Memento spoke with Nevin to learn more about his perspective as a film photographer ahead of #NJ-DROP01. Nevin also shared his thoughts on Memento’s mission to create new offline forms of photography and self-expression beyond the social media feed.

What first prompted you to get into photography?

I’ve always been an outdoorsman. From very early on, I spent a great deal of time outside. From camping in the mountains, to backpacking in remote country, to canoeing for a week in the finger lakes of Minnesota- the outdoors have lived in me my whole life. It wasn’t until a RV trip to Banff, Alberta that truly woke me up to photography. All my life I had been experiencing the outdoors but never truly sharing that experience. I understood in that moment, standing atop the incredible peaks of the Canadian Rockies, that I needed to bring those moments home with me to share with others.

I picked up a camera & from that moment on I became a photographer. I studied the craft, learning everything I could about the medium. I practiced every day from then on to arrive where I am today.

Maine Coastline

Building from what you just shared - do you have anything to add on what motivates you as a photographer today or how those motivations may have changed over time?

My motivation remains unchanged. I set out to bring back the feelings I feel in the moment in these special places. This vision has grown to more than just the outdoors. Once I became a film photographer I quickly realized the feeling of nostalgia is one that runs so deep with most people. It has a tremendous grip on my vision for my film photography. So it is important to me & my artistic vision that I bring these feelings to life with the viewer. Photography is my passion project. I pursue my vision with nothing but the purest intentions- to inspire folks, to show them how I see the world: life in color.

“I pursue my vision with nothing but the purest intentions – to inspire folks, to show them how I see the world: life in color..”

Nevin Johnson Grassland Sunset Photo

What artists or other photographers have served as the greatest source of inspiration to you?

I pull greatly from impressionist painters. My mother is an oil painter so my earliest exposure to art was impressionism. I believe you can see a through line in my work from just that. Dreamy & ethereal vibes are notes constantly present in my work. As for photography, I deeply admire Joel Meyerowitz.

What would be the #1 advice would you give to aspiring film photographers?

I’ve thought about this a lot. There’s no easy answer to be honest. A lot of the time it will be trial & error… but I think that’s what’s fun about film - the process. In the process you’ll find your voice. You’ll find what works for you & what doesn’t, what films you like & those that you’ll never shoot again.

As for a few tips & tricks-

You can never have enough light.

Don’t be afraid to splurge on the expensive stuff- it’s expensive for a reason.

Embrace the imperfections- life isn’t perfect & neither is film.

New Jersey Shore Boardwalk Coca Cola

Why do you think fashion can be a powerful medium for photography and how has Memento influenced that opinion?

I think the intersection between photography & fashion is an extremely interesting & unexplored concept. Taking photography on the road (so to speak) with fashion can elevate the photograph in a previously unexplored way. Memento has shown me that the fine art experience of a gallery can be achieved in a garment. The level of detail & care that goes into each piece from Memento is exactly how I handle each edition going into a gallery. No expense spared, no detail overlooked. Truly the gold standard.

Nevin Johnson - Head in The Clouds

“The level of detail & care that goes into each piece from Memento is exactly how I handle each edition going into a gallery. No expense spared, no detail overlooked. Truly the gold standard.”

When getting your work out into the world, how do you think about the balance between offline and online mediums? Whether it be prints, books or your presence through social media and your website, etc.

My goal with getting my work into the world is simple- go where people appreciate my work. This is not the same as making my work a commodity, in fact I want the exact opposite to be true. My goal is always to associate the best quality, the most care, & the most thought with my work. My intention is getting the work out there & available to those who want it. I have varying levels of participation. Meaning a small print run here & there to 1/1 photographs available to purchase both online & offline. It is a delicate balance but I’ve found this mode of releasing work into the public to be the most fulfilling for me. This is my journey, if you want to take part in it, no matter how small, I want you along for the ride.


Timeless by Nevin Johnson