Nicola Davison Reed Newark, UK
“im a Mother in more ways than one…”
NDR is a Black & White Photographer: ” its the only way…”
Artist: ” an idea inside me needs to find a voice..and it finds it by way of music & art & love & life to its end , photography ”
Nicola Davison Reed was chosen by photographer Lawrence Del Mundo
Laatikkomo’s interview with Nicola Davision Reed February 9th, 2016
L: Where are you from? Or what cities, and/or countries have you lived in – what places have influenced you?
NDR: I am from Midlands UK, from the Robin Hood county of Nottinghamshire , on the border of South Yorkshire. I have lived in London,France, Italy,Greece & Australia. All of the countries cities, towns & villages have influenced me hugely. I am like a sponge when it comes to travel & other places& cultures. London for its uber coolness, France for its romance & food & wine, Italy for its family orientation and again food, Greece for it’s massive amount of deep rooted culture & sense of history and their singing voices & Australia for the Dream Time and its pure magic.
L: What is your first memory of photography?
NDR:My first memory of photography, is staring right at me as i type this, its a polaroid of my parents circa 1975, mum is sunbathing in her bra and rolled up trousers , dad has some pinstripe monochrome trunks on that have a belt no less and his elvis sideburns and sunnies. Mum is lying nearly on my dad and i snap them, at that moment dad makes a “oh you caught us “ gesture with his hands, both smiling in the sand dunes of Blackpool.
L: Many of the images on your website have a romantic resonance – portraits, pregnancy, marriage events. Are these images primarily commissions or do you have deeper interest in expressing the romance in life?
NDR:The portraits , pregnancy, marriage events are the bread & butter . They allow me to pay my studio rent & hopefully a bit more so i can continue with my personal projects which come under one tab on my website of BW Photography. I am very romantic though.
L: You mentioned that the series you are presenting in Laatikkomo was inspired by the quote “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” by Friedrich Nietzsche, and the images in this series all capture a moment of movement. Do you often choose literature or other forms of art to guide your work as a photographer?
NDR:It chooses me, without wishing to sound naf, i listen to a wide range of music from Paul Weller to Mozart & I have read an awful lot through my travels and i have written a lot too, i have spent many many long laborious hours doing many a tragic very often lonely job (dont get me wrong had fun too) in order to fund my existence in other countries, usually limping back to the UK with not a crust to speak of but a shed load of memories and a bank full of inspiration. There is this quote i like by a great man Ansel Adams “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
While i was pregnant with my kids i achieved a BSC degree in Design & Innovation & although at the time i couldn’t get a job(hence i created my own work), the design degree really has informed my photography in terms of educating my brain & giving the creative juices some metal to ride on. In true terms, everything i see , feel, smell , hear & touch informs my photography,i think retaining a child -like perspective makes life so much more of an adventure & having your own children really shakes the rug of inspiration out.
L: The majority of your images are shot in black and white, and on your website you say “it’s the only way”. What inspires you to use black and white over colour?
NDR: My dad bought me a camera kit from the catalogue when i was a teenager, it had all the developing materials together with an SLR , i then sourced myself an enlarger which truly was Large , took up a whole corner of my bedsit. I moved out of home relatively young & spent my days under my black quilt spooling film into drums and reading photography books. The images that interested me the most were always Black & White, they had soul. Also my best friend at the time used to send me postcards every week & they were always Black & White featuring photographers like Brassai, so i was hooked.I still have all of her postcards 30 years later. I discovered Andre Kertesz & Henri Cartier Bresson through books and thats it , my passion for Black & White was sealed and on i went to make and develop my monochrome films form there on in.
L: Congratulations on being a finalist for the “North Notts Business Award”! With the focus here on business rather than photography (although this year all 3 finalists are photographers!!), what is, or how do you make/find your own balance between business and art (photography)?
NDR: Super question! This ‘journey’ has been the most intense traveling i have ever done, despite being in one place. I dont think i can condense into a few sentences the answer but what i would say, when you think to yourself ‘nearly there at the top of the mountain” ..just wait till you get there and look as it gives you a far better view of how many more mountains there are left to climb….a lot. Great view but a great reality check. Hard graft is an understatement, and then balancing that with being a parent first & foremost. So that is just the work in terms of creating ‘ a market’ for my work, then there are the challenges of like you point out balancing the business and my own art photography. I have kind of had to be stubborn & single minded , the one time when my stubbornness & detachment is not a negative thing . There are so many barriers & obstacles along the path, wrong opportunities, people enticing you on other paths, over -competing, working out price brackets so you are not under-valued, presenting healthy prices so that the photography industry ship is buoyant and not sunk by photographers under cutting themselves by offering this that and their mother and so on and so on, all this but wanting to stay true to my heart . Creating commercial photography for myself has all been about retaining my own style despite the huge pressures of the local saturated photography market but adapting it slightly , so i have if you like two types of photography, the business & the art. I like to think my business does offer something unique with i hope with quality & yes some romance & love is involved ! Yes, in an ideal world, it would be perfect to have just one but until then, I keep going, onwards & upwards, never looking back only forwards.
Thankyou for the Congrats! very kind
L: Could you list 5 (or more) words that you were thinking about when you made this work (shown in Laatikkomo)?
NDR: SUMMER. BREEZE. HAPPY. PEACE. LOVE
Thank you very much Nicola!