A Conversation with Marcus Nichols, Photographer and Videographer

Our trusted partners are an integral part of our team — and we’d like you to get to know them. Meet Marcus Nichols, independent photographer and videographer.
Marcus Nichols, photographer and videographer
Marcus Nichols, photographer and videographer

Can you tell us a brief history of your career?

I’ve had a camera in my hands since the 4th grade — there has never been a time I didn’t want to take pictures. As a shy child, I found expression through photography. I think the biggest moment that crystalized my career path was in 1988 when my mom entered a few of my landscapes and other stills into the Snohomish County Fair in Washington State. One of my prints took “Sweepstakes,” the best of all categories combined, even beating out the pros! I was in the 8th grade. I never looked back.  

After attending Brooks Institute of Photography and moving into motion pictures, a loose term for video and film in my opinion, I landed my first photojournalism gig for the small ABC News affiliate in Palm Springs, California. News quickly showed me the world up close and extremely personal. I will always be amazed by all of the things I covered in my 20 years within the industry. You name it, I’ve covered it.  

This, interestingly, is actually why I decided to exit the news business. It’s a grueling pace and just too much content to cover. Long story short, I started my own video and photography business and am much happier. I enjoy the slower pace, which translates to more time spent creatively.

Did I mention that news was grueling? Try daily deadlines from story implementation to shooting to editing and live coverage presenting said story… in one day. Rough. But, damn, can I shoot and edit quickly now.

What has changed most dramatically in your profession over the past few years?

Technology. OMG! I am not going to dive into this one because it’s just so immense. But being able to use the same DSLR for stills and video and battery operated lights that change color temperature without filters and… oh… right… I wasn’t going to dive into this one. But seriously, wow.

Looking ahead, how will the world of branding and design continue to evolve?

I think it’s going to follow what technology is doing. I remember back in the mid-90s, Bill Gates gave an interview to junior high school kids about Microsoft. One of the children asked him, “What will computers look like in the future?” Gates responded with, “They will be no larger than the palm of your hand.” Everybody looked at him, including me, and was like, “Yeah, right, whatever, buddy.”

I guess that’s why he’s the billionaire and I’m not. Anyway, branding and design will stay pretty close to where the technology takes us because that’s the platform it’ll use. If we can place a one minute and thirty second video in the palm of a hand as we do now, then that’s the path it will follow. It’s the same path consumers follow, technically speaking. Creatively, there are already so many options to design and implement a brand, and it will simply get more impressive and cost effective. Imagination is everything.

Can you tell us about a time when you solved a problem for a client and what impact it had?

I’ll be honest, this is a tough one because of my line of work. I’m dealing with technical problems daily. Lighting is typically my number one. But these problems don’t present themselves to the client like they do to me behind the lens. 95% of the time I’m the only one who sees it, fixes it and gets the shot without anyone ever being the wiser.  

What's the most rewarding part of your profession?

Doing. What. I. Love.  I get to be in the field shooting stories and editing videos about the world around us. Whether it be a news or brand segment, I have gotten to see and experience it all to meet new people and tell their stories. I just can’t imagine anything better than that.

To learn more about Marcus Nichols and his work, visit his website.