13th Witness: Tim McGurr | Nasdaq Artist in Residence

How did you get started with photography?

I’ve always been a visual artist, seeing and experiencing life through a “creative filter.” My father is an artist too, and my mother incredible with style and opinion—so as a kid I grew up around adults who were creative, expressive, and prolific. No pressure. As a kid I shot home videos, and was heavily inspired by Stanley Kubrick films. My mother is French, and my father traveled a lot as an artist—throughout Asia and Europe. As a result, the width of my concept as a kid of how big and diverse the world was, was very real. Photography and videography is how I first began to capture the global perspective that my parents gifted me; since then, it has turned into a career—as my hobby turned from passion to profession.

Why is Instagram your medium of choice?

That’s a good question. My POV on that, is that Instagram is more so the dominant platform of the moment. I love Instagram for its ability to provide me with a massive creative exhibition forum, and also a real-time dialogue with people who appreciate my photography. Most importantly, Instagram is where and how I can see amazing creativity from other artists who inspire me. Prior to Instagram, I had created audiences on YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr—and also on my original artist website where most people discovered me. I’ve always been drawn to platforms that allow me to express, share, and forge dialogue. There will always be new platforms; I love the continuous challenge of having to solve creatively for new platforms and audiences.

What are you most excited about for the future?

My favorite hobby really is traveling, experiencing cultures, and shooting still and moving images along the way. Last year I toured California with Neymar, and China with Cristiano Ronaldo—shooting for Nike. I also traveled across the United States and Europe, shooting live performance photography for Beyonce. This year I already know that I’m headed to Istanbul for an amazing project, and just returned from shooting first-person helicopter-drop-in snowboard videos in Canada. What’s most exciting about the future is that my passion allows every year to be a big surprise—rooted in creativity and collaboration.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s a balance of what I see and experience, and what I feel. My photography is not only a communication of what I experience, but also my attempts at capturing the vibe and attitude expressed by others. Some of my creativity is what I was born with, the other part is what I’ve chosen to do with it.

At Nasdaq, we’re working to Rewrite Tomorrow by relentlessly reimagining the markets of today. In what ways are you rewriting the tomorrow of photography?

Every day is a new day. New experiences, new locations, new ideas. The best way to rewrite tomorrow is to create every day, to work on your craft, and hope that along the way your art evolves—and maybe that you inspire others to create too.

Do you have a favorite place to photograph in New York?

You can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can never take the Brooklyn out of the boy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.