I began taking photos of nudes as part of celebrating our bodies without photoshop in 2013, models consisted of friends and I took part also if I wasn’t prepared to be photographed in this way, how could I expect anyone else to be?
I wanted to make my models as comfortable as a possible, so in doors (whether that was at my home or theirs) under studio lights (interfit) with a plain background was my preferred shooting style. At the beginning I think I was more obsessed with getting the lighting right, and using a ‘stock’ of gathered poses for all my models. I was quite apprehensive to start, I’d never photographed anyone this way before, and I wanted to ensure that my models were in a safe and relaxed atmosphere. As a photographer I think it isn’t just about the technical aspects shutter, its about rapport with the people you have in front of your camera, and a vision to be thinking of the next great shot.
I am unsure how I feel about those 2013 photos now, it was undoubtedly a great stepping stone to get me into thinking about this project more, but that is the good thing about the start of a new project you can develop it, and it will often lead you to places you hadn’t thought of. Models volunteered for various reasons; not only as they believed in the cause; but to also visually share their journey with their body at that moment in time. It was truly humbling to hear about their stories from eating disorders, mental health and post baby body to name a few.
Not just women: Perhaps the most prominent thing about the start of this journey was men volunteered to be included, having strong feelings about the way mens bodies can often be misrepresented in the media. One of my favourite actors Wentworth Miller was sadly subject to a body shaming meme in 2016, this upset me with social media hounding the guy when he wasn’t feeling his strongest mentally, I needed a response to this.
My volunteers said they were very nervous before, but after the shoot they appreciated that it was a very empowering experience.
In September 2017 my ‘Altogether’ exhibition at Sun Pier House Tea Room was in full swing. This was a collection of pieces of positive body image, using everyday (non model) nude subjects, photographed in non-traditional places. This exhibition seemed a natural progression for work that I have been producing since 2013, the pieces for ‘Altogether’ have been taken over the previous 18 months, and include locations such as derelict buildings, marsh land, nature reserves, and in the studio. I want to portray an image that individuals could relate to, ‘real’ bodies without the furnishings of Photoshop or designer clothing, taking it right back to the basics of who we are fundamentally underneath, Human. I have found this series of photographs a real balance, of ensuring the importance of the message, affirmation of my own skills, sympathetic to my subjects and the audience eye.
“Didn’t have time to write a comment in the book but here’s some thoughts. What struck me most about your photos (apart from the lovely pictorial qualities – lighting, composition etc) was the way that the people in them seemed relaxed and confident – happy in their bodies. This gives the pictures a calm, self-contained feeling at odds with the fact that here are naked people in places where otherwise they wouldn’t normally be naked. I’m guessing that this probably comes from your relationship to them, their trust in you and your approach as a photographer. This makes the photos very different than just nude figures placed in unusual places and takes it away from what you might call “art” photography into something more personal and much more interesting.
So, just as well I didn’t have time for the comment as I seem to have written a short essay. Looking forward to where this takes you.”
-Dick Perrin Film maker and Photographer
“I don’t usually like photography Nikki, but love what you have done”
-Peter Reed Painter
“Nikki Price is, in my opinion, is one the major talents to emerge from the Medway scene. Her visual images show a genuine love of humanity.”
“I’m not a model in this series but have modelled for Nikki before and can 100% confirm she is a wonderful photographer to work with, she really makes you feel at ease!”
‘Viewing the photographs still provokes old feelings that conflict’
‘Incredible honesty…amazing composition too’
‘Very rich we are so programmed’
‘Really beautiful work’
Thank you to everyone who participated, supported, and followed my work on this topic so far.
Watch this space as there will be more on the topic of identity in the future, and next week I’ll be doing my usual yearly round up of photographs so stay tuned!
Those of you who caught my round up of 2015, will know how pleased I was to see that year grow for Nikki Price Photography, and have been so delighted that my business has once again gone from strength to strength in 2016. A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all my clients, models, and everyone who has supported Nikki Price Photography. Testimonials from client shoots have reaffirmed that you love my informal style of photography too! So once again thank you.
2017 is bringing some fantastic opportunities for me (watch this space!) and I’m already being booked throughout next year for your gorgeous events, and family shoots. If you need a photographer for your product, portrait, event, or other shoot, drop me a line on my contact me page or via firstname.lastname@example.org .
I have loved looking over the past years photoshoots, commissions and projects, here are some of my favourites:
Cafe Sunlight – Food Photography
I am immensely proud to have worked with so many fantastic creative and charitable organisations this year such as Cafe Sunlight
Cafe Sunlight is based in the Sunlight Centre Gillingham, and the team invited me to take photographs of their hot food offer for parties and conferences; as they wanted to refresh their website for their London events. The food produced by Chef Dave was fantastic as you can see below, and the team were a delight to work with.
