When Nick Selway was young, he knew North Idaho College only as the host to the wrestling camps that he and his family would travel to each summer from their Lake Stevens home. He never expected that someday the Coeur d’Alene community college would arouse a passion for photography that he didn’t even know he had.
It started in a photography class that he enrolled in haphazardly in 2002 while attending his first year at North Idaho College. He lived among the North Cascade Mountains and grew up with an understanding and appreciation for the beauty of nature, but had never had a mechanism for capturing it.
He soon found mentors in NIC photography instructors Phil Corlis and Tim Christie. His newfound passion made him an exceptional student and his natural eye for light and composition made him a natural at photography.
“As instructors it’s our job to plant seeds,” Corlis said. “It’s always gratifying and humbling to see one of our students grow and blossom. Knowing we may have played some small part in helping Nick, and other talented students reach for their dreams makes what we do worthwhile.”
The more Selway explored the field, the deeper in love with photography he fell.
“I realized at the age of 18 what my purpose in life was,” Selway said, “and that is to capture Mother Nature’s beauty in the most unique way possible by showing people what the world looks like through my eyes. Taking photos for me is truly the only way for me to live in the moment.”
Now 25, Selway has photographed nearly every national park west of the Mississippi, as well as parts of Africa, Alaska and Hawaii.
Selway found a way to transform his passion into a living by opening his own photography gallery in Kailua, Kona, Hawaii called Lava Light Gallery with his best friend and fellow photographer CJ Kale.
“Tim and Phil always said to me in college, ‘The early bird catches the worm,’” Selway said. “You can make your passion in life become your job if you work harder than anyone else around you.”
Selway recently won the grand prize in the World Wonders Photography Contest in Outdoor Photographer Magazine.
For more information on Lava Light Gallery, visit www.nickselwayphotography.com