I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years now, with a majority of that time spent capturing commercial and corporate briefs for a wide variety of clients in and around Melbourne (Australia). Prior that, I had a studio in Geelong (about 40 minutes from Melbourne) specialising in wedding/portrait, but made the shift out of that when I simply stopped enjoying it. (I once contracted to a decent photographer who was so jaded by the wedding industry that it was purely about the money, and promised myself that as soon as I stopped enjoying it; I was out). That happened just over a decade ago, and the weight shift into the corporate/commercial world has been very rewarding and fulfilling and allowed me to deal with a massive variety of situations and some fantastic people.
My wife and I relocated from Melbourne to Singapore around two years ago, which has been an incredible change and an invaluable experience that we’re continuing to enjoy. Since the shift, I’ve taken quite a bit of downtime which has allowed me to work on a few passion projects, the main photographic one being my series of pictures and words entitled “The 15 Year Old You”.
The 15 Year Old You & the Fujifilm XT-1
The series itself was inspired by my own experience as, thinking back, I realised that what I had planned to do as a 19 year old photographer and where I ultimately found myself at 39 were quite removed from one another, but it was a shift that happened organically and was still very satisfying in its own way. I love to write (but do NOT consider myself a writer!) and the idea to match a key environmental portrait to words of others’ similar experiences by chatting about their path, inspiration, aspirations and reflections became The 15 Year Old You. The umbrella series is in 52 parts, released weekly, but I’m already working on a subseries of it which I anticipate launching in 2016.
As a lifelong Canon-guy who has always captured on full manual, the decision to move to Fuji was calculated and researched and – in the end – far too easy! I wanted something light, subtle and easy to move around – particularly as I’m in and out of planes, subways and taxis to meet subjects on the street (where there’s then loads of walking to shoot in naturally lit found-locations) – and the XT-1 was the perfect fit. I’m in love with the ease of use and the quality of the images and, although I try to shoot predominantly on the 18mm for this series, the lenses I use as listed below give me plenty of flexibility to achieve exactly what I need to fulfil my own brief (for once!). This all matches perfectly with my Wotancraft Urban Classic Ryker bag (the makers of which are now a partner of the series) to provide a subtle, elegant and practical kit delivering exactly the results I need for this stye of photography.
To date, the subjects I’ve captured have been an eclectic range of personalities in cities from Singapore to New York, but there’s a consistency to the stories; a similarity in challenges that we all share, and an overriding confirmation of the sense that when you get down to it, we’re all surprisingly similar.
I invite you keep up to date with the work at the links below and hope you enjoy the key images as stand- alones and within the context of their 15 Year Old You stories.
“The 15 Year Old You” Links:
Gear Nolan uses while working on his project:
Body : Fujifilm XT-1 w/ VG-XT1 Battery Grip
Lenses: 14mm f2.8 Lens; 18mm f2 Lens; 56mm f1.2 Lens – all Fujifilm
Wotancraft Urban Classic “Ryker” Camera Bag
Tascam DR-100mkII Linear PCM Recorder (for voice)
iPhone 6 (for voice)