I never planned on becoming a photographer and videographer. It wasn’t something I dreamed of doing, or decided I wanted to work towards. It started off as a pastime taking photos of friends skiing and mountain biking and gradually evolved into a full-time career. I guess when you love doing something enough, it just kind of finds a way of working out seamlessly.
Growing up, the only part of videography that I was passionate about was watching ski and bike videos. I had dreamed about being involved in a ski video, but in front of the camera, not behind it. My passion didn’t really start until my mid-twenties.
I bought a camera and enjoyed taking random scenic photos. I quickly realized how fun it was to capture the moments of my life and experiment with angles, framing and other basic photography techniques. It wasn’t long before I bought my first DSLR camera and dove further into more advanced photography. Once I had my DSLR camera, I began to focus more on producing quality images rather than just capturing the moments of my life doing whatever it was I was doing. I began dedicating time to just take photos. It was a fun way to be social, while still being on skis or bikes, and also brought a new element to the sports I loved participating in. Being a strong enough athlete in both skiing and biking also meant that I had first-hand experience and perspective. I knew where the best terrain was, how to make a shot look good, and had suggestions for the athletes in front of the camera to help make them look better.
After around five years or so, my passion grew rapidly. I started getting into videography too and thrived off of creating content in the ski and bike world through both mediums. I don’t even really remember how I started getting paid, but eventually, people started paying me for my work. Between doing catski photography for both Fernie Wilderness and Island Lake, and a few random side jobs, my name started being more well-known around town. I got to a point where my 9-5 at Straightline was taking away from the opportunity to make money doing what I truly loved. Gradually, I transitioned until eventually, doing photography and videography full time was viable.
Since going full-time as a photographer and videographer, my portfolio has grown tremendously. I have branched out to fulfill many different contracts, ranging from tourism promotion, real estate, corporate/small business marketing, and even some weddings. I’ve enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on contracts that require me to learn as I go, and also making so many new connections. I love that I’m able to thrive in this industry while remaining purely local—I always thought that to reach the success I desired in this industry, I’d have to travel a lot. But I’m so grateful that I get to be with my family every night, and aside from the odd work trip that takes me away for a couple nights, I get to watch my girls grow up and can make myself available almost whenever I need to be.
I’m not sure how this industry will evolve over the years, but I hope that it continues to fulfill me as much as it has, while still allowing me to spend as much time as I do with my family doing the things I love. One thing is for sure—without this town, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I look forward to many more years of serving this community.
To learn more about Nick and his work, visit nicknaultphotography.ca or follow him on Facebook @ NickNaultPhoto and on Instagram @nick.nault