, music, writing, and technology can sometimes put an interesting twist on my work.
I started out photographing fitness and the human form, taking that a step further with high speed photography and specialized post-processing, putting a unique theme on much of my artistic portraiture projects.
This led me into an easy transition to concentrate on real estate and architectural photography, which occupies most of my time these days. I love shooting houses, hearing people’s stories, and making a property look its best, knowing I’m showing someone their future home, while envisioning how they may live in it. Now that I’m approaching “semi” retirement, and knowing, now more than ever of life’s finite mortality, I put my heart and soul into everything I do — every house, every portrait, and every vision.
I hope I’m still shooting people places and things well into my old age. When I stop, so will my clock.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My life was a struggle in many ways, leaving home at just 17 and making it on my own was tough. To eat and have a roof over my head I worked every job I could get my hands on. I was lucky in many ways with my technical career; without it my photography would have died long ago. When I was in my late teens and early 20s I literally had to plan where my next meal would come from, and I didn’t always have three a day. Nowadays things are much, much different. Struggle made me not only stronger, but broadened my mind. I think this has helped me in so many ways.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nathan Cool Photo – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Today I mostly concentrate on real estate photography, but I still have clients that will fly into LA for fitness and artistic portraiture. For real estate, I use my portrait experience, using studio lighting to a property’s advantage — similar to shooting muscle tone and form, when shooting a house, I show its character. I like to say that light shows the subject but the shadows tell its story.
These processes take longer, but for real estate agents it sets them apart — clients love to see that their commissions are going toward someone who knows how to market their home. And for portraiture, the true nature of a subject can be revealed.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I hate chasing the latest shiny bobbles of technologies or trends. I do though plan on continuing to perfect my craft; after all, it’s never perfect. Imagination is endless.
- Website: www.NathanCoolPhoto.com
- Phone: 805-768-4647
- Email: Nathan@NathanCoolPhoto.com