Scott Nightingale- Photographer Extraordinaire

Scott Nightingale, the photographer behind the company Nineteen79 Photography, possesses an extraordinary talent- the ability to capture a moment in time under the perfect settings. I sat down with him to discuss his career.

Scott builds his passion

Scott’s passion came about during his high school years. “Growing up I had always liked picking
up  my parents cameras but high school was when I first realised just how much I enjoyed taking photos,”
says Scott. He enjoyed being able to express creativity through photos.

Upon leaving school, he enrolled in a film and television production course at Newcastle TAFE while simultaneously doing photography. “From there it all snowballed until I
finally developed my own studio when my partner and I moved to Maitland and
moved from hobby photography to portraiture”.

As his passion grew, so did his equipment which lead to his studio space increasing. The initial space was in a back room of Scott’s house, which he make shifted into a studio and used that for headshots which allowed him to develop his flash photography skills. “I was outgrowing it really quickly, so I decided to move the studio into the garage, which fit three cars. I ordered a backdrop for the area,painted the floors and walls and put up a bit of a gallery,” says Scott.

Unfortunately, the time came and Scott and his partner moved to a new house so he no longer has a studio, opting instead for a lot of location shoots. “Newcastle and Maitland have become my studio, until I find another space. There’s so much history here too,” says Scott.

Trying new things

With mostly portrait photography under his belt, Scott felt that it was time to get out there and do some photography at events.  “I was at the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival and I just walked around and, on the fly, took some photos. I think I was the only photographer there using off-camera flash and the photos turned out really well,” says Scott.

For Scott, he wants to continue learning different styles and pushing himself beyond his comfort zone. He wants to grow and evolve as a photographer. “I love shooting something that’s new and exciting. God knows what results you get but it’s exciting,” says Scott. “I want to be as diverse as possible”.  

He recently did a photoshoot with a well-trained dancer, something that he had never really done before aside from taking photos of a relatively new dancer.  This experience was a smooth one for Scott, as dancers are generally easy to photograph due to their natural ability to pose. “I would tell her what I sort of wanted and she just did it, just posed on the spot. But there was also that struggle of finding the balance of the right angle to 100 percent show off the pose she was doing,” says Scott.

It was something he enjoyed and would definitely love to do more of in the future should the opportunity arise. “I have lots of ideas floating around for photo shoots with dancers that I haven’t really seen before like amalgamating landscape and dance portraiture to create a beautiful image”.

Using the photo speak for itself

Scott’s photoshoots are often done in an environment or activity where the model feels comfortable in their element, which creates the most natural portraits possible. “I love to play with people’s abilities. I don’t like to force portraiture and let the creativity form itself. By constricting it, you don’t get the purity of the image”.

He loves the beauty and the story that the photos tell by themselves. With Scott’s photography, the photo reflects the true moment in time. “I might play with some skin retouching and darkening/lightening of an image but that’s it. Freedom and flow with photo shoots and letting the image speak for itself is what I’m all about”. In a world full of Instagram filters, it’s refreshing to witness that there are still photographers out there who let the image shine without having to heavily alter the image making it something it isn’t.

Weather can be an advantage

Weather is an element that can’t be controlled and Scott is prepared with every photoshoot. “With a photoshoot at Caves Beach in the caves, preparation is key and looking at rain not only on the day but leading into it because we can’t be shooting in a flooded cave. We also have to work around the tide with that as well”.

Whilst a lot of photographers say that overcast conditions are the best for shooting photos, Scott says that it really just depends on the look you are going for and how the sun sits on the day. “For the photoshoot at the Kurri Kurri festival, the sun was very potent but I used my off camera flash to overpower the sun because in that instance the natural light was very harsh on the girls. But if I’m doing a nature shoot, I love the sun to be out because it makes the colours look so vibrant”. When shooting in the harsh sun, Scott will use a diffuser to cut through the light, creating a soft tone, so with the right tools the opportunity to capture amazing images is limitless.

The day of our interview is very cloudy, looking like it will rain at any moment. Scott says that that is his favourite kind of day for shooting photos. The reason Scott likes overcast is not because it’s easier to shoot with, it's because it can create a very dynamic look.

One of his favourite photos came out of a photoshoot on an overcast day. “We were standing under a tree because it was raining lightly. The sun broke through in the afternoon and the rain was backlit so at that moment she jumped and I captured the perfect natural image with no flash or fancy gadgets”.

Using photography for other things

Photography has become more than just a passion or skill for Scott. It has become a way for Scott to
not only express himself but also become a creative element to help him deal with bipolar and mental illness. “No matter the weather, anytime I get to shoot I’m happy which helps my mental health,” says Scott.

As Scott’s skill set continues to grow, so does the demand for portrait photography. Scott has recently started doing some graphic design projects for various companies and hopes to expand this further whilst using his photography skills to create unique graphics. 2019 looks to be promising for Scott as this new venture will no doubt lead him to new photo opportunities.