McKinney: Artist goes with her impulses to create unique portraits
By Lauren D’Avolio / The Dallas Morning News, October 10, 2005
It was Gail Nogle’s impulsivity that prompted her to stop Rudy Giuliani, on a Manhattan street New Year’s Day, 2000, as she requested he display a Daily News and pose for her professional, time-worn camera.
In 2003, Ms. Nogle journeyed to Milwaukee to photograph Harley Davidson’s 100th anniversary. When she’d had her fill of shooting subjects from behind crowd control barricades at the parade, Ms. Nogle leapt onto the rear seat of a stranger’s bike and rode off into the sunset.
It’s Ms. Nogle’s fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants mentality combined with an unadulterated talent and love for photography that have paved the way for a slew of awards and a career spanning 30 years.
Her images in 1998 garnered her the highest award in the profession – a Fellowship in the American Society of Photographers.
“When I shoot, I shoot by feel. I’m very open to looking around and seeing possibilities. I’m not afraid to go up and talk to people. I’m not afraid to ask Rudy Giuliani, ‘Please hold this newspaper,’ ” she said. “Because if they say, ‘No,’ I just move on to the next shot.”
Ms. Nogle has also nabbed the Kodak Gallery Elite Award for 2005 and the 2000 Regional and Gold Medallion awards.
“I’ve won so many awards, I’m really kind of beyond all that. I feel it’s time to stop entering competitions,” Ms. Nogle said.
Ms. Nogle, 54, displays her images at the Art Institute of McKinney when other exhibitions aren’t using the gallery. She said she started shooting when she was 13.
Ms. Nogle began photographing for her high school newspaper and yearbook in Troy, N.Y., before graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1973. Ms.
Nogle said she would arrive for an assignment and be asked where the man with a camera was.
“Very, very, very few women were in photography at that time. The ratio was 100 to 1 in my photography classes,” Ms. Nogle said. “Nowadays women have taken over the industry.”
Ms. Nogle persevered and landed a job at the revered Gittings Portrait Studio in Houston directly from college, she said, where she worked for 14 years. She rolled the dice in 1990 and opened Gail Nogle Photography in Dallas, which now employs three staffers.
Ms. Nogle photographed George W. Bush’s inauguration as Texas governor, Princess Diana’s funeral procession, Julia Child and Dick Cheney, among others.
Blynda Christian is the 46-year-old owner and director of the Art Institute of McKinney.
“I’ve never seen her take a bad picture. She brings an incredible energy to the workplace, and she really knows how to make a person feel at ease in front of the camera,” Ms. Christian said.
Ms. Nogle said every day in her profession is different. “I like to tell stories about what people do. I live, sleep and breathe it. It’s not just a hobby – it’s something I do every day,” Ms. Nogle said.
“The end result is joy to whoever I take pictures of.”