Nathanial Schmidt

Milwaukee, WI, USA

Who are you?

Long story short, I'm a fine art film photographer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What do you want?

I'll probably narrow this down to what I want from photography because the general answer I could probably write a book about. I would eventually like to make a living selling books and prints at galleries.

Why photography?

In some ways I am still trying to figure that out, but I like photography because it is really accessible to most people. If you have a phone, or a $5 thrift store point-and-shoot, you can make a beautiful image. It's also about as objective as the arts can get and I really like that.

What gear do you use?

I just got a "new" SLR. It's a Nikon FM, but for a long time I was using a Pentax K1000 with a broken light meter. I'm not really one of those people that thinks 100% that gear doesn't matter, but I would say when starting, anything works, especially with film. You can get some fantastic film cameras for quite cheap.

As far as film goes, Portra 400 all day, but if you are on a budget, Kodak Gold has this way of being the perfect film for any mood.

Any interests, hobbies, or passions outside of photography?

I'm pretty big into cycling. My day job is actually as a bike mechanic. I'm also very political. That's probably as big a part of my life as photography is.

Music, movies, books, TV, games. What are some of your favorites? Any recommendations?

I'm unironically going to recommend The Communist Manifesto. Seriously, give it a shot, it's only like fifty pages. For movies, anything Paul Thomas Anderson is involved with. For music, all you need is the Dead Kennedys, Led Zeppelin, The Growlers, and Andrew Jackson Jihad. There's a lot of good TV these days, but specifically The Handmaid's Tale is killing it.

Who or what is inspiring you?

I am constantly inspired by the people I follow on Instagram, especially the people I know personally. There's really nothing that motivates me more than seeing people I know and respect making amazing work and just trying to come as close as possible to the quality of the stuff they are putting out.

Got any words of wisdom or a favorite quote?

Words to live by: "So it goes..."

Any other photographers you think people should check out?

My friend Cameron Hoerth (@hello_euphoriaa) is making some of the best black and white photography I've seen. @ryanmuirhead, @dantom, and @jesseherzog are some of my favorite photographers, but they don't really need much of a shoutout. @margaretdurow is a fellow Wisconsinite and she has some of the most beautifully intimate images I've seen being made today, I always love coming across her work. This is a hard question, if anyone is really interested, go through my follows on Instagram. I strongly endorse everyone on that list.

What do you wish someone would ask you?

What is the secret to life?

What’s the answer to that question?

Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for letting me be a part of this. I hope I didn't embarrass myself too much.

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Nathanial Schmidt