Erick Prince-Heaggans is the creative force behind MinorityNomad.com. This Ohio raised Texan began his writing career covering music and film in Austin,Texas. After a brief stint in tabloid journalism, he embarked on a full time travel career. Currently promoting travel within the African-American community, Erick focuses primarily on travel access for low income students and cross cultural exploration. Erick has written for such publications as Yahoo Travel, US Weekly, and the Daily Texan.
As a veteran, father, and journalist, Erick strives to produce high quality writing and photography that will ensure his readers have the most accurate and useful information possible. Also an accomplished photographer, Erick has created a nonprofit foundation which teaches photojournalism and cultural awareness to low income students. Through this initiative, he hopes to inspire a new generation of journalists.
After visiting 71 countries on five continents, Erick still has a passion for exploration and travel that he wants to share with you. He believes that true self-actualization can only be achieved by challenging what you have come to believe. And travel is the perfect catalyst for personal growth and change.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I’m a personal space shooter. I tend to get inside people’s bubbles to get the shot I want. I have a big personality so I love just approaching people and chatting. Most will let their guard down and embrace me. If I’m shooting landscapes I always search for a different angle. A different way to view the structure or scene. The world has so many amazing photographers out there. I just try to present it through my eyes which may be a unique view to some.
Can you share the backstories behind these two photos?
The first image was shot at a school for Haitian children in the Dominican Republic. I was there with some missionaries who were trying to protect the children from racist Dominican immigration agents. While at the school, I discovered not only the fear these children had of the world outside their school’s barred doors, but the passion for life they also carried with them. These students understood that, at any moment, they could be taken away from their families but didn’t show that fear one bit during my visit.
This student in particular was a shining light. She was 11 at the time and one of the eldest students there. She wanted to be a teacher and regularly helped younger students with their work. I took this shot while going around and taking portraits for the students to show on my LCD. This is easily my favorite portrait ever. Not for any technical reason but because of a personal connection I made with these kids.
The second image was shot during Chinese New Year in Bangkok. I’ve always felt a bit uneasy photographing any religious ceremony. However, Thai people are so warm and accommodating that they put me at ease.
I love colors and darkness. I prefer strong colors and slightly underexposed images. Bangkok is the perfect city for my style because it truly comes to life at night with vibrant colors. More so during the Chinese New Year. This was shot at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat.
What are your dreams as a photographer?
I want to inspire a generation of low income American students to take up journalism. I started a nonprofit foundation in 2012 which aims to enrich the lives of low income students through photojournalism and travel. I want my work to show these students that no matter what your socioeconomic position, the world is out there waiting for you.
The “Snapshot” series are mini interviews with fellow black travel photographers to inspire others and myself. As I’ve navigated the world of travel photography over the last few years, I’ve found very few fellow photographers of color who are also doing this professionally with a heavy focus on travel documentary. So this inspirational resource of professional travel photographers of color is a way for people to always find us. Please get in touch if you’d like to be featured or know of others to feature.