Nancy Crowell was born in Jackson, Mississippi and has lived in Memphis, Tennessee; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and Venice, California. About 16 years ago she moved to the waterfront town of La Conner, Washington and knew she had found the place she was meant to be.
Nancy’s love of photography started with her grandmother, who always had her camera handy to capture spontaneous moments. As the youngest of four siblings, with a 10-year gap, Nancy says, “By the time I came along, if my grandmother hadn’t documented my childhood, there likely wouldn’t have been many photos of me at all. It was Nana who taught me to appreciate the natural world, and to see the beauty in everyday things. I recall looking through the top of her Brownie box to frame a photo.”
When Nancy tells people the kinds of things she has done for a living, she says, “It just sounds made-up, but it’s not!” In the ‘80s Nancy edited a windsurfing magazine and traveled the world to sit on beaches and watch windsurfing. In the ‘90s she went to film school and landed in L.A. as the second woman to win the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences paid internship in Cinematography. During that internship, she worked on a TV show for five months as second camera assistant. Nancy has also worked as a school portrait photographer, a studio portrait photographer, a writer for editorial, advertising and marketing, and she also spent 14 years doing various jobs at Microsoft involving content.
The one consistent thread throughout Nancy’s life has been art. And photography has been a big element of that art. Nancy’s three siblings are also artists. One brother is currently pursuing watercolor when he’s not fixing the laws as an attorney in North Carolina, another brother is a sculptor, and her sister is a retired architect and fabulous painter with a Master’s in sculpture. At one point in 2015 Nancy and two of her siblings had work in shows across the country at the same time.
“I have won awards and had successful shows, but nothing tops capturing a moment in time. Digital provides the freedom to experiment and learn on the spot, which is a tremendous advantage for anyone new to photography. There is still a post-processing learning curve for anyone using digital, but I don’t miss the smell of the darkroom at all.”
Nancy lives in a beautiful valley where she is inspired every day by the natural surroundings, the scenic farmlands and the bountiful flora. “I am fortunate to have a spouse who doesn’t mind being a camera assistant. And, as a Master Gardener, I am dialed in to the seasons and changes in the flora that surrounds me. It’s my pleasure to share what I see with others. “
When Nancy finally moved to L.A. permanently, between film gigs she worked for a guy who played golf during the day and poker at night – always with famous people. “I still need to write a novel about that experience!”