Where I've Been and Where I Plan to Go...

Where I’ve been…

About three years ago, after almost exactly 20 years of being self-employed as a photographer, I found myself finally fed up with the assignment photography rat race and started thinking about becoming a fine art photographer instead so I could, quite frankly, please myself. The last five years of that period had really become a struggle…. not just financially, but creatively. Nothing I was shooting was even remotely inspiring and at some point, after long deliberations and lots of fretting, I decided to just get a regular job and step back from freelance assignment photography. Somewhere in the middle of that last five years, I bought an old Nikon F and rediscovered analog photography.

Years prior to this though, is when I think the true death spiral of Tom Nutter Photography began… and ironically perhaps, It was when I traveled to the now out-of-business Lens & Repro Equipment Corporation in New York City to sell the contents of my little green Domke bag which was full of the beloved Leica cameras and lenses that had traveled the world with me, but I barely used anymore. Before they became …as I stupidly feared at the time… super-expensive paperweights after the final demise of film, I wanted to sell them to fund the updated digital camera that I needed so desperately to keep myself on the pro photography treadmill. Analog photography mattered to me and somehow digital assignment photography was lost on me as a way forward.

While this is not really an argument about digital vs. analog photography, I felt compelled in this first blog post to explain myself a little to the people that matter in my creative career. Basically I was not feeling fulfilled and needed a change. I have limited assignment photography to very choice opportunities and commissions and I am now working as a fine art photographer.

Where I am Going…

I’m almost three years into my “straight job” and after keeping a low profile for a much needed respite, I am feeling creative again. Since film-photography has finally found a fairly sound footing again as a bit of a niche, and since analog is where my heart is, I have chhosen to work almost exclusively in that medium.

Much of my work is experimental, though not necessarily ground-breaking, and often starts as some sort of technical exercise to challenge the limits of my abilities with this analog medium. I am interested in creating unique images that are rooted in reality…meaning there will be a physical negative and hand-made prints presented as provenance for the work that was done.

Current Themes:

  • Figure Studies - something I have been working on quietly for the last decade

  • Small Picture Essays - explorations of certain subject matter that I find interesting and photographically feasible as collections of prints and/ or books.

  • Portraits - I am a portrait photographer and I always will be. The portraits will be much more artistic and personal in both their composition and in who is chosen as the portrait subject.