Students and visitors to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas are getting to see the world through the lens of award-winning Dallas area photographer Gail Nogle.
“Gail Nogle, Painting with a Camera,” on display through Dec. 15 at the Jesuit Dallas Museum, features a snapshot of Nogle’s 45 years of work, ranging from the funeral of Princess Diana to intimate portraits of American Amish life.
(ABOVE: Gail Nogle’s photograph of 100 chanting Tibetan monks (center) won a World Photographic Cup Gold Medallion. Photo by Gail Nogle)
Nogle, known for her portraiture of people across the globe, spoke at the exhibit’s Sept. 20 opening reception about her journey as a photographer.
She first began taking photos at 8-years -old, using the darkroom in her neighbor’s basement to develop her first images.
After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology and working in the Gittings Portrait Studio in Dallas for 14 years, she decided to take her skills abroad.
“After attending a lecture by National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb, and hearing about her experiences living with and photographing Geisha in Japan, I made a conscious decision then and there that I was going to travel wherever I could to experience life outside of my own,” Nogle said. “Two months later I was in Turkey.”
In her travels, Nogle’s experiences have ranged from listening to 100 Tibetan monks chanting in the rising light of the morning to photographing the Kumbh Mela, a massive Hindu pilgrimage.
In the years spent taking photos, Nogle has won several awards, including the 2003 and 2018 World Photographic Cup Gold Medallion for her photos Newborn Love and The Brotherhood, and most recently the American Society of Photographers Bronze Medallion for Kumbh Mela Man.
Although Nogle has taught her trade and lectured throughout her career, the exhibit at Jesuit Dallas comes at a notable shift in her life.
“I’ve closed my studio,” Nogle said. “Photography has changed and people are not doing what they did 30 or 40 years ago. The business was not what it was, and I was not going after the business. I realized I was done. In order to grow, I needed to do something else.”
Nogle first opened her studio in 1990, where she specialized in children’s photography and professional portraiture.
“It was a hard decision. It took me two and a half years to finally decide it was time to close now,” Nogle said. “I shoot 24/7. People see me and say, ‘We won’t recognize you without a camera.’”
Nogle said her plans for the next year are to spend time reacquainting with old friends and to work on more exhibits.
“I can’t predict what will unfold in front of me, so I let life happen,” Nogle said. “I just heard a quote that I love, ‘Life starts at the edge of the unknown,’ and that’s how I feel every time I go out in the world.”