michigan

Photographer Interview: Heather Nash

Heather Nash is a photographer in southeast Michigan I’ve been following on Instagram for almost as long as I’ve been on Instagram. I love her unique view of the world, and the way she captures it.

Where are you and what do you do?

I live in Ypsilanti, Michigan and I photograph people, places and weddings.

How did you get started in photography?

I went to school for photography and received my BFA in 2-D studies/Photography. I learned with film, mostly black and white, some color. The transition to digital came later but I still shoot a bit of film here and there with an old Canon AE-1 that belonged to my grandfather. I love black and white photography, specifically the work of Sally Mann.

What do you like about your photography?

I like watching the evolution of my work. I feel like I’m constantly refining my style, honing my technique and improving the way I utilize light in my images. I’m always reading and trying out new ideas. It’s good to keep learning!

I like how you capture your world, and the people around you. Where do you get inspiration for your style/ideas?

I do draw inspiration from other photographers and visual artists, and I’m often inspired by nature. I also love to people watch and observe daily life as it’s happening. I’m very curious and kid-like at times!

You do some paid gigs as well. How do you balance professional vs. personal photography?

I always try to leave room for personal projects, like portrait work, where I can try new things and challenge myself creatively.

Any upcoming projects or shoots you’re working on?

I just returned from a trip to Bali, an island in Indonesia. I took a small Fuji travel camera and documented my whole trip with the goal of putting together a small show this spring. It was an amazing experience to say the least!

Follow Heather on Instagram, or check out her portfolio site and blog for more of her work. 


This Old House

Almost six years to the day, I’m saying goodbye to my first home.

We’re getting a weird spell this winter, in late January and early February, where the weather is warmer than seasonally appropriate. Foggy, rainy, or in the 60s. Not your typical Michigan climate.

The upside is that we’ve enjoyed a few play days outside. This past weekend, I even had a chance to take down our backyard swing set – much better than trying to unscrew frozen bolts in the bitter cold. Hopefully the warmer weather holds once it’s time to move.

I’m doing my best to capture this place before we head out. Not that it’s been a problem before, but there’s an extra sense of urgency lately.

Time’s running out.


Downtown Jackson, At Summer’s End

Toward the end of last summer, I took to the streets of my hometown for a solo photo walk.

I make lots of pictures of Jackson, but I hadn’t headed downtown with the intent to make a series in a while. With summer ending, and the light changing, I figured the hour near sunset would be fun to capture.

While downtown Jackson is on the upswing – lots of new restaurants, the brewery is booming, the road project is mostly done – you still feel like (as my grandmother would say) you could shoot a canon ball down Michigan Ave. after 5 p.m. and not hit a soul. The hope is that’ll change in time.

Here’s the first in a series of city photos focusing on Jackson, Michigan’s few downtown blocks.

 


Book Publishing Forum

Artists In Jackson

My portrait project, Artists In Jackson, helped me to achieve one of my life goals: to make a book.

It was self published. And it was a small-time deal. But I got to see my name on a hard-cover book where I wrote the text, designed the layout, and made the photographs.

Arts & Cultural Alliance of Jackson County is sponsoring a book publishing forum featuring local Jackson, Michigan, authors – including me! – on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Ella Sharp Museum. We’ll talk about our publishing experience, answer questions, and give tips to get others to publish their material. You should come!

My little book is a self-publishing story, but I’m sharing the stage with authors who have completed much bigger and more well-known book projects. It should be fun.

With all the tools at our disposal, it’s never been easier to publish your passion project. I hope to encourage more artists and writers to make a physical thing and get their ideas out into the world.