Nick Crawford spent the first 29 years of his life living in and around the suburbs of Los Angeles. As a pre-law student and dental veneers salesman, he never anticipated living in the high-rise apartment in the middle of downtown Chicago, which he now calls home. He moved there on a whim after college, following his best friend. Soon after, he came to photography via Instagram. His newfound fascination with gritty street and architectural imagery were a natural extension of his exploration through the urban environment.

Living in Chicago has given Nick his first true taste of winter. Rain and snow keep him tied to public transit and walking during the most frigid months, but when it’s dry he makes his way through the city on his Boosted board. One need only glance at his photographs to see Nick is a lover of early morning light. “Photography is all about timing,” he says, “so it’s important that you’ve got an efficient way to cut through your city. The Boosted board allows me to get my gear ready and get out.”

Though he’s amassed tens of thousands of followers and partnered with big-name brands on multiple projects, Nick is content keeping photography as a passion rather than a full time job. “Right now I’m just enjoying where I’m at,” he says. “I’ve only been doing this for three years.” He wants people to know it’s “something anyone can pick up and do for life.” Above all, he says, “it’s important to put your own spin on it.”