(1/2) This is Nick. He’s a photojournalist for the Lawrence Journal-World since 2005. Before that, he worked at the Topeka Capital Journal and he freelanced for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch right after college. See his work at www.nickkrug.com
“The first camera that I ever picked up was my dad’s Nikon F. My uncle Steve brought it back from Vietnam and gave it to my dad who was very young then and he had it for years and years. I remember being always fascinated by the sounds that it made, just the way it all clicked together. My father was very influential in my life. He was a graphic designer so I went to KU initially for graphic design and I kind of saw myself following in his footsteps, but later I realized that I really enjoyed my photography classes and I didn’t necessarily gravitate so much to the design aspect of my education, so I switched to journalism.”
“What do you like most about photography?”
“I like the influence that it has. Journalism is all about informing people. It’s about keeping people engaged in their community. And I think photography is very interesting because you can instantly create that human relationship between one person and another and they can immediately relate to the emotions being presented in a photograph. I think that’s very powerful. It’s really gratifying when you can tap into someone’s emotion and you can hopefully spark a change or promote action.
As much as I love the photojournalist aspect of what I do, I also love portraiture. I like getting to know people. Portraiture is an agreement between two people who then arrive to a conclusion. Most of the times both sides are happy, but sometimes one side is happier than the other and that’s okay. There’s truth in portraiture, when you can see a person for who they are with all their little nuisances and you can bring those into the light.”
“How big of an influence was your dad?”
“He was always incredibly encouraging, not only pushing me toward what makes me happy, but also just being around, being a friend and being a good parent. And my mom was the same as well. With my father though, it was really easy to see his passion for his work. He worked a lot. He loved his work. He would take me to his office sometimes and I would see his process for working with his clients, bringing a product to them and how it all worked. His passion was very influential. And that’s kind of how I want to raise my kids.
I was 19 and my brother was just turning 16 when my dad passed. He had leukemia. I think I was in first grade when he was diagnosed. He lived for quite a long time with it. There were some scary moments before he died, where he almost died several times. I think about him every day. Immediately after he passed I was angry for years. I was probably really hard to relate to by a lot of people’s standards. And I think meeting Louise, falling in love and having kids of my own really put me at peace.
My wife and kids have been incredible in showing me what I know my father felt as a father. My brother and I knew we were loved. I wish I had been more mature when he passed. I wish I had been older so I could have helped my mother more. She was great. She tried really hard to hold everybody together and I really appreciate her for that.”