Behind the Lens: Nathan Congleton

If you haven’t already seen out #CapturedTuesdays series yet, you’re missing out.

Every Tuesday we’ll be brining you a curated gallery from one of our four contributing photographers based in all the corners around the globe, capturing football from their region through their individual unique lens.

One of these very talented photogs representing the US of A is Nathan Congleton.

Calling the Big Apple home, Nathan spends his days capturing the rise of the MLS and the growing soccer culture in North America. We did a little Q & A with Nath so you can get to know a little more about the man behind these stunning images.

Q: What soccer club do you follow?

A: Real Madrid. I also enjoy watching fellow Madrid side Rayo Vallecano. They are one of the most blue collar teams in the world and the community of Vallecas is on the field with the XI during every match. Lots of passion and energy around that club. 

Q: When did you first fall in love with football?

A: Around 12 years ago. I was never interested in American Football, and when my school got some foreign exchange students from Spain they kinda showed us the ropes of the game and I was hooked. I chose Real Madrid because my best friend is from there and a socio of the club, so its been RMCF in the good times and the bad (currently awful). I knew nothing about the club when I       first started out, nothing about the players or the game in general, but it didn’t take long for me to become addicted to it and learn the history. 

Q: How did you come to become a photographer?

A: I bought a cheap beginner-level Nikon a long time ago out of pure boredom and quickly realised my love for the art. I shot everything from weddings to hardcore bands, and eventually combined my two biggest passions, football and photography. 

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Q: What’s been the biggest soccer game / player you’ve shot?

A: Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are probably the biggest names that I’ve had through my lens, although anytime I shoot Pirlo I kinda forget about all that and get starstruck. Documenting the way         he plays the game is really fun for me, It’s hard to make a bad picture of the Maestro. Hoping to shoot the Champions League final this year, and the Euro’s in France this upcoming summer. 

Q: What’s your match day set up look like?

A: My main lens is a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II, one of the best lenses I’ve ever used. Along with that I use a couple Nikon D4’s and other lenses. I try to pack as light as possible as carrying around all     that gear wears the body down, I only take with me what I’ll use during the game. 

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Q: What are you looking for when shooting soccer games?

A: I’m looking for the moments before and after the big blockbuster shots. I lot of my favourite pictures, whether my own or someone else’s are usually on the more candid side of things. Professional athletes have unique personalities and the more I shoot them, the more acquainted I become with them. I’m a big fan of planning a shot in my head and trying to execute it exactly as I envisioned it. Sometimes it works and other times it does not, but that’s where I have fun with this, challenging myself every day.  

Q; Looking at the MLS, what’s been the biggest change over the past couple of years?

A: I’d say the biggest change is the addition of players who are not here to retire, but here to teach the younger generation how to play the game at higher and better levels. Giovinco, Kaka, Pirlo, Villa and Lampard can still ball, very well in fact, and all the players around them will eventually take the lessons they have learned and apply it to their own game. We are lucky to have them in our stadiums every weekend. I think attendance is another huge part of the way our league is changing. It’s rad to see parents bringing their kids to the game, makes me wish I would have been         exposed to this sport at a younger age. 

 😎 Quick Fire  😎 

Nike or Adidas – Adidas boots, Nike everything else.  

Pele or Maradona – Maradona 

Ronaldo or Messi – Isco 

EPL or La Liga – La Liga 

Scoring or Assisting – Assisting 

 

You can catch Nathan’s imagery in THE TURF’s #CapturedTuesdays series. Also you can follow him on instagram too.

Jacob Arnott