Hailing from Indianapolis, Nate Guenth is a visual artist who gives photography a new twist—adding a hazy and mythical take to his creative direction. Nostalgic moments from his childhood project themselves from the back of his mind and stand reflected in his art, wrapped and laminated in realism. Guenth is trapped in his 20s, in between adolescence and adulthood. This past year, he’s constantly felt torn between stagnation and growth. But even so, he still finds ways to escape his anxiety and forge on toward success.
“I grew up in Indianapolis. I went to a private school and I was thrown into public high school. I was always watching movies,” Guenth said. “Watching movies helped me study angles and picture settings. When I got into photography, I applied that type of mindset to photography.”
At a young age, Guenth felt drawn to cinematography. His photos illustrate people in their purest forms—people standing in compact rooms and artists being caught strumming their guitars midnote. From shooting for Omar Apollo to Ryan Breaux, Guenth’s artistic versatility remains untainted in a world of unoriginality.
“Whenever I take pictures, It’s usually with people I genuinely like being around. It makes the process of shooting a lot easier. When we’re bouncing ideas [about] how we’re going to do the shoot, it’s an ever-growing process,” Guenth said. “I’m always overthinking the shoot and how it’ll happen. I get anxious right up until I shoot that first photo. [I] look at it, and just calm down.”
Guenth believes his anxiety stems from being so focused on reality—and on the standards for success that accompany it. As he prepares to end his senior year of college and enter the real world, he’s found himself longing for a time when things were more simple.
“I didn’t struggle that much as a kid. My childhood was a lot of playing outside, playing with friends, and [playing] sports. We’d bullshit all the time,” Guenth said. “I didn't have any anxiety as a kid. It grew once I started getting closer to [adulthood].”
His anxiety grounds him in his humanity. It lets him know that he’s not above his own faults. As Guenth inches closer to adulthood, he chooses to acknowledge his own struggles. He uses simple coping mechanisms to confront his anxiety.
“I’m 22. I always feel like I’m running out of time. I’m focusing on what I can control. I’m not scared, I'm more excited,” Guenth said. “Your 20s are when you have the freedom to travel and be free and see the world and do things you couldn't do as a kid. I’m more confident with myself. ”
Although he fights every day to be completely happy and have peace of mind, he’s no stranger to the many effects of anxiety.
“Because of school, I would put myself in positions where I wouldn't eat for two days. But it’s getting better. I’m able to better handle it. Every day I make my bed,” Guenth said. “That simple accomplishment gets my productivity going. With my anxiety, I overthink everything. I have to understand that everyone’s on different paths. There’s no finish line; everyone works their way up different.”
As he adjusts to being out of college, he chooses to look toward his aspirations and dreams. Through small things like making his bed, Guenth is able to ease out of anxiety.
“2019 has been crazy. Everything is moving so fast. A lot of good things are falling in place. [My] highs are getting higher, and [my
] lows are getting lower,” Guenth said. “I’m always nervous—like, what's going to happen? It’s all in the mindset, though. I have to speak it into existence.”