For this month’s NMCO Q&A feature we proudly present Samuel Palm. When Sam isn’t behind the camera he’s exploring nature, creative writing or finding zen with advanced yoga skills.
Q: What’s your origin story? When did you first pick up a camera and produce something creative?
A: With my dad being a photographer, I grew up around cameras. I was given an old handicam around the time I was 8 or 9, and for years I created tons of silly videos with my friends, covering all sorts of genres and themes. We had an ongoing series of horror movies, stop motion, parodies, you name it. Once high school rolled around, I started borrowing my dad’s more professional DSLR cameras and began taking more portrait-style photos for friends and family. Photography really became a key part of my life during the end of high school.
Q: What made you interested in pursuing film and photography as a career?
A: Starting college I knew my main passions were music and photography. My first class was a course in photography which was well below my skill level but still served to inspire the pursuit of visual media further. After a few classes in filmmaking, I started to reembrace the motion picture side of things the way I had as a child.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by so many random things, usually when I least expect it: a specific shot in a movie, the way light breaks through a window, a unique concept I stumble across on Instagram, flipping through vintage photography books at Coas, collaborating with other creative friends in the area, an emotion I connect with on a deep level, etc. I’m inspired most often by the landscapes around me and the people I love.
Q: What is your process for photography production at NMCO?
A: The process varies slightly depending on client needs, but it all starts with a concept and desired outcome. Comparing references, establishing locations, really connecting on the intended aesthetic. From there it’s shooting, adapting to environmental changes, taking things into post, and playing around with light and colors in the edit. I always end up spending a little too much time editing because I love how drastically the mood can shift with even the most subtle adjustments.
Q: How do you think photography will adapt and change in the digital media age?
A: Camera technology develops rapidly and it’s both exhilarating and tiring keeping up with it all. Ultimately, photography is accessible to way more people than ever before which levels the playing field and also means you have to really find your own voice to stand out. Digital will only continue to develop and push the boundaries of creativity.
Q: What advice would you give to someone starting in the film and photography industry?
A: Get an affordable camera and start shooting! Play around, research artists, find inspiration, connect with people around you, and have fun. There are so many styles of photography and so many ways to tell a story. Explore it all and find what feels right for you, and then push yourself further.
Q: What’s on your photography/video bucket list?
A: I love exploring the world around me and would love more opportunities to travel and document the beauty around us. I’d also love to work on more film sets in the future. I’d love to write and direct my own short film eventually.
Q: What are your favorite NMCO video productions or projects?
A: We’ve done such a great variety of projects, but one of my favorites was the Visit Las Cruces series we shot during the summer of 2021. There was a lot of planning, writing, and schedule coordinating to make it all happen, but ultimately I got to spend a lot of time outdoors with my closest friends recording beautiful and epic moments. It was really cool to be able to create promotional content for the place I call home.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: I really hope to advance my skills in film photography, developing, and eventually printing, which has become a hobby of mine over the last year. In terms of video, a creative short film is long overdue and I look forward to making that happen. With NMCO I’m looking forward to creating more content for the DLCP where we focus on businesses and artists downtown!
Q: When you aren’t shooting commercials and taking photos for NMCO, what do you do for fun?
A: Outside of camera stuff, I’m really into hiking and backpacking. I’ve always been a fan of spending time outside and taking time to breathe and connect with the world around me. Slowing down and recalibrating means everything in this incredibly fast-paced reality. As far as projects go, I’d love to go on a long backpacking trip and do a lot of writing about the journey.