Interview: Photographer Nikky Lucy (Belgium)
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Nikki Lucy & I am a 21 year old photographer from Belgium. I am currently combining my job as a professional photographer with studying for a bachelor in video journalism.
How and when did you get into photography?
When I was 14, I had finally saved enough money to buy my first DSLR camera. Ever since that moment the camera was kind of glued onto my hand. I took photos of literally everything, until it started to annoy the people around me. A few years later I decided to go & study photography, and here we are!
What does photography mean to you?
Everything. Photography is and always has been my passion. It is also my job, but I prefer to call it a way of living. I always have my camera with me to capture the spontaneous moments. It also means creating and preserving memories, that I otherwise tend to forget rather quickly. Everyday I am looking for new locations to shoot, new people to work with, ways to improve my work and business, the list goes on and on. It’s a job I do with the greatest passion.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I’ve been saying this for a while but it remains the perfect description for my style: I push girls into flowerbushes and see what happens. THe outdoors with its flowers and other natural elements have always been a big part of my life and I try to embed this into my photos. But on the other hand I believe that my strength lies in the fact that I can handle a lot of different styles of photography. When I’m on a paid assignment, the series is edited in the style that the client perfers, without losing track of my own style.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Mostly locations. It’s an unusual way of working but most of my shoot concepts start at the location. When I pass by a beautiful flowerfield or bush, or a cool building, I start thinking about what clothes would go with the colors, what kind of model would fit into the concept and so on. So most concepts start with a location. But I also get really inspired by other photographers on Instagram, Youtube or Pinterest. I can get lost for hours in inspirational Youtube videos where photographers share behind the scenes tips and tricks.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes, I am really bad in ‘just winging it’. Even when I meet up with a friend to shoot some random portraits, I check the location in advance and think about what kind of photos I want to take. When I am shooting a bigger project I need to have every small detail taken care of, or else I cannot sleep the night before.
Studio, on location or both?
Location, location, location. I did my time in the studio & it just wasn’t for me. I prefer working with natural light & elements.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I photographed for many years as a hobbyist with some lucky assignments. It wasn’t until I actually started to study photography I realised that it was what I wanted to do professionally & for the rest of my life. So when I graduated as a photographer and the paid assignments started flying in, I decided to take it to the next step & started as a professional photographer.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Last September I got the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Valencia, Spain. It has always been my dream to combine travel and photography professionally and this trip was everything I hoped it would be. The weather was perfect, the couple was the sweetest, and the party was the hardest. The next day I flew back home as a happy kitten, hoping I would get more opportunities like that soon.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Canon all the way. I do not hate Nikon and I also do not understand the entire war between the Canon & Nikon users, but I simply prefer Canon. My two favourite lenses are the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8, and I shoot almost every project with these two lenses. The 50mm was the first lens I ever bought and I honestly think it’s a musthave for every photographer. It’s the cheapest portrait lens there is and it is just perfect to experiment and to learn how to shoot with a fixed lens.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Befriend other creatives. Surround yourself with photographers, models, videographers, make-up artists and so on. You can only help each other to get better and to improve each others projects. Do challenges together with other photographers and learn from one another. I’ve gotten some amazing opportunities thanks to fellow photographers so do not be afraid to befriend the “competition”.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I honestly love Modellenland! I’ve been reading it since the first year, because a few photographers I really loved got featured in it. I am so grateful to be in this magazine next to other amazing creatives. It really is another thing I can tick off my bucketlist!