Nick Prideaux is an Australian photographer currently living in Bangkok — His photographs represent a visual diary documenting his perspective of the world and his travels. Capturing moments of light, shadows and bodies are familiar elements framed within his work.
Where did you grow up and how did your environment influence you?
I'm from a small coastal town on the east coast of Australia called Byron Bay. It's a beautiful place and I miss it from time to time, mostly because of the sea and my family. I think growing up close to the ocean you do have some kind of relationship with it, so for me, it's both nostalgic and calming. Also, when I go back home I'm always amazed how bright everything is in Australia,
like someone turning the saturation dial up to 11, I think my understanding of colour and light can definitely be attributed to where I grew up.
You grew up in Australia but now live in Bangkok. How would you describe an average day in your life?
A typical day for me always starts with a swim, here in BKK the heat is a constant so you do your best to escape it. Swimming has always been meditative for me so it's something that I like to begin the day with.
After that I'll usually grab my camera and laptop and work in one of the cafes in my neighbourhood, Ari. I'll edit photos, e-mail, and do general 'photo stuff' until the afternoon when I usually shoot. I try to keep to the same time of day to shoot, BKK has a wonderfully long golden hour. I work a job (unrelated to photography) usually in the evenings so I get home at about 9pm. Street food is incredible here in Thailand so I'll always have dinner out, a few drinks and then home to consume movies or read.
What is the story behind how you chose photography as a medium to document your everyday life?
I think like most people, it just kind of happened organically. One of my first jobs was working in a photo lab, and I always had a meandering interest in capturing images. I studied film in university, though, and continued to do photography as a hobby on the side.
It wasn't until I moved to Tokyo about 6 years ago that I really started to see the enjoyment I got from it, and how I could turn the camera into a device to try and understand the way in which I see the world.
Can you describe your personal work? When are they taken and who are in the photographs?
In essence, my work is a personal visual diary. I capture small moments in my life, often with my partner Matilda as a central figure.
I like the idea of my images being devoid of time or place, they exist on their own plane. I try not to forcefully shoot, I tend to take photos only when the mood strikes or when a particular scene plays out in front of me. Colour and light do play an important role in my work, and I like to play with these two as much as possible. Simplicity above all else.
What are some influences that have inspired you outside of photography and art?
Film plays a pretty integral and formative role in my life. I think for me the medium can encapsulate so much and in such a perfect manner. As I've gotten older I can see how much it means to me, and how it inspires me creatively. Deep down I would still really love to make something with the moving image, it's an idea I would like to pursue in the future.
What were specific films or directors you were originally influenced by?
I was very much interested in visual directors like Wong Kar-wai, Terrence Malick, Claire Denis and Andrei Tarkovsky. Films like Beau Travail, Chungking Express and The Mirror" were all films that I remember coming away from them thinking how well the directors used the lens to sculpt the world.
Can you share the story behind one of your favorite images you’ve shot in the past year?
Definitely the image I shot of a Negroni in the late afternoon sun. I think it's just the memory and sense of place I attach to it. I was visiting my sister in Italy at the time after not seeing her for a few years.
It was one of those perfect afternoons where the world is kinda just singing and suddenly the sight of a negroni glass refracting the light is just this supremely transcendental moment. Also, that was about my 5th drink that afternoon.
What are some of your goals this year, both in personal and creative realms?
At the moment I'm working on a pretty big project which at this point, is still under wraps - but it will be a pretty important milestone for me creatively.
I think this year is about challenging my photography more, to get outside my comfort zone and to do things a little differently than I have done. Personally, to be confident in myself and to be grateful for all that I have in my life. I need to get one of those 'make empathy great again' shirts that I keep seeing online too.
Can you explain what this project is about and what inspired it?
This project is highly personal and is essentially a retrospect of the last 6 years or so of my film photography. I'm not much of a nostalgist but I have reached a point in my career as an artist where I must look back and reflect on what I have produced. It's still under wraps at this point, but I will be announcing it in the coming weeks, I'm extremely excited about it though!
If you were to name one thing you are currently obsessed with what would it be?
I've kinda been obsessed with this commercial for the 'Flake' chocolate bar with Denis Lavant which was made by a fantastic director, Jonathan Glazer. It never got aired but every week or so I watch it and am just amazed by its existence and how utterly fantastic it is.
One book, one film and one song recommendation.
Book: Remainder by Tom Mccarthy— I picked this up on a trip to San Francisco last new year and finished it in a few days, something I haven't done in a long time with a book. Mesmerising read.
Film: Birth — Too difficult to chose but at this time of writing it's this movie. Could be one of my favourite opening shots of all time in cinema. Nicole Kidman is a force in this too.
Song: "Archangel" by Burial — Going on a decade plus of listening to this track almost on a daily basis.
Favorite Instagram account of the moment?
Such an impossibly difficult question but Leo Berne (@leo-berne) continually is a favourite on I.G amongst a whole slew of others.
Links to your social medial/portfolio