Newspaper photographer turned fashion darling, Landon Nordeman has conquered the backstages of Paris, Milan, and New York in just three short years. With a focus on the spectacle, Nordeman’s ability to capture the energy of a scene and construct geometric compositions make his photos both critically acclaimed and easily identifiable. Nordeman’s debut monograph Out of Fashion chronicling four seasons of fashion week was named one of the best Photo Books of 2016 by TIME, and will now be on display in an exhibition at Spalding Nix, Atlanta’s premier fine art destination. We were thrilled to chat with our friend about the changing fashion landscape and what he sees from behind the camera:
Join us for Landon Nordeman’s opening reception tomorrow, February 3, 2017 at Spalding Nix Fine Art.
JL: When we first met at Spalding Nix, you were featuring your stunning work on the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows. Since then you have become an acclaimed fashion photographer, but your work has spanned everything from last year’s national Republican and Democratic conventions to high school prom in Flint, Michigan. What do you see as the common thread running through your work?
LN: The common thread is always my point of view. Whatever the subject, I am drawn to moments filled with color, gesture, and a sense of humor or surprise. I do like to work in environments where something is being celebrated—whether it be a political rally, fashion show, or high school prom. The expectation of being photographed at these events allows me to observe people up close and discover moments that satisfy my curiosity.
JL: We are living in the midst of big changes in fashion, politics, and publishing. How do you see these worlds as connected?
LN: To me the connecting thread is the digital, social media landscape–which makes all of our worlds smaller. In other words, we only see what we want to see, and listen to what we want to listen to. It’s made life more convenient and more enjoyable in many ways—but our relationship with the screen isolates us. I’m as guilty as everyone else. I love Instagram, for example, because it allows me to share with other creative minds. I crave looking at photographs, so I am constantly inspired by what I see. However, I’ve found that to truly live in the present, I have the most success when I get out into the world and see it with my own eyes. That curiosity and need to connect through human interaction has always fulfilled me and played an integral part in my photographic process.
JL: Now a fashion photography veteran, what shows do you always look forward to photographing?
LN: Several shows always seem to push the creative envelope and surprise me, in no particular order: Thom Browne, Delpozo, Jeremy Scott, Dior, Proenza Schouler, and Marc Jacobs are some of my favorites.
JL: What event would be a dream assignment for you that you have not yet photographed?
LN: I’d like to answer this with one of my favorite quotes by Victor Hugo.
“All the corners of the earth are exactly the same. And anywhere one can dream is good, providing the place is obscure, and the horizon is vast.”
To me, this quote is a reminder that as long as you give yourself a chance to “dream,” amazing photographs can be found anywhere!
JL: Fill in the blank: if I die while shopping, I’d like it to be____ with a ______ in-hand.
LN: If I die while shopping, I’d like it to be in Paris with a camera in-hand.