The Navigation of Nicola Barnes | Full-Time Student Interview

Posted by ormsCtsp | September 7, 2017 | Blog, Home-blog

We recently picked the brain of one of our current Full-Time Photography Programme students, Nicola Barnes, on her journey in building her career in photography. Gain insight to her thoughts below:

Why did you decide to study photography?

I decided to study photography because I knew I needed something where I could take responsibility for everything and where the outcome is determined by myself. I enjoy the freedom of expression and the unlimited ways of working with the medium, and I love being able to balance my own time as I wish. I am able to work either with people where I can be interactive and excited and create new relationships, or I can choose to work in a solitary state and explore my mind or the world around me. It continues to be a way of understanding and of reaching out to me.

What is the most crucial thing you’ve learnt so far?

I have learnt many valuable lessons about photography and about myself so far throughout the duration of this course.

– There is absolutely no limit on what you can do. Get inspired and just do stuff! Have fun in experimenting with things you usually wouldn’t even consider using – you’ll probably surprise yourself.
– The more research that you do, the more you open yourself to the possibility of creating a new style, or a new way of seeing and working, and the more inspired you become to push yourself to wherever you can go.
– The work you get out is only a result of the time and the passion that you put into it. We all have a burning, hungry fire that can be started with the smallest toss of a twig.
– Go big or go home. Aim for opportunities that you may only think possible in your wildest of dreams. And don’t be scared of communicating! People are people are people, we will always be happy to help others grow.

What do you think is the importance of photography and how can it shape our community?

We live in a visual age, where art and photography and videography play a bigger role than they ever have before, and we can use these mediums in so many ways. Everything about us works on a subconscious level, so by gearing ourselves up and expanding our knowledge to the utmost depth, who knows what we can do in our world with what we offer!

Tell us more about your current body of work:

I have so many ideas for projects going around in my head all the time – if I don’t write them down or take action immediately, most of them become lost in the depths of my mind. However, my current body of work will be something that will probably grow and change with me for many years to come. I am constantly trying to understand the world around me and the purpose of human life. I am currently focusing mainly on people, as individuals or in our environments, as a way to help me to understand life in an abstract manner.

What gear do you enjoy shooting on?

I love working with film as it shows a raw side to our way of seeing that digital can never grant us, I just don’t use it enough at the moment as I also really enjoy experimenting with digital cameras and what they offer us in terms of visual expression.

Who do you look up to as mentors in the photographic industry? Local and international.

I have way too many photographers that I look up to and absolutely adore, but at this time in my life, Henri-Cartier Bresson is a staple and an inspiration to my way of thinking about the world. If you don’t know his story or his work yet, drop what you’re doing and research! He’s incredible.

In terms of my passion outside of photography (horses), Tony Stromberg inspires me with his beautiful work, and Tracy Robertson is the photographer that started my love for the medium when I was but a wee lass. She is a person that I look up to in many ways, she is truly wonderful, passionate and kind at the same time as being an absolute specialist at what she loves.

What would you like to do with your photography in the future?

Even though I have spent this year with the most incredible lecturers and guest specialists and the coolest students, I’m still a little uncertain about my career in photography, simply because that’s the way I am and I still feel that I am very young and have more to explore. However, I have an exciting plan ahead that I’m sure will lead me to many places and I can’t have asked for a better way to start.

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