Nolan W. McCants, an award winning photographer, had his initial encounter with photography in his 6th grade dark room class. This is where he first “saw the light”—the beauty, symmetry and the emotion that photography evoked. This would later spark a fascination with art and culture, people and imagery within him that grows stronger every day. As an adult, he continued to connect with the fine arts community as an executive in public relations.
Well traveled, Nolan has immersed himself in diverse cultures throughout the world. His inquisitive nature and insatiable desire to touch and be touched by ethnicity and customs motivates his inspiring photography. His images stir imagination and emotions, while uncovering rich cultural treasures. His gifted “eye for the exceptional in the ordinary” captures the uniqueness of life, bringing observers of his art into the intimacy of the moment.
Nolan was born and raised in the western suburb of Chicago where he now lives with his wife Gloria. Nolan is an author, pastor and international speaker.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I am often drawn to people, structures, colors, textures and the obscure. I prefer spontaneity over scenarios that are planned, staged or well thought out. I shoot images that touch the soul, stir the imagination and evoke emotion.
Spontaneity, grabbing the shot that can never be duplicated is my absolute favorite of all. I never photoshop my photos offered as fine art and will rarely crop or color correct to any real extent.
Can you share the backstories behind these two photos?
Market Merchants was taken outside a small village in northern Nigeria. Adorned in their very colorful tribal dresses, these five Fulani women have just finished up at the market selling milk from the cattle led by the men of their nomadic tribe. This photograph captures a harmonious strut, which seemed more like a glide from a distance. This photograph for me is a part of my celebration of this rich culture, sharing another dimension of the untold stories of West African people, especially the strong, poised and very beautiful women.
“Danza” was taken in Seville, Spain of a local Flamenco dancer. In this photograph you get in touch with the intensity of the moment, with the vigorous, yet elegant movement that was captured. The beautiful backlit layered dress with it’s soft creamy textures flow at the command of the dancer with such power and such grace.
What are your dreams as a photographer?
I simply love when people feel strongly enough about my work to actually invest in it and hang it in their personal space. It is the highest compliment. But, ultimately I want to tell stories, capture history and make people around the world feel good about life, living and one another.
It would be great to catch the eyes of significant collectors and find my work in the permanent collections of collectors, museums and institutions world wide.
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.