Local photographer captures Spartanburg through unique vision

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Graphic Artist and Photographer of Sparkle City Snaps, Nick Trainor, is legally blind.

But that does not stop him from creating eye catching works of art.

Trainor has worn many hats throughout his life, despite his visual challenges.

He’s been a store designer, visual merchandiser, museum retail manager in Boston, MA.

For several months Trainor has worked on a series highlighting the architecture and beauty of Spartanburg.

He takes old photographs he has from the early 1980’s, and some current pictures of the city, and edits creative colors into them using his computer.

Trainor explaining one of his photographs

All these efforts have required him to use his vision, while limited, Trainor doesn’t technically see it that way.  

“Always make sure you can try to push through the obstacles. Don’t let stuff get you down,” Trainor said. “All of this was something that came to me last year.”

Trainor grew up in the world of visual arts. He took pictures of Spartanburg buildings as a side hobby and held jobs as a graphic artist, store designer, visual merchandiser, and even a museum retail manager in Boston.

Though doctors told him by age 50, he’d lose his vision. But, he said he’s happily past 50 years old and his eyes are just fine, nothing should stop you from living.

“If you feel like you have something you’re interested in, run to it. Make yourself do it. Enjoy it. Lean into it. It’s nothing but happiness and it makes you feel better at the end of the day,” Trainor said.

He loves to use colors, bringing definition and vibrant colors to the world, because he didn’t see all of that as a baby.

“I was actually born blind and I could see light but I couldn’t see definition of any kind. My Ophthalmologist started doing therapy on me. Forcing me to work my eyes with the light. By the time I was five I was able to see out of one eye, my right eye. And so that’s the money maker right there,” Trainor said.

He is legally blind, but said vision for his passion, art, has been 20/20 since he was seven.

“I always walked around and looked at everything because, not being able to see when I was young really made me want to as I got older,” Trainor said.

His work, Sparkle City Snap, is on sale at Spartanburg’s Market on Main.

The store designer, Stacey Johnson, said she loved his work the moment she saw it.

Then after she learned his story of his journey to become a professional photographer, she was sold.

“He was even more amazing to me. He’s so-you’ve met him-so positive and up beat. He’s really wonderful to have in the store,” Johnson said.

To see all of Trainor’s Sparkle City Snaps work, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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