Top tip for indoor food photography using flash: have some white card or white fabric handy to make the most of the flash, bouncing the light back onto your gorgeous food, avoids harsh shadows.
Exhibiting more of my work this year, has been a thrilling but scary experience! I took part in Medway Open Studios with my ‘Hidden forms in nature theme’, which sparked lots of interesting chats with visitors. I was also proud to have interpreted work by Poet Dan Simpson in the Wordsmithery Heretics exhibition/performance. I produced a layered photograph which contained a self portrait, woodland and a glacier, it was good to pushed my boundaries. I was also involved ‘In the footsteps of the Pilgrims’ exhibition at St Mary’s Church Burham, one of my favourite churches near my home town. I exhibited 2 photos, both taken at night of the Church, I was extra pleased about this as one of the pieces sold and is now winging its way to America to a family who emigrated there from Burham over 20 years ago. The exhibition that had most impact on me was the Pandora’s Other Box ‘Skin’ exhibition at the Horsebridge Centre.
Top tip for exhibition photographs: have a plan for your final pieces but don’t be afraid to change it! Playing through your plan; will often bring forward ideas you may never have thought of.
I have loved working with local youth groups, artists, and Rochester Literature Festival this year. A highlight was working at Woodlands Youth Centre MC and DJ workshop for young people, lead by MC artist Harry Shotta. The young people loved the opportunity to try out their MC skills and my only regret is that I didn’t have time to try DJ’ing! A poignant event for young people I had the privilege of photographing was the Tryangle awards at the Central Theatre Chatham, the first time I had been on that stage!
Towards the end of 2016 I was pleased to photograph the See and Create launch, headed up by Artist Chris Sacre. The launch, at Nucleus Arts Chatham, was a great opportunity to learn about his Arts Council funded project aimed at Deaf families providing accessible workshops and other events in 2017.
Top tip for photographing events: sturdy shoes with no heels! and a wide angle (F1.4) lens make for a good shot particularly in low light situations and shoes with no heels make for quiet movement over wooden floors, nothing worse than a photographer with squeaky shoes!
Family photography is one of my favourites, meeting new people and providing some gorgeous informal photos for you is a pleasure. It is a delight to be invited into someones home to capture moments at a party, outdoors with mum (and dads) bump shoot, or in the studio with you and your little ones; I received some great feedback on your shoots. I also ran a competition for a family shoot this Autumn as I had missed out on taking some great photos in the autumnal leaves last year.
Top tip for photographing families: particularly those with small children/babies; ensure you have a rough plan in your head about the shots you want to achieve, and take your time, feeding and changing stops need to be factored in!
I have put this section to wrap up the year for all those things that would seem a little lonesome on their own, but gives you a flavour of everything else I get up too!
I’ve started my series of skills sharing blogs, and ran nature photography workshops with young people in Grain. My business is also now live on Gravesend.co.uk business listing pages, a particularly significant direction taking Nikki Price Photography into North Kent.
Although I am not a wedding photographer, I do make exceptions for very small number of intimate weddings each year; Garry and Vicky’s was just that, a lovely family and friends relaxed wedding, in such a beautiful setting, it was a pleasure to be part of their day.
This years short documentary/business info films include The Right Step Dance Company and my own personal short about Time which had its launch at Seasonally Effected a cultural open mic night back in November.
Being a photographer I don’t ever really stop taking photographs, after all its what I love the most. I’ve usually always got my i-phone on me to take snaps or love to take the 6D out for a spin when I feel the urge.
Since 2013 I have been thinking about and producing photographs for a body image project, celebrating the nude without over processing in photoshop. The bulk of work is growing, with more shoots to take place in the new year (when the weather warms up a bit!); this (or some elements of it) will form part of my solo exhibition (so sorry no sneak peeks here!), more news to come on that one throughout 2017.
Last on the list -but not least! some photos of my Christmas day morning stroll around the West End of London, with my partner and pooch.
Thanks for reading my blog, and your support throughout this year. Here’s to another great year of photography.
WOW!!!! What a fantastic year for Nikki Price Photography. I would just like to say thank you to everyone who I have had the pleasure of working with this year.
There were many shoots this year that were a fantastic giggle, shoots that reaffirmed my decision to set up a business doing something I love, and many that provided fantastic constructive feedback for me as a photographer.
Don’t get me wrong, it has been incredibly tough sometimes, but with good humour and support from my family and Medway creative community I am looking forward to more fabulous things in 2014 and beyond!
Medway Open Studios – The Nude
This was a particularly important shoot for me, focussing on individuals who did not fit into the ‘magazine model’ ideal of the body. I was keen to promote ‘everyday’ people showing that we are all individual, beautiful, Nude.
