While studying a degree in History at University of California in Santa Cruz, I took my first course in B & W photography.  I quickly became addicted to the darkroom.  As a college graduate I still had my old Student ID card and good friends who helped me gain membership to the "student-only" darkroom on campus. I joined the Porter Photo Guild and spent many late nights making prints until one day my passion was rudely interrupted by the age old tradition of college graduates getting "real" jobs.  I worked 10 years in the HR field where failed contracts and union politics finally left me jobless.  I then moved to Peru for six years where I was inspired by the people, music, food and traditions. It was there where I made the decision to make photography a part of my life again.  I used the money from an inheritance to buy my first Digital SLR and a few lenses. After learning on my own for a time I finally decided to come back to the United States to study photography full time in 2010.


Since graduating I have done internships at both the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner.  I have worked as an in-house photographer at a Russian printing company while studying Russian language abroad.


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All photographs ©Nathaniel Y. Downes

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