Nick Prideaux shoots beautiful photos, on film, that form a visual diary of his life. His photography is about subtraction, which he approaches with a simple and minimalistic process – focusing on the smaller details, the beauty in the little things. Be sure to check out more of his work on his website and Instagram.
I asked him eight questions about his work and current projects. Our online conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from, and where do you live now?
My name is Nick Prideaux and I am originally from Byron Bay, Australia, a small coastal town on the east coast. I studied film production in Melbourne, spent some time in China, then moved to Japan, where I lived for 5 years as a freelance photographer and teacher. Currently, I am based in Bangkok, Thailand, where I’ve lived for the past year and a half.
What projects are you working on these days?
I wrapped up my first major solo exhibition in May this year, so since then I’ve spent the last few months putting together my next body of work. I’m always shooting so it’s never quite clear instantly what the project will be, but somewhere along the line, I find the thread that ties it all together. I’m also putting together a group project with some friends in December, and a new solo show in February in Malaysia.
You seem to prefer film over digital. Can you tell us why?
I spent my time in high school shooting film on and off but switched to digital for its convenience and ease of use. I soon found though I could never find my ‘style’ with it as the images I produced were kind of flat and uninteresting; I was never really happy with them. I switched back to film about four years ago and never really looked back. I love film for a variety of reasons but I love its color, its feeling, and the romance attached to it. I like the timely process too; waiting to see the images later is another huge reason why I love it – I don’t like to have that instant gratification that digital offers. I try to practice mindfulness as much as I can, and shooting with film offers that.
The approach you take is simple and minimalistic – “focusing on the smaller details, the beauty in the little things.” How did you arrive at this way of seeing?
I think it’s just a process of subtraction rather than addition. I try to love my life as simply as I can so I think my photography is, of course, just an extension of the way I see my life and see the world. I generally approach most things with a ‘less is more’ way of thinking. Even the cameras I use function in this way, as I shoot on mostly simple point and shoots.
You shoot stories from your life that form a visual diary. Is time and memory important to you?
Definitely. I think it’s an age thing, along with living abroad for so long – you start to forget things more and more when you aren’t documenting them in some way. The camera for me acts as a kind of conduit for memory.
Do you use a flash for most of your photos? What do you like about it?
I use the flash quite often, although try my best not to over use it. I guess my style has a particular color palette to it, and the flash can often help those results ‘sing’ a little more than without. I’m drawn to particular colors and subjects; often the flash can help heighten a particular mood or feeling to it.
What’s your state of mind when you’re taking good photos? Do you think there’s any connection between your mood or mindset and the results you get?
I think there is a type of flow that comes with taking good photos, something akin to a zone, or the runner’s high – it just comes in a beautiful free flowing continuous moment. It’s rare though, and it’s always fleeting. Most of the time though I think it’s best you just have to find that feeling in the process. There is definitely a connection between your mood and mindset and the end results. I look back at my photos even a year or so ago and they have a different feeling to them. I’m in a really good place now emotionally now, better than I was a year or so ago, so I think my work is reflecting that.
One final question: Can you tell me briefly about a couple of photographers I may not be familiar with yet but you would recommend checking out?
There are so many! But first and foremost is a friend of mine who goes by Yatender – she’s an incredible photographer and I admire her work greatly. Also, Rosie Matheson is a wonderful portrait photographer from the U.K who I love. Daniel Arnold is documenting life in the U.S now with his street photography; I think he is an absolute master. Lina Scheynius‘ work breaks my heart in the most beautiful way.