Calendar Girls MLT
This was a fantastic opportunity to work with the wonderful cast from Medway Little Theatres production of ‘Calendar Girls’ shooting the cast for a Calendar (as in the film) which is still being sold with all proceeds to charity (get in touch here if you want a copy for a mere £7.50). Also had a wonderful piece in the local KM.
The Right Step Anniversary Party
A commission working once again with the talented team of The Right Step Dance Company, this time photographing their third year anniversary, with a little taster of The Sirens of Ceetham performance. A wonderful opportunity to support another local business.
The Fuse Festival – The Sirens of Ceetham / ME4 Writers
A fantastic Fuse Festival Commission working with the talented team of The Right Step Dance company. A dance performance of ‘The Sirens’ near the Anchor in Chatham, Medway. I was very captivated by the music and the story of the Sirens told purely via dance. Also was wonderful to sit in ‘The word Shed’ and write some poems for the fabulous ME4 writers.
Sun Pier is a new creative working space in Chatham and many artist have studios there. I was commissioned to take photos of all the artists and the building. A wonderful opportunity to meet so many people and watch the venture grow. Their website is here.
Unison Benz – band shoot / FHF
I love working with Bands and this was particularly special to me as my brother is the bass player. I shot the band twice this year once for promotional shots for their website and posters, and the other at Faversham Hop Festival were they had an audience of around 100 people.
Another wonderful band to work with, their passion for their music is admirable, and they are a fantastic bunch to have a giggle with. A wonderful shoot in the Vines in Rochester fitted in with their music.
I have been attending Sonnic pilates classes for about 10 years now. The wonderful duo contacted me for a commission for their website. They wanted a clean crisp background therefore we hit the studio. The ladies are wonderful to work with and we had a fantastic giggle.
A performance at Sun Pier house with a wonderful cast of local actors, fun to act in and take photos!
Rochester Literature Festival – Alice and Skywatcher /Other worlds other voices
Wonderful to participate in the October ‘Other worlds other voices’ Project with Rochester Literature festival, actor and photographer in Skywatcher an interactive performance, Photographer for Alice and exhibited in the Rochester Community Hub ‘other worlds other voices’. Further details about the event can be found here. Also had a wonderful piece in the local KM.
On a personal level I have had the most wonderful year, taking lots of photos my New puppy, New Niece, and at a member of my extended families wedding. Heres to a wonderful and creative 2014, Much Love Nikki
Yet another fantastic creative weekend at the Medway Open Studios. I was genuinely touched with the sheer amount of people who popped into my exhibition 13th-21st July 2013, BIG thank you to all 150 of you. Also a HUGE thank you goes out to all my models for this project.
It was wonderful to be part of the ‘Bishops Square’ artists and wonderful to have Creatabox at the square on Sunday. I’m so proud that many of my photos (both film and digital) and Beard mats and magnets, are now enjoying their place in your homes!
As noted in a previous blog, I have been so pleased regarding the conversations about film photography, peoples own creative ventures (or being inspired to undertake a creative project) commissions, and connecting Medway’s wonderful creative community.
A few more wonderful quotes from visitors:
‘our bodies do have stories’
‘so much creativity in the Medway Towns’
‘the hands in your photos are so tender’
‘love the honesty of the nudes’
‘it was wonderful to see both male and female nudes’
I’d also encourage visitors if you did get your programmes signed (to be in for a chance of winning £100 with your favourite artist) to send your programme to Heather Burgess, Director of Medway Open Studios.
I thoroughly enjoyed my travels around other artists of the Medway Open Studios, I was so inspired by nude drawings by Rose Melville at Sun Pier and Wendy at the West end studios. I haven’t painted or used pastels for over 10 years and pleased that this week I dusted off the pastels this week and got drawing!
If you’d like to keep updated with the goings on at Nikki Price Photography, either ‘click’ on the ‘follow me’ icon on my website or come ‘like’ me on Facebook at Nikki Price Photography.
Heres to next year.
Wow! well what a fantastic weekend for fabulous creative Medway! Awesome gigs from independent Artists via Homespun, (A-lines were my favourite on Friday night at the Nags Head) Rochester Lit Fest’s Garden Party, and the Friends of the Vines Cherry Picnic.
My ‘Freedom of the Nude’ exhibition for Medway Open Studios had a fantastic number of visitors, despite the heat, and the call of the beach! I’d like to thank each and everyone who popped in and appreciated my work, with genuine and interesting conversations, hopefully inspiring others to have their own open studio/creative adventures from this point onwards.
Many visitors were genuinely interested in my film photography, so I think there is a bubbling revival of film photography out there, oooh workshops and an exhibition of just Film photos maybe calling!
