Q. Hey Nick. Tell us some interesting facts about yourself:

Born in England, raised in Canada, now LA resident for eight years;

I used to be a professional touring musician, car mechanic apprentice and car detailer;

Got into the photography business at the age of 30;

100% self-taught.

I shoot stills and motion personal projects;

Learned Photoshop through past work in web/graphic design;

Animal lover: own one cat, Abbie, and two dogs, Callie and Monty;

Build and restore custom motorcycles for fun;

Was once in a Tom Green episode.


Q. How did you get into the entertainment business?

I began as a fashion photographer’s assistant in Toronto, Canada. Fashion isn’t much different from entertainment as the model/clothing is the focus of the shoot. Through assisting, I started to retouch fashion shoots. At that time, fashion magazines began to use celebrities in shoots, so I naturally started to retouch celebrities.

A few years later, I retouched at the Toronto Film Festival for Getty Images and moved to LA just as the award season was starting. I worked all the award shows for Getty Images and then worked at Sundance. It was a whirlwind introduction to LA, but I loved it.

At this time, I started working with Joe Pugliese, a well-known entertainment and advertising photographer, who I still work with today. That opened a lot of other doors for me.


Q. What made you start a career in photo editing?

I was assisting and learning photography in the fashion industry, and I quickly realized the work others were getting published had a specific look. I wanted to figure out how people achieved that. This led me to shooting my own work. I had some basic knowledge of Photoshop as I had previously done web/graphic design. I always loved Photoshop, so it was easy to get addicted to it again.


Q. Is there someone you see as a mentor?

 Early on, I had a few people who helped me out a lot, pointing me in the right direction for both techniques in Photoshop and the business side of things. Friends like Joel and Pratik.


Q. Any artists, models, actors or singers you find inspiration when you retouch their photos?

I’m pretty numb to that by now, but the one time I felt something heavy was doing a rush retouch of an image of Robin Williams the day he passed away. The image was for a magazine that wanted to publish a story about his death the next day. When you retouch, you get to zoom in on a person’s face, so it feels very intimate. It felt very sad to know he had passed hours earlier. I remember having trouble getting through that one.


Q. What projects are you working on?

I like to have a mix of styles as I get bored doing the same thing repeatedly. I still retouch a bit of fashion, although less these days, because the editorial world has slowed so much compared to the old heydays of magazines.

I do a lot of advertising work for major brands, TV/film studios and car campaigns. I’m a big car nerd, so that’s an area that has always interested me. I also co-own a retouching business named Zone Five with my friend Nate, and we focus primarily on car and advertising work too.


Q. What do you like most about your job?

Being my own boss. I’m a total night owl and usually work at night as the traditional 9-5 never suited me. I also love being independent and controlling my own destiny.


Q. What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in entertainment?

Move to where the action is. It seems less necessary now post-Covid, but when you’re starting out, you get so much more done, especially networking-wise. Once established, you can move to a less entertainment-focused city, but it’s a risk. Many prefer to work with local people. They seem to forget you once you move away. I had to move four times to get to LA – all stepping stones, but well worth it.


Q. What would your dream job look like professionally, and with whom?

I have probably checked off most of my previous “dream jobs”. But being an on-set retoucher for a sitting President in the White House would be the ultimate shoot. I have friends who have been on a shoot like that. So it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.


Q. A special shout-out to…

My cat and two dogs for being insane and funny. And my girlfriend, Saira, for putting up with all four of us!