Monocle Magazine recently got in touch with Nashville–based photographer Joe Buglewicz to shoot a story about the booming small business world in Nashville, with a particular emphasis on the manufacturing and design scene. Monacle has never really covered Nashville this in-depth before and, after getting the call, Joe was immediately excited for the shoot. Joe, along with a writer, went around to several different workshops and studios to chat with the entrepreneurs and photograph them. Read more about the shoot in the Q&A below!
How does this project fit into your photographic style?
Aesthetically the assignment fits with what I do pretty easily. A good chunk of my work tends to be fast, clean and available-light features/portraits—which is exactly what Monocle needed in this case. Subject-wise, I love photographing these types of folks. They’re smart, driven, and care deeply about their craft, which is super refreshing. I felt pretty honored being able to bring what they’re doing to a larger audience.
Were there any challenges involved with this project? If so, how did you overcome them?
The main challenge was just speed and being able to think/react on the fly. The writer would speak with the subject for about 10-15 minutes while I was grabbing environmental photos of their workspaces and scouting a few portrait locations. After the interview we would do a super quick portrait session, then head to the next spot and do it all over again. It really helped that every subject was cool with us being there and open to the whole process.
What was involved in planning/preproduction?
It was difficult to plan/prepare for this, aside from checking out some mood boards from my editor and just being conscious of how the images were going to run in the magazine. Monocle has a very clean style since images tend to run a bit smaller in print, so being able to balance that with keeping images from being too repetitive was key.
What has the reaction to the images been so far?
The reaction has been pretty great. The writer and editors enjoyed the images, and I’ve seen a few pop up on social media in random places. A local art gallery around the corner from my house regrammed an image from the shoot to promote local Nashville makers, which was great.
Any future plans for this project?
I’d be all about continuing this work, pitching even more of these folks to suitable publications. The more eyes on Nashville and the people doing great things here, the better.
Did you learn anything through the creation of this series?
Living in Nashville right now, I think we tend to get a lot of “it city” fatigue. Coffee shops, vintage stores and hip bars/restaurants open up constantly, which is great and all—but meeting everyone on this shoot made me feel like Nashville hasn’t reached that saturation point yet—where creatives are a dime a dozen or priced out from really following their passion. That’s what makes the city pretty special right now. If you’ve got the drive you can make it happen.
To see more of Joe’s work visit joebuglewicz.com