Whilst at university I undertook work experience with a local newspaper/magazine that sadly no longer exists. I wrote a lot of articles during my short time there but this was my first ever by-line.
For local photographer, Nathan Eames, life is pretty sweet. Soon to be married and having built up a successful career that allows him to travel to an array of beautiful Dorset locations, as well as work from home and spend time with his seventeen-month-old daughter, many would be envious. In fact, Nathan is now really coming in to his own with the pursuit of Eames Photographer – his recent work which he believes truly reflects his new-found personal style and flair.
However, it hasn’t been an easy journey by any means. “The fact that I can work from home looking after my child and do what I want – I’ve worked hard to get to that point” he explains. Almost driving himself to a heart attack at the age of twenty-three from overworking, past creative restrictions and present increasing competition have all been concerns for Nathan. Yet ultimately it seems that the love of his art is what has allowed him to overcome these testing times.
This love for photography has its roots in childhood, when Nathan used to photograph his skateboarding friends. “I can remember freezing the action and getting the tricks where they were nice and high. So then I showed my mates and remember them being thrilled.” His passion led him through university to running several studios across the south coast. Unfortunately this is where the sheer stress levels resulted in Nathan’s health scare. So naturally, a drastic change was required.
It was later, whilst working in a school environment, that Nathan learnt to deal with children specifically, a talent which would prove useful throughout his career. Despite this, Nathan expresses how the opportunity to flourish creatively was still jarred: “being in a school scenario, you’ve gotta get that kid smiling within twenty seconds. So I’d be photographing nearly a thousand kids a day. It’s monotonous, there’s no craft involved apart from the speed and getting the smile. It’s the same photo over and over again.”
Nevertheless, a talent for photographing both children and adults alike emerged, which is evident in Nathan’s current work including ‘Libra Photographics’ with a primary focus on weddings. When asked what it is about the subject of wedding that he enjoys, he explains how it’s the creative freedom that he longed for for so long, as opposed to having somebody breathe down his neck. Similarly, his newest projects allow him to take advantage of living in Bournemouth and experiment with surrounding locations, his favourites including Hengistbury Head, Shell Bay and the bluebell meadows of Wimborne.
At times Nathan’s career still has its difficulties, in an industry where so many individuals are pursuing photography as a weekend hobby for lower prices and with affordable hi-tech cameras on the market. “Everyone can get a camera that you can just press a button and it will do everything for you now. But as a professional photographer I’ve got to do something slightly different to that because you’re not going to pay for something that you could do yourself.”
So how does one tackle this issue? “I will edit them [photographs], as I used to in the dark room, and add my magic to them. That’s the direction I’m going – is making sure I’m ahead of the game and doing it in a style that’s different to everybody else.” Clearly it’s this genuine appreciation of photography as an art form, from choosing the initial subject or location to editing the final product, which defines Nathan Eames as a credit to his profession.