Here and Now: Cool Conceptual Portraits by Nate Bittinger

Nate Bittinger is a Maryland-based professional photographer who’s also a graphic designer by trade. His love for photography began unexpectedly in 2012, when he bought his first DSLR camera. He wanted to take his own stock photos for his graphic design work, but he knew nothing about photography. Through a lot of research, he learned how to shoot different ways, eventually becoming infatuated with the learning process.

Still, he only really began to develop his own style when he started to shoot photos as a form of self-therapy. His personal thoughts and feelings inspire many of his photos, which tend to be surreal and conceptual. “Usually, if I’m producing work, it’s because I’m going through something,” he says. Then, when he’s happy again, his work begins to slow down. “It’s kind of  a weird cycle, I guess.”

Nate Bittinger gasoline fire

The title of his series “Here and Now” captures Nate’s life philosophy and motto, as well as the feeling he searches for the most. “To me, nothing will ever beat the feeling of living in the moment. Just letting go of everything and actually being right there at that second, frozen in time, clear of everything,” he says.

Being present, rather than lost in the past or worried about the future, is the state of mind he likes to portray in his photos. For him, living here and now means making great memories, enjoying adventures and appreciating the people he’s with. It means savoring each moment held in time.

Nate Bittinger view from a hill

Genesis (Week 1)
Nate Bittinger sunrise water

The two photos above are Nate’s favorite shots from “Here and Now.” The first portrays the feeling of being in the moment perfectly, he says. “At that second I was free of thought and just living.”

The second, “Genesis (Week 1),” is significant because it captured the beginning of a journey he took, separated from his friends and family. “I made a pretty large decision to stop having a social life and start following my passions and dreams.” This decision meant spending a long time alone, exploring nature in self-reflection.

His journey lasted 15 weeks, or one college semester, and was an important turning point in his life. Currently, he’s working on a short movie about the places he went during that time, entitled “The Places I Go.” It’ll be a brief look at all of the beauty he experienced–beauty which helped him overcome a depression and rediscover his identity.

To see more of Nate’s work, check out his websiteFlickr photostream, or Facebook.

Something Right
Nate Bittinger jumping in air

Dreamworld
Nate Bittinger lying on grass

All That Awaits
Nate Bittinger storm

The Dream Of Life
Nate Bittinger levitating man

All That Awaits II
Nate Bittinger man in stormy ocean

Surrender
Nate Bittinger hand holding man

Dementia II
Nate Bittinger storm yellow coat

Life Beyond Light
Nate Bittinger cloudy portrait

Dreamwalkers
Nate Bittinger faceless

In This Moment…
Nate Bittinger clock face

Residual
Nate Bittinger sad relationship

Metaphysical
Nate Bittinger blurred woods

Clairvoyance
Nate Bittinger fire in mirror

Teachings Of A Vagrant
Nate Bittinger hooded man

Despair
Nate Bittinger person on fire

Bastards
Nate Bittinger floating person

Lightshy
Nate Bittinger street lamp