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Nicolas Gourguechon


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Duration: I worked as an assistant to photographer Steven McDonald for seven years, and in 2013 started shooting for myself full-time.

Education: I graduated from Rhode Island School Of Design in 2001.

Cultural influences: My friends, music, food, furniture and travel. It is easy to find interesting subjects in foreign environments, but for me the challenge and real insight come from photographing the familiar.

Artistic influences: I have always loved the Düsseldorf School of Photography and finding some order within chaos: man-made perfection versus nature; urban landscapes and visual repetition. I try to photograph people or products in a way similar to how the Bechers would shoot a water tower.

First big break: Shooting for furniture retailer Jayson Home. I developed a lot of my technique and, more importantly, my confidence as a photographer, working on these shoots.

Technique: I love natural light; the glow from a single window or a the sun on a very overcast day. If I am using lights I will try to mimic this look. I still like to shoot film for my personal work. It forces me to look at my subject more closely and be more decisive.

Philosophy: Aside from composition and technique, another thing I try to borrow from the Düsseldorf School is the ability to find beauty in simplicity, honesty and, sometimes, the mundane.