Interview with Street Photography Nathan Langman
You may be familiar with Nathan Langman from Scuff Issue 7 where he contributed a couple photos. It seemed about time to take a deeper dip into his photographic world to find out more about what makes him tick. Please enjoy this interview and the accompanying photos.
And of course if you are in the market for an excellent freelance photographer do hit him up on his socials featured at the bottom of this interview.
Q Please introduce yourself:
A My name is Nathan Langman, I'm a documentary and street photographer based in Nottingham/East Midlands.
Q Who are some of the photographic/art/design inspirations for your work?
A I find pinning down my inspirations difficult, because I would say I'm influenced by a little bit of everything. It's funny, because I'm obviously influenced by a lot of the standard things which you'd expect. You know, movies like Pulp Fiction, and TV shows such as Atlanta, Succession and Russian Doll. I also read a lot of books, and I’m low key obsessed with Haruki Murakami.
Other photographers like Alex Munoz, Joel Meyerowitz, Bruce Davidson, Daniel Arnold and Vuhlandes are really key to my approach, as well as maintaining the mindset that what I do is worth doing, and that there is an audience for my work.
I'm also influenced by things which shaped my life growing up, things like skateboarding, BMX, fixed gear track bikes as well as music, predominantly hip hop and hardcore/heavy metal. I would listen to music and watch BMX and skate videos every day, before, during and after school, while drinking and chilling with mates, basically any time I could, and the way they were shot would stick with me. I'd also have posters of all my favourite bands on my wall in my bedroom. Incredible photographers are a byproduct of these things, people like Edwin De La Rosa, Jake Ricker, Jerry Hsu and Lee Spielman.
I think I'm influenced by a lot more that I've forgotten to mention, but I never think of anything like that, at least not on a conscious level, when I'm out shooting.
Q What do you look for when shooting?
A I don't really pick my camera up and say to myself "today I'm going to only shoot..." I'll just go out and shoot whatever catches my eye. Sometimes I'll look back through a day's shooting and see loads of shots which are on a similar theme, all focused on people or architecture, but mostly it's a real mix of everything. I've got to say there's always a lot of shit in there, too. If it's a nice sunny day of course I'm looking for shadows or weird ways the light is affecting the environment. I don't necessarily prefer shooting in the sun as it makes a lot of shots harder to get if the light isn't right, but the ones that work out usually pop a lot more. I would say I'm mainly focused on capturing everyday moments out of context.
Q I always love seeing your shots that focus on everyday life, in all its absurdities and mundanities. Is this something you consciously choose to cover?
A Yeah, for me that's the main thing I'm looking for. I'm always trying to capture people doing normal things, but in a way which looks interesting or unique, or at least makes you think a bit about the story behind it. There's a lot of beauty in the mundane, in the everyday, and I think it passes a lot of us by. I'm guilty of it myself, I'm always wishing I was somewhere else, somewhere more interesting or more exotic. I recently went to Berlin and had a great time shooting, the weather was perfect and it's one of the best cities on earth, and when I came back I was really bummed out and missing that city, and that always happens when I travel, but in my work I try to show that you can get a decent shot anywhere if you look for it.
Q What kind of gear do you most enjoy using (feel free to go into as little or as much detail as you like)
A My gear's proper minimal to be honest. So I shoot with a Fujifilm X-Pro 2, and I only have two lenses. I tend to shoot everything with my 35mm lens, which on the Fuji gives me a 50mm focal length, which I absolutely love. It's perfect for pretty much everything, and I shoot all of my personal and a lot of my professional work on that lens. I also have an 18-55mm zoom, which I bought out of anxiety, basically. I was worried that 50mm would sometimes be too tight, so I always carry it just in case. It's not really been necessary yet, but it's nice to have. It never really gets used unless I'm struggling for space.
Q Anything else you always carry when shooting?
A I've always got about 4 spare batteries, a lens cloth and an SD to Lightning adaptor.
Q Let readers know about any current projects and where they can find you:
A So I'm not really working on any specific projects atm, just shooting as much as I can, but if you want to collab let me know. The last project I worked on was the Vic Centre Market project, which is on my website as well as in LeftLion issue no. 148, pp20-21. I'm always out and about in Nottingham, trying new things, so anyone down to shoot just hit me up. I'm on Instagram @_meadowman2, and I tend to post a lot of my more day to day street stuff here. I've got a website too, meadowman2.com, where I put a lot more of my work and project based stuff, but it's really a mixture so please just check both out if you can.