He’s a demanding photographer.
Nate Gowdy’s photography not only documents, but also captures the spirit and joy and sadness of a community. ... His photography will undoubtedly define the efforts, political and social, of this generation of LGBTQ individuals in Seattle.
Nate depicts the drama and passion in his subject’s lives with honest perspective, bold color and graphic black and white images.
Nate’s work is in-your-face. It dares you to look a littler closer at something that may be a distant reality. Nate follows his instinct and isn’t afraid to get in close. He jumps in the pool even when he’s not sure it’ll mean getting the shot. He’s at once an observer and an integral part of a community, because he offers something that people who ‘take’ photos don’t offer: dignity without a sugar coating. It doesn’t matter if his subject is a Pride rally or the President of the United States, Nate’s depiction will show a side that is more human, unafraid to show the warts, and all the more real for it.Nate’s work has another trait that is one of the rarest in photography: humor. He’s got a knack for catching people with their pants down (sometimes literally). A drag queen eating a hot dog, a guilty-looking bulldog at a funeral, a young lady giddy in front of a go-go dancer - all caught at their peak emotional expressiveness. It’s an instinct that few possess, and he can look forward to further developing his technical photography to complement that instinct.
Working at a marketing agency, I have the opportunity to work with many different design professionals and photographers. Nate is at the top of the list. You can see from his portfolio what an artist and talent he his - but what you can’t see there (but what I’ve come to know) is what a pleasure he is to work with. Share your vision for a project—he finds a way to execute it in a way that exceeds expectations every time. Ask him to meet an impossibly tight deadline—he smiles and says “no problem”. Brilliant, yet humble, he has a heart as good as his eye.
Nate’s work is provocative without apology. The LGBTQ community comes across as warm and almost predictable, which is impressive and needed. His works always make you wonder what was happening the moments before and after the shot.
This was the 7th Annual Gala for the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, and it was our best year yet! We could not be more pleased with the outcomes of our event and are so grateful that the memories will be saved forever in the photographs taken by Nate. Nate showed the utmost professionalism and care being sensitive to our specific requests and needs during our event. He engaged with our guests and captured some truly unique shots. After the event, Nate put finishing touches on the work and got the entire set to us within days. These are the best photos we have gotten of any of our Galas! We will definitely be asking him back to our galas in the future and would recommend him to others for their special events.
I love Nate Gowdy’s photography! It is powerful, evocative, and telling. Just the captures of people’s faces in the crowd tells you everything about the powerful speeches happening on stage!
There is lots of color, movement and emotion in Nate’s work. He immerses himself physically and emotionally into the same space as his subjects.
Nate Gowdy photographed our wedding on December 9th, 2013. The photos he took are some of the best of us ever and we’ve been together 35 years and have had a lot of photos over the years. Getting married on our 35th Anniversary meant gathering together friends from around the country; it was a special time for us and the ability to relive it through Nate’s photographs has made it even more meaningful. Never intrusive, professional and capturing just the right moments without direction, Nate brings his charismatic presence to the event without interrupting the flow. You’ll find none better to capture your special moment.
We were so pleased with the photos that Nate took at our scholarship event this year. He truly managed to capture the spirit of the evening. The photos were some of the best photos we’ve had taken for us since our organization was founded almost 30 years ago.
His style ... shows the feeing of the action of the moment. There is a casual tone to the photos, but with the way he processes them they still look professional. He seems to be looking out for his subjects, helping them look their best. His happy demeanor helps put his subjects at ease.
We planned our wedding in two weeks. It fell together perfectly. From venue, to catering, to the perfect cake. Since it was planned so quickly, we had been asking friends and family to take photos. Then Nate appeared in my email inbox and saved the day. He drove all the way to Spokane to join us for the evening. He captured every moment in beautiful images we will treasure forever.
Nate is non-intrusive but always there at the important moments, and also during moments his subjects only later will realize are important. Nate produces moments that, crafted yet real - they did happen. Young and with a whole career ahead of him.
Nate doesn’t just have the luck to be in the right place at the right time to capture interesting moments in Seattle’s LGBTQ life - from outrageous celebrities to quiet intimate moments. He has the skill to make the most of them, to bring us all, in our many splendor, into focus.
Great job on our wedding at the Museum of Flight. Love the perspective shown in many of the photos. Especially appreciate your dedication and attention to detail. It’s been a pleasure before, during, and after the event. Thanks.
Nate’s work is raw, unfiltered, and true. His photos capture the true moment that’s happening. He has a unique ability to focus on the expression and not the subject, allowing the viewer to be brought into the moment to see and feel the subject. In the work he did on behalf of Washington United for Marriage, he portrays not just documentation of a moment in history but the documentation of the feeling of history. He has a great skill set as far as drawing out color to highlight his subjects.
Nate takes great care as a photographer to truly capture the LGBTQ equality movement in action. More than just photojournalism, his documentation of the marriage equality fight in Washington state, from beginning to end, will serve as a historical and celebratory body of work when we all look back on those days. Nate can - and does - shoot it all. From weddings to charity events, to nightclub performances and portraiture, Nate has got a fine eye for what looks good, photographs people to make them look their best, and always seems to catch the moment, or “The picture within the picture”. It doesn’t matter if the event has 100 or 1,000 people, Nate’s biggest and brightest quality is that he understands his camera equipment, knows how light works, and makes a connection with his subjects.
Hi Nate, I was browsing around on your web site and came across your Gayborhood project. Just wanted to say WOW! Amazing pics! Great capture of emotions.
