Viewfinder: Nic Persinger

West Virginia native Nic Persinger makes photos of people, landscapes and objects, but he considers them all portraits. Taking photos almost exclusively in his home state, Persinger says he used to approach photography with a point to make.  Lately, though, he’s content to wander through West Virginia with a sense of curiosity.


Nic Persinger: I grew up in a secluded West Virginia town called Richwood. It is surrounded on all sides by mountains and is right on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest. In many ways, it's a stereotypical Appalachian small town—one stoplight, too many churches for the dwindling population, impoverished—but it's also home to me and it's where most of my family still resides. It's eccentric and full of eccentrics—and there's no place more important to me.

Bernard Coffindaffer, his vision from God, and the crosses he scattered everywhere. He actually grew up one town away from me, too. The other idea is a little less confined. I've been photographing Richwood and my family thoroughly and I'm getting to the point where I can see changes in my subjects as my archive grows. Some changes are good, some are bad, but all beautiful in a way.