My name is Nick Ford and I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I recently graduated from Tidewater Community College (TCC) with an associate in Business Administration. I am enrolled in Old Dominion University (ODU) for the fall to continue pursing my degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology. Over the years I have played various sports and invested time in several different hobbies. It wasn’t until I was 18, where I finally found something I felt passion for. It all started when I was attending Mile High Club at Hangar 9, hundreds of people gathered to listen to great music, dance, and have a good time. I saw the photographers running around capturing the moment and uploading them to relive the memories. At this time I wanted to invest in a camera but, I never thought it would be something I fell in love with. As some people are surprised, photography does not actually cover my expenses in life. I am currently working as a network engineer to help fund my photography gear and life.
Being a “computer nerd” all my life when I purchased my first camera I grasped the concepts fairly quick. I asked questions, a lot of questions, when I was first starting out two of my good friends Reid Fraser and Sartaj Bains helped bring me up to speed. I started JustAwesome Photography after my first event. I did not want my facebook blown up with random friend requests and notifications. I have since grown and expanded my horizons in the world of photography from local parties to large events and festivals. I recently launched JustAwesome Brand at an attempt revamp JustAwesome and define the significance along with the direction of my venture.
My current works and upcoming events includes Grime Time, a local EDM hosted by DJ AETGY an event in Virginia Beach that brings out an attendance of 500+ people every month. Grime Time features artists such as Baauer, Flufftronix, DJ Slink, and dozens more. I also help provide coverage for Steez Promo for events at The Norva in Norfolk, Virginia. Coming up in September I am attending my first festival, Counter Point Music Festival as a media partner. Counter Point features artists such as Bassnectar, Skrillex, Avicii, and M83, I couldn’t be more excited to be provided with this opportunity. It doesn’t stop there though, even though my focus is around events and festivals I do enjoy expanding into different aspects of photography. I also enjoy photographing cars, scenery preferably by infrared, and portraits.
Our interview with Nick Ford:
Muzik Lounge: Do You Have A Favorite Walk Around Lens…If So What Is It?
Nick Ford: My favorite walk around lens is a Canon 16-35L 2.8. Mainly because of its low aperture, extreme flexibility, and sharpness.
Muzik Lounge: Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
Nick Ford: Lenses are the more important equipment item(s) to me. I always tell people it’s better to invest in quality glass rather than a camera body.
Muzik Lounge: Would you give a brief walk through your work flow?
Nick Ford: First I make sure my camera settings are correct for the scenario. When it comes down to the editing process I script a lot of it honestly. My main focus is events and sometimes I have 200 pictures to upload. If you think about 200 pictures, 2 minutes of editing per picture, comes out to 6 1/2 hours. To be honest the only pictures that receive individual attention from events are pictures of the performers and artists.
Muzik Lounge: In general, during a session, how many pics would you say you take
to find “the right one”?
Nick Ford: Generally 2-3, any more and I become frustrated with it. However, it could vary on a lot of different factors depending on the scenario.
Muzik Lounge: Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that
showed you the ropes?
Nick Ford: I had friends show me the basics, from there I took it into my own hands. I did a lot of practicing with my camera and reading to excel my skills.
Muzik Lounge: How do you decide on locations & subjects?
Nick Ford: Picking a subject is purely based off the idea in someone’s head. Finding locations though, whenever I am driving to work, friends’ houses, or school I just always keep my eyes open for new locations and mark them down in my phone.
Muzik Lounge: Do you rely on lighting (natural, or artificial), or do you rely on
Nick Ford: I mostly rely on artificial lighting and computer manipulation. Who ever said “A true photographer can get it right the first time” was never introduced to Photoshop. You can capture a good picture with a lens but, computer technology and manipulation can help you make that picture great.
Muzik Lounge: What makes you choose to shot something in B&W over color?
Nick Ford: When I am trying to achieve a more dramatic effect and intense feeling I will shoot in B&W. Sometimes I’ll edit a picture B&W if it’s out of focus or colors do not look correct. B&W can hide a lot of flaws. Everything else is color.
Muzik Lounge: Was there a defining moment when you knew that it was time to take
pictures professionally or was it a gradual transition?
Nick Ford: It was a gradual transition and it still is. I am constantly learning and trying to achieve my end goals of a large festival photographer.
Muzik Lounge: How do you know that a photo is really good?
Nick Ford: A photo is finished when you look at it and become stunned by it, not one adjustment runs through your head.
Muzik Lounge: Do you ever find yourself in a “photo funk”, and, if so, how do
you get out of it?
Nick Ford: All the time, scrolling through Flickr always gives me inspiration. I’ve spent a lot of time of Flickr and honestly there are very few “bad” pictures.
Muzik Lounge: What is the ONE lasting impression you want to leave in your photos?
Nick Ford: One lasting impression I would viewers to take away from is the memory. Visual stimulation helps us remember the memories we have made. Sometimes as time passes they drift into the corners of our mind but, if you have that picture it will always rush back.
Muzik Lounge: How did you get into the photography business?
Nick Ford: I took interest in the photography business during the Mile High Club EDM outbreak of events in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Muzik Lounge: How long have you been in business?
Nick Ford: have been running JustAwesome for two years this coming January.
Muzik Lounge: How many events have you shot?
Nick Ford: Wow, to be honest I lost count a long time ago haha. I have tipped over the 100 marker though.
Muzik Lounge: How many cameras do you carry on the day of the event?
Nick Ford: I only have one camera currently, I probably put a little to much faith in Canon.
Muzik Lounge: Do you have a website? If so, do you offer an online gallery?
Nick Ford: Yes I do, Justawesomebrand.com. I offer a online gallery after each major event. Unfortunately smaller events only get posted to the Facebook page “Facebook.com/Justawesomephotos.” Either way though, there is a gallery from the event for people to view their picture.
Muzik Lounge: What type of camera do you use?
Nick Ford: I currently use a Canon T2I, awaiting another price drop for the 5D Mark II.
Muzik Lounge: How do you process your photos?
Nick Ford: The only post processing tool I currently use is Adobe Photoshop.
Muzik Lounge: What is your favorite part of this job?
Nick Ford: My favorite part of the job would have to be all the memories I’ve made. I have made a lot of new friends going out to all these different events.