Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jordan Nahmias: A photographer who captures light

Jordan Nahmias is a Toronto-based lawyer who, when he has time, photographs, teaches yoga, and co-directs the Open Roof Festival for film and music in Toronto.

He started photographing on his solo backpacking trip to Europe after graduation from university in 2005. Having always been involved in creating art, the feedback surprised Jordan when he arrived home that his pictures were well liked. After he broke that camera, he bought his first SLR and photography occupied many hours. It was over the course of a 2008 semester exchange in Hong Kong that Jordan became very serious about photography. He started selling his works upon returning from Asia, and shortly thereafter started his own photography business selling art works as well as photographing commercially and on commissions.
“I love photography because it is so information-rich. It is unbelievable the amount of information that can be found in any piece of visual art, or otherwise. I love the fact that when I look at my photos, and those of others, I know there is a very serious story going on in that image. It doesn’t matter what the specific subject matter is – there is not only the history of the content, but the history of the photographer contained within that image. Knowing that, when I take a picture, I also know that I am conveying a message from myself at the same time. It’s a pretty cool experience.”

“My subject matter is usually found. In that, I take myself somewhere and use what’s around me. Of course, I’ve shot weddings, engagements, family portraits, and so on, but I try very hard not to prepare too much. The improvisational aspect of photography, at least the way I try to do it, is key. So, when I go on a trip and shoot journalistic or travel work (which is really my favourite) I just shoot what’s around me – people, faces, architecture, flora, fauna – you name it. When its free flowing like that, there isn’t much thought beyond ‘That looks really good, I want that on film,’ and that can be very freeing and relaxing.”

“For everything though, the inspiration for me is generally lighting, story and culture. Most of my favourite pieces are travel or journalistic pieces. They can be portraits or simply settings, but in all of them the first thing that struck me about what I saw was light. I mean, that’s what photography is all about at its core. But, the light has to interact with the objects in my shots so that there is a story told – usually about the culture or history of the subject matter – and acknowledging the history (told or untold) of some things is really inspiring. It makes you realize how small you are in such a massive and ancient world and universe.”

All photos copyright Jordan Nahmias. 
Photo of Jordan Nahmias copyright Jessica Blaine Smith

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