Nika Savins Photography.

Today I had the pleasure to interview the amazing Nika Savins.
How long have you been in the photography industry?
Not long. I've always loved photographs - taking them and looking back through them... but, growing up, I never owned a DSLR, I had no formal training and I knew no photographers. Photography was something I was always drawn toward, but with no background and no connections it felt a little inaccessible. I wasn't sure where to start or weather I could do it. Whenever Alex and I would talk about the future and what we both wanted, this always came up. So, a little over a year ago, we decided to pursue it. We spent all our money on a camera and I devoted all my time to learning how to use it. Our friends and family members were very supportive and gracious, traipsing out into the wild with me in the early morning hours and letting me photograph them non-stop. Before long friends of friends were wanting me to take photos for them, and slowly but surely I began to feel comfortable about people giving me money for it. I shot my first wedding last weekend (eee!) and so far I have four more booked for this year. So, I suppose you might say I've been in a photography industry for about a year. And in my first year, as I've met other photographers (both established and aspiring), everyone I've interacted with has been so friendly and generous and willing to help, freely offering their insight and experience. It's been really lovely and a lot of fun. Photography wasn't a door that felt open to me from the beginning, just waiting for me to walk through; it was one of those doors I had to get up and open myself. But from the moment we made the decision we knew it was right, and I feel like I'm doing something I'm made to do. Photography is something I pour myself into. It's a creative endeavour I lose myself in, and it's such a wonderful gift to be able to give people.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

There are a bunch of photographers whose work I love, but Tim Coulson and Louise Buma (of Sunny and Scout Photography) have been my biggest inspirations. I found Tim's website online and loved both his work and his attitude toward it. Alex and I hired Tim to shoot our wedding back in June of 2012, and could not have been happier with our decision. The images are beautiful, they illustrate the day perfectly, and our family will treasure them forever. More than that, we loved the way Tim treated our wedding day. I've been to weddings where the photographer is willing to, in some ways, disrespect or violate the ceremony for the sake of great photos. Tim was so respectful of what was taking place. He treated our ceremony like the sacred event it was, understanding that photographs serve life and not the other way around. Earlier this year I attended one of Tim's workshops in Perth and learned more from him. He's been a huge influence and an inspiration to me. Louise Buma and I grew up in the same country town and went to the same high school, though she was a few years older than me. When I began this journey we reconnected online, and her advice has been invaluable. She advised me about what equipment I should get, and she had me photograph her for her 'Hey Baby' series. Both Tim and Louise inspire me with their work, and their down-to-earth attitude and willingness to help makes me feel like my dream is a little more accessible. A little more possible. That said, it's the people around me who inspire me the most. It's the moments I want to capture. The way people look at each other, the connection they share. For me, photography is about celebrating and savouring life. Communicating something true and worthy. That's what makes me want to pick up my camera.

What camera do you use?

I use a Canon 5D Mk III. My first ever DSLR. When we decided to pursue this, we were serious about it, haha.



Do you prefer film or digital?

I haven't shot with film since I was ten years old with a Kodak disposable camera. It's something I'd love to learn about in the future, but for now I'm shooting digital.

What is your favourite lens?
Canon 35mm 1.4. To be honest, I only care about the technical side of photography inasmuch as it helps me take better photos. It doesn't excite me and it isn't where my gift is. I think a good photographer (of people) is one who knows and loves people, rather than equipment. One who is able to connect with people in order to capture them. Hence the brief answer haha. ;)

 What is your advice for teens who want to be a photographer?

Haha - I'm not sure I feel adequately qualified to offer too much advice just yet, but I would say... keep taking photos and learning as you go - trial and error is the best way to learn. Don't be too scared or too proud to ask questions. Discover your own style. Pay attention to whoever you're photographing - people are different and if you aren't in the business of simply churning out a product you need to really see them before you start trying to capture them. Treat every shoot like it's your first, last or only shoot - because it might be for the people you're shooting, and you want to give them images they'll treasure forever, the kind of images you'd like to receive yourself. Taking lots and lots of photos can mean the difference between a 'good enough' image and the perfect image. Wear comfortable clothes with pockets and always take a bottle of water, haha. And finally, only do it if you really love it, because it shows. 

Thank you again Nika for letting me interview you! Your photography is a m a z i n g and so are you!

You can see more of Nika photography here and if you like her work give Nika a follow on Instagram, @nikasavins.

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