Nic Coury is a photojournalist based in Monterey, Calif. He has had work published in Sports Illustrated, Cycle World and Bicycling magazines, and has shot commercial jobs for Specialized Bicycles, Ferrari and Bugatti. He also covers crime for a local newspaper. In his free time, he drinks too many espressos and wins mustache competitions.
A photojournalist’s role is different in that photos are rarely staged or set up. They are designed to capture a newsworthy moment, and often reveal people when they’re not at their best, when they may be reacting to tragedy or waiting for a verdict. A portrait is shot in a controlled, studio setup and lit externally to work with a person and show off their character. The story is the person, not a set of circumstances around them.
When shooting a portrait, I focus on the subject’s eyes. You can uncover a lot of their emotional depth and, through that, how they see the world.
This collection of portraits is a celebration of locals. Some are well-known throughout Monterey County, while others contribute to the community in less high-profile ways.
The goal was to photograph each person in a way that humanizes them and reduces the context that we’ve built up around them. These are individuals who are inspiring, intriguing or just plain fun to have around – and at the end of the day, they are simply people.