Photographer Collaborations: The Beeson October 09 2012, 0 Comments

Nick Holdbrooks- Birmingham, AL


"An homage to my roots at Samford, my self portrait incorporates the hallmark brick pattern, the crimson and blue school colors, Georgian Colonial architecture and elements of the graphical style that I used during my time as the art and photography director at the yearbook Entre Nous and the Crimson newspaper."

iPhone, Nikon D300, Adobe Illustrator 

Nick Barnes here. I want to tell you a little about Nick Holdbrooks. We met on 3rd West of Mamie Mell Smith Hall at Samford and were the two biggest computer geeks on the hallway. We got along instantly. Nick was a big influence on me in the realms of photography and web design. He pushed me to lose some of the crutches I was using and start coding from scratch. I've come far enough to make this very site you are reading now and all of it's components. So thanks ickna. 

Nick seemed to enjoy his time there too, even the late night study parts.

"At Samford, I majored in fine art and graphic design. I made several fantastic friends while I was there spending many long hours and late nights in the art studios and design lab."

Nick's interest in photography was always apparent on campus-which I might add was a incredible backdrop to polish your skills with. He quickly grew into the ranks of professional photographers in the competitive Birmingham market, diversifying his portfolio along the way.

"Professionally, I do a lot of people photography. Wedding, portrait and event photography is my bread and butter, and my dessert is shooting food and commercial gigs. I'll take pretty much any challenge, though, because that's what keeps me improving. I've shot dishes by award winning local chefs, catalog shots of toilet seats for, ballet performances, and even a wedding in Guatemala."

Since his interests are varied I wanted to know specifically what are his favorite subjects. So I asked.

"The classic muse of the artist; women. It is one of the reasons I love doing wedding photography so much. I like showing someone how beautiful they are, especially when they don't normally hold that opinion about themselves! When traveling, I like to shoot landscapes, street art and things with interesting shapes and textures. I spent two days photographing street art in Brooklyn earlier this year and I'm looking to do more of that in the coming months."

Photo Influencers: 

"Formalism is the strongest drive in the way I approach design and composition, which I definitely blame on graphic design."

"I also take a lot of inspiration from the long history of art; having spent many hours with my nose in an art history textbook has probably influenced me more than anything. My strongest influences in portraiture come from the Old Masters like Johannes Vermeer and Francisco Goya. My strongest influences in landscape and nature images come from the Hudson River School painters like Frederic Church, Asher Durand, and Albert Bierstadt. My favorite Bierstadt painting, "Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California" is part of the Birmingham Museum of Art's collection, and will be on display in Washington D.C. and NYC this coming year."

I too love the Bierstadt painting of Yosemite Valley. To see it for the first time is truly stunning. It is incredibly vast and at 96 inches tall it's a lot to take in. 

Style Influencers: 

"My fashion is influenced by my taste for classy vintage styled clothes, leather and interesting patterns. I have a lot of neat scarves that I've collected in my travels, and a lot of people recognize me by my leather hat, bags or shoes. Leather wears and ages so fantastically, and matches my style and color palette perfectly so I wear it just about every day. My friends have described it best, calling me a 'hipster Indiana Jones'."

The Shot:

We asked Nick to photograph the Samford inspired Beeson bow tie. 

"Ballet is one of the most beautiful expressions of the art of movement and the human body, and deeply rooted in tradition and formal style. It can be both delicate and bold, like a good bow tie. Here, I bring together my favorite tie- the Beeson, my love of dance, the female form and bold painterly colors into a celebration of creativity and play with the contrasts of color and texture that hide in the details. Figuring out how to tie the bow tie on the dancer's leg was a fun challenge, too!"

Nikon D300, 50mm f/1.8