A Fresh Start

I snapped the shot above of me yesterday for no particular reason, and it kinda rocked my world.

I was outside shooting pictures of the late Spring snow storm we got and I decided to turn the camera around for a minute and grab a shot of me. When I imported it into my computer I was pretty surprised that the guy looking back at me was quite a bit older than I remembered. He has bags under his eyes and wrinkles on the sides, and his forehead was starting to form lines as well. I wasn’t upset or sad at all really, just a little surprised.


I really have an amazing life. I have a beautiful wife, awesome little kids, a great house, and we live in a beautiful place. We are always working to improve, but I am so happy with where we are at and I am proud of the years that are starting to show in my face, I really am. Bring on the lines.

There is one aspect of my life that has changed a little over the last couple of years, and I would like to move back towards, and that is the idea of living an art-full life.

For a very long time I was trying very hard to be a professional full time photographer. I came very close to this goal, but after tasting a bit of that life, I decided it actually wasn’t for me. I loved the process of shooting weddings (and still shoot them to this day) but I didn’t want to depend on photography for my income, it just wasn’t for me. I think this is where the shift from an art-full life happened though. I began work as a maintenance guy with Chipotle (which I love) and started to move on. In doing so though, I moved away from the idea of art being a part of my every day life


I do not regret this move at all to be honest. I became a homeowner and a father and I think I needed to grow up a little bit and accept some responsibility. This was a good move for me and I am proud of how I have grown. I think I am at a point now where I want to bring art back into my life in a significant way.

My goal for this next phase in my life is not just to listen to more music or watch more films, it is to view life differently, like I used to do. I want a sunset to bring me to tears, I want a film or song to sit with me for days, I want to take pictures because I feel a NEED to express what I am feeling, I want to journal for no other reason than to physically capture the beauty of what it means to be alive. I want to experience the beauty of the world as if it is a love note written to us from the creator. That is my goal for this next year.

I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this except to just try to slow down. I want to observe and soak in the beauty of life. I want to pursue beautiful music and films, I want to take photos constantly, and I want to write everyday. That is my goal for 2019.

A Fresh Start

Because of these new goals I decided to give NathanGilmer.com a huge refresh. For years this was my professional website, but ever since moving away from full-time photography it has been in a bit of a limbo. I didn’t know exactly what to do with it. This new goal for my life has also given me a new goal for this site.

From now on my website will be a journal of my pursuit to living an art-full life. I will post photo essays, writing, links, gear talk, and generally anything that interests me in pursuing this goal. I sincerely hope people will read it, but in this age of short social posts it isn’t that likely, but I don’t care. I am going to hold to the idea that there is always a need for honest thoughtful art and writing, and that will be my goal for this site.

I hope you will follow along and join me in the pursuit of an art-full life.

Monthly Portraits

My favorite photo project I have right now, because it is very personal, is capturing at least one good photo of my children every month. It is so fun to see their growth over time. These are the two photos for January 2018. Links to the full galleries are at the end of this post. 


New Ink

I got some new ink over the weekend. What do you think?

Courtney is getting one today. Different tattoo, but similar theme. They represent our love of nature and adventure and we loosely based the idea on the phrase "My spirit of adventure is you" from our favorite movie, Up. I'll post one of hers soon too. 

Tattoos are addicting man. I can't wait to get more.