Nate Gowdy’s extraordinary photographic efforts in Seattle’s LGBT community position him as both a remarkable journalist and an incredible ally in the fight for justice. Nate’s body of work showcases a unique talent for capturing the dimension and intensity of real history, as it’s lived. As a member of the community, I’m thankful. As a fellow creative professional, I’m impressed. It’s been my honor to know and work with Nate, and it is my pleasure to give him my resounding endorsement.
Photography is instinct. Pictures evoke emotions and memorialize moments in history. The photographer is a storyteller through imagery. Stories are an essential part of culture. Nate is this for Seattle’s LGBTSQ communities. The scope of his work has immortalized the people, places, and emotions of these historic times. His work is an indelible piece of our narrative and it will be reflected upon by countless people for years to come.
Nate - these images are amazing, reminds me of a Diane Arbus, Weegee, Patrick McMullan all rolled into one.
Trust and vision, feeling for the communitycreating a universe of images of the mind’s makingspiritually and intuitively connecting with the situation and moment (click of the shutter) todocument things seen and unseen.
Our wedding day was a perfect day for us. A beautiful fall day, a nature reserve, trekking through tall grass and beautiful tree canopies and then the music, the dancing, the laughing and the oh-so-joyful love of family and friends. How can I express how much we love Nate Gowdy!? Matt and Gowdy have been friends for over 20 years and now my friend for the last seven years. And we love him! So of course he had to be a part of our day! Knowing Gowdy’s skills with the camera, we asked if he would be willing to take photos at the reception (as he was in the wedding party and couldn’t take ceremony shots). ”He went so far and beyond anything we could have asked for. Gowdy was able to capture our day with such beauty and grace. Before the ceremony, Matt and I went on a walk through the nature center on our own and then we took all our family and friend pictures. Gowdy was the best! He knew just when to let us have a few moments, when to capture a beautiful image, and how to make our families and friends laugh. Our families are still talking about how great Gowdy was about getting everyone excited and ready for the day.”When our ceremony began, Gowdy put down his camera and joined in the experience. As soon as we had walked down the aisle, he was back at it – documenting all the love and excitement leading up to the reception. And oh what a reception it was. Mexican food, music, love, friendship – Gowdy got it all. It is evident Gowdy loves what he does. His images have his love within them. He is more than a photographer. Nate Gowdy is a storyteller.
Nate celebrates joy and revels in the positive impact that diverse sexuality and gender expressions have on society.
That was definitely the smoothest step-and-repeat I’ve ever participated in.
Amazing photographer with an incredible eye for the unexpected.
Nate has an amazing way of turning people into art. The way he makes the colors pop, the expressions he catches, and the overall mood of his photos are what stick out the most. While many people would go for the obvious moments while shooting, he seeks to always catch the vibrant, uncanny moments. This is not just seen in his work in the LGBTQ community, either.
Ours was a quaint wedding, a camp wedding we called it, and we wanted to let the beauty of Washington’s forests and mountains be the principal backdrop for our day. A friend once said to me, “I don’t like things that don’t need augmentation to be augmented,” and I think this was a guiding principle for our wedding. And it was perfect, everything we could have hoped for. Nate seemed to understand the vision we had for the wedding without our having to articulate it at all. His photos, dripping with color and exuberance, were every bit as playful as the day. Nate captured all of the people and the happenings as well as the gorgeous scenery, the lovely tables, and the fabulous food. I hanker for pie every time we look at their photos. And we look at them so often. Nate is a natural at putting everyone at ease for posed shots, and best of all, his photojournalism experience has taught him to follow the action. He caught so many parts of the evening that one or both of us might never have known had happened. It was so much fun to see our day through Nate’s lens — everything we hoped would be there but still full of surprises.
Nate’s often colorful imagery has documented the happenings and lives of those involved with Seattle’s LGBTQ communities for several years. Whether attending Seattle’s Pride Parade, law signing ceremonies, or Thirsty Thursdays at R Place, Nate’s up-close style of reportage serves to both inform and intrigue.
You are a true professional, someone I trust to do a wonderful job. The event is dear to my heart. When I, and an associate, started the event several years ago, we hoped that it would continue to grow. While I won’t be attending tonight, I’m so pleased that they’ve brought these great folks together to celebrate Pride in a big way. I know that you can help them look their very best for their clients and the community!
Nate’s work has a sense of honesty and spontaneity. It’s quite apparent that he connects with the people he’s working with, and that definitely comes through in his photographs.
Cutting his teeth as a photographer for a hometown gay newspaper, Nate garnered attention for his beautifully composed character portraits of Seattle gay nightlife. In his photographs he finds the great story in the mundane, as well as personal, quiet moments in the epic.
I got them.They are making a sensation across Facebook land already.thank you so muchcaptures the spirit and energy of the night perfectly, and in a very handsome waymuah muah muah
dude your work has exploded. Glad I checked out your website again. incredible incredible incredible
Nate’s photographs are fucking great, but one could suspect that Nate Gowdy does not know what makes them great, any more than anyone else. In this way, when you ask an artist for an artist statement, you are asking the wrong person. Don’t ask the photographer; ask the photograph. Nate’s photographs adore, covet and idolize his subjects. The most important thing is to not misinform. Every good photograph he makes, makes him more grateful toward his subjects and opportunities. “May I take your photograph?” That is the heart, center and core of everything photographers do. Essentially what he is saying all day, every day, is “I adore you. May I take your photograph?” ... Nate has an eye for human beauty and dignity that really goes beyond, and is independent of the peculiar political, cultural and social moment that we now live in. He could be photographing cowboys, boy scouts, a civil war in Africa, backpackers in China, an intifada or pretty much anything else, and he would find a focus, a center, an idea - some way to make great photographs.