Photographer of the Day: Phillip Van Nostrand

ADC Member loves working with personalities, insecurities, egos

August is winding down, but it’s still Photography Month here on the ADC blog. We are featuring a different photographer every day of the month. Some are seasoned professionals, some are young up and comers, and some are just amateur shutterbugs taking snapshots on the side. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members, part of our globe-spanning creative community. We hope that you enjoy their work as much as they love creating it!

Brooklyn, NY, USA

How old were you when you took an interest in photography, and when did it become more than an interest?

I was 21 when I received my first camera, a Sony Cybershot 3 megapixel point-and-shoot. Before that I had only ever used a disposable camera. I studied abroad that year and was so impressed by the travel photographer in our cohort that I became obsessed with learning my camera and getting better at capturing my trip. I become addicted easily to new pursuits, and so from that year on I kept teaching myself more and more about photography. Got paid for my first gig at the age of 28.

What do you love most about photography as an artform?

There is no limit to what a person can learn in photography. There is always room for growth, whether in lighting, composition, style, retouching, or business. I love that I am constantly learning new things.

What is your favorite thing to shoot?

People, hands down. My start was in weddings, and I’ve always been drawn to capturing the best in people.

What is it that love about shooting people?

I think people are the most challenging subject to capture well, because working with personalities, insecurities, egos, etc, requires a very different skill set than just handling a camera. I really love the connection that happens between subject and photographer. It’s powerful.

“I really love the connection that happens between subject and photographer. It’s powerful.”

What is your favorite piece of equipment?

Canon 135mm 2.0 lens. So dreamy!

Which person most inspires your photographic passion? Which professional photographers do you look up to?

I moved to New York to try and take Mark Seliger‘s job. Still working on that.