Photography: An interview with Nolan Heasley

Nolan Heasley is our Director of Photography here at Bluewater Media. He took time out of his busy schedule to talk a little bit about photography.

How long have you been with Bluewater Media?.

Since 2010, but I’ve been doing work for the company since 2006/2007.

How did you get into photography?

Honestly I always had an interest in it. I took some classes about it when I was in high school and I had a 35mm camera that I got from my dad, that’s kind of when it really started to take shape. When the time came for me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life I actually decided that I would go to film school. There’s a lot more technical stuff to learn with video that doesn’t come into play with still photography. While I was in school focusing on video, I was still learning and teaching myself still photography skills.

Talk about all the intricacies that go into a shoot and getting the perfect shot

There are a lot of different things, it varies from shoot to shoot and depends a great deal on the client. We usually sit down with the client before the shoot and try to figure out their needs and the creative vision of the director. We collaborate and try to find what will portray a certain vision in the best possible way. Technically it can be very simple or very complicated depending on what’s needed. Things like the setting, lighting, composition, camera movement – it all plays a role.

If there’s one thing that is essential in photography and getting a good shot, what would it be?

The camera, having the right tool for the given situation, they’re not all the same. Aesthetically, lighting and composition play a big part too.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into this field, a young photographer or someone who is just starting out?

Never stop learning. Every shoot you learn something new, the learning process is never done. When you stop learning stuff it becomes boring, there are always new challenges and new ways to find to overcome them. Every project, every shot, you need to be gleaning information from.

Someone who is just getting into it I would say that they need to learn on their own. A lot of people go to school with the mentality that, ” if I leave here with a film degree, then I’ll get a job”. It doesn’t work that way, they need to understand that technology keeps changing and advancing so there are always new things to learn.

If there is one thing that you want people to know or take away from this after reading it, what would it be?

That it’s a lot harder than it looks, it’s not just point and shoot. You have to dedicate yourself to learning and understanding how things can effect a shot, what you need to do to capture an image that looks a certain way. Additionally, understand that being prepared and giving great attention to detail can make all the difference in a photo looking just ok and it looking great. It’s not as easy as everyone may think.

A good photographer can help you generate valuable content and assets for deliverables, clients, in house projects and more. Investing in shooters that are professional and know what goes into a shoot can be a major asset to an organization.