Welcome Portrait and Fine Art Photographer Nikki Harrison to James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Nikki for sharing this time with us, Where do you call home? Has this environment been crucial to your creative process?
Nikki Harrison: I live about 3 hours west of Vancouver, BC Canada in a Lake & Vineyard small town. This provides me with amazing locations and fast access to Vancouver for creatives. I find creative possibilities anywhere, but it’s always nice to be surrounded by incredible beauty.
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Do you have any formal training or assisting in your background?
Nikki Harrison: No assisting, no formal training. I have always been an artist from a young age, and had to leave it behind when real life took over and I was a single mother raising my children. I had a very busy financial career and only started shooting as a hobby after the economical crash in 2008.
JRP: Name two photographers that have influenced your work.
Nikki Harrison: AH! Margarita Kareva and Петрова Джулиан. I am so in love with Russian portraiture, it was what I aspire to be like.
JRP: Personal projects … how do they figure in the development of your vision and technique?
Nikki Harrison: I am at a place now in my career that my commissioned work blends pretty seamlessly with my creative work. People hire me for the creative style that I do (within limits) and I am very happy that most of my commissioned work is for women and children I would normally love to shoot anyway. My future personal projects for 2016 are going to be MUCH more elaborate and planned, unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
JRP: Is there a project that you desire to begin or finish this year?
Nikki Harrison: Yes, I am planning a very elaborate project in Vancouver with an exceptional group of talented designers, mua’s and models that is going to be my best work yet . I am excited.
JRP: Do you prefer working on location or in studio? Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Nikki Harrison: I prefer working outside if at all possible, I also prefer natural light to strobes or flash, and will occasionally use reflectors outside. I have a studio and use strobes ( Elinchrom with Mola Demi BD) and continuous light (Westcott Spider Lights) when I work inside. I am happy to use either.
JRP: Do you have assistants that work with you and if so what roles do they play?
Nikki Harrison: I have only used an assistant a couple of times, but for my more elaborate shoots I have planned I will.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Nikki Harrison: For outdoors I will shoot with my (Canon) 5D Mk III, 85 1.2, & 200 2.0. Inside I use my 85 1.2, 35 1.4 or Sigma 50 A 1.4.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use.
Nikki Harrison: I use ACR to adjust my files prior to bringing them straight into PS CC. I retouch using my own Actions that I create and afterwards I will typically run my file through Alien Skin Exp X.
JRP: What is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?.
Nikki Harrison: Getting my subject in the perfect pose. I need the right emotion, connection and body language to create an effective image.
JRP: If not photography what would Nikki Harrison be doing with her time?
Nikki Harrison: I’m sorry that is not even a possibility for me. There is no other option for me, without photography, I am simply not me.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Nikki Harrison: Joel Grimes on educating other photographers. “Every photographer has their own vision, I can teach you technically everything I do, but I can’t teach you creativity.” He is so right, photographers shouldn’t be afraid to be open and honest about their “secrets” because even if revealed, no one will be able to have your vision or creative mind.
JRP: What advice would you like to share with other photographers?
Nikki Harrison: Look at other photographer work to get inspired, but don’t compare it to yourself. You will always feel less than if you do that. Try to only shoot what you love, if you don’t love what you shoot, it will show in your work.
JRP: Thank you Nikki for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure and I wish you continued success.
Nikki Harrison: Thank you for the opportunity.
JRP: To view more of Nikki Harrison’s photography please follow these links: