Get to Know: Tegra Stone Nuess

Mar 19, 2018
Photographer Spotlight

While she discovered her love for photography early on, Seattle, Washington based photographer Tegra Stone Nuess committed to a life behind the camera during her time living and studying in Paris. She hasn't strayed from the path since, working on editorial, commercial, and documentary work centered on travel. We asked Tegra some questions about her early days as a photographer, her finest moments, and her plans for the future.

Seattle photographer Tegra Stone Nuess

Where are you from originally?

Spokane, WA. I went to school in Connecticut and lived in Paris and NYC, but I'm a PNW (Pacific North West) girl now located in Seattle, WA.

How did you get involved in photography?

I fell in love with photography in an 8th-grade summer photo camp. I also had an uncle and a family friend who were photographers and encouraged me greatly.

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What was the first camera you ever used?

An old Nikon. My first very own camera was a Canon EOS Rebel SLR.

Who is your photography idol?

Henri Cartier-Bresson- his pioneering of The Decisive Moment really spoke to me and taught me to capture powerful moments whether by anticipating them naturally or orchestrating them.

What genre of photography do you typically shoot?

Travel and Lifestyle. I love travel photography because I get to shoot it all- people, landscapes, food, action etc.

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What is your favorite shoot you've ever worked on?

It was an assignment with Stern Magazine to cover a 5-day trek in the Corsican Mountains. It was a dream assignment because I got to document the adventure of backpacking in one of my favorite places on Earth. It was also personally very challenging as my left arm was in a brace from dislocating it in a bouldering fall 2 weeks before the trip. The guide initially refused to let me come, saying it was too dangerous, but I was able to prove to him that I could hike and shoot with one arm and a pack. The summit and the images tasted even sweeter.

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What is your favorite image you've ever taken?

Ever? That's a tough one. The one that I'm currently the proudest of is a hiker in the North Cascade National Park. I was extremely excited to learn, due to an article in the New York Times last fall, that it is helping change the way we depict women in stock photography by being Getty's 2016 top selling image for the search term 'woman'. Stock photography has evolved from the top selling image of a naked woman in bedsheets to a gritty woman hiking in the wilderness and I love being a part of that. 

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How would you say your work has evolved over time?

A lot of my imagery is capturing a spontaneous moment and shooting on the fly and over time it has become more refined. I've become much quicker at micro-composing and I've also learned how to slow down and make sure I'm not missing anything. 

What's the biggest challenge you've faced as a photographer/videographer?

Self-doubt. Sometimes it can be hard not to fall into the dark abyss of self-doubt and fear, but I know this is what I'm supposed to do and it recently became clear that confidence breeds creativity.

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Who is your dream client? 

National Geographic Magazine. I want to explore and tell stories that make a difference for the planet and its inhabitants.

adventure photography, commercial photography, editorial photography, landscape photography, new york times, portraiture photography, stern magazine, tegra stone nuess, travel photography, getty

Want to see more from Tegra?

Check out her work on Instagram, or pop over to her website at tegrastonenuess.com!

And check out our other members on our Find Photographers page.