Just a few wonderful comments from people throughout the day:
‘you can see the love and emotion connecting the people in the photo’
Visitors enjoyed that I captured ‘the natural ‘in-between’ moments in the shots’ and that the ‘message was clear that our bodies do have a story to tell’ and was a great experience to ‘see photos of natural people’ i.e. not photoshopped in anyway. We are all Individual, Beautiful, Nude.
The Medway Open Studios is on until 21st July (my exhibition is on Friday 19th July 5-7, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 12-5), if you want to come along, please do! Heres a downloadable programme. If you get your hands on a hard copy, there is a competition on the back for the opportunity to win £100 towards your chosen artist! (T’s and C’s apply). We all look forward to welcoming you to the studios around Medway.
Originally myself and a small group of local artists thought about starting an open house in our neighbourhood. We wanted to promote the wonderful diverse nature of the creativity in our local town particularly for independent artists, with a unique touch of having a view in peoples homes, this was around early 2012, when we discovered that Medway was due to have its own ‘Medway Open Studios‘, a fabulous find!
July and December 2012 Medway Open Studios were exceptionally well attended, and we are all looking forward to July 2013. We have collectively called ourselves ‘The Bishops Square Artists’ an affectionate name for the square that we all live on.
The Facebook event page and further details can be found here.
Heres to a successful summer.
I have been so proud to have been the photographer for the cast of Medway Little Theatres production of ‘Calendar Girls’. In the true spirit of the story, the ladies wanted to produce a calendar in aid of charity, many of their lives (as I am sure many of us) have been touched by Cancer.
The first shoot took place at my home studio, with the ladies very enthusiastic about the props they would be using for their scene, a wonderful mixture of knitting, Jam, Tea pots, cakes, and buns. There was indeed some liquid refreshment to overcome and initial nerves, but the ladies soon settled into the shoot, with one letting me know that if they couldn’t do the nude shots for the calendar, then they wouldn’t have been able to get on stage and do it! I felt very privileged to have undertaken the shots making the ladies feel at ease.
The Second (and final) shoot took place in the Theatre -wonderful to work with the Theatre lights. The mixture this time was a piano, broccoli, some fabulous little black dresses and Christmas decorations.
I was in awe of the ladies enthusiasm for producing a Calendar to support charities close to their hearts, I have enjoyed every stage of this shoot, and ecstatic about the outcome, all the ladies look amazing.
The cast were also very keen to have me included on the Calendar, which I was happy to oblige:
“the last phase of the flower is the most glorious”
The Calendars were sold throughout the production (which I also went to see cried and laughed!) which ended on 19th May 2013, and they still can be purchased for £7.50, collection only from Nikki Price Photography HQ (please use my contact me page if you wish to purchase one).
To date the Calendars have raised over £1,500 for Marie Curie, Cancer Research, and Macmillan Nurses, well on the way to the Casts target of £3,000.
The Calendar has received some wonderful feedback from visitors to the Theatre, as well as having a fantastic write up in the Local Kent Messenger.
Over the past few months I’ve been shooting Nudes in preparation for my July Medway Open Studios Exhibition. The more I’ve done, the more fascinated I’ve become about ‘us’, about ‘people’ our aspirations, our acceptance of self and realising more and more that everything is in a constant state of flux and transition.
From my exhibition shoots (and other recent nude commissions) I’ve worked with many people that are at a various state of change, transition or flux; engagement, marriage, coping with death/illness, heart break, indifference, highs, lows. We all have elements of ourselves that we aren’t happy with; curly hair, bit of a belly, too skinny, too hairy, too tall, too short, our scars, stretch marks, post baby belly, too old.
Going through this process I’ve become more accepting of myself, as well as appreciating more that we are all fantastic and beautiful people, whose bodies are just telling a story of time, and that we should embrace this. Every person I have photographed had a story to tell about themselves, why were people more open with me during these shoots? Is ‘to be nude’ to be more thoughtful and open? All my models have all said that it had been a liberating experience, allowing them to go back to basics understanding themselves and gaining clarity in a way forward with their lives.
As Blur (in one of my favourite songs) sings:
‘And you’ve been so busy lately
That you haven’t found the time
To open up your mind
And watch the world spinning gently out of time’
So an interpretation of this song, (perhaps is to do with War), but I choose to read it as that we are so caught up in our everyday lives that we sometimes ‘need to find the time’ to become more at one with ourselves, accept who we are as time stops for no one.
So excited to see the Man Ray Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, made more special as it was a Birthday treat to myself. During my research for my July Exhibition based on ‘The Nude’ (bare with me its a working title!) I became drawn to the work of Man Ray; a self taught photographer and artist pursuing an avenue of photography that he loved (amongst other media), documenting individuals around Paris and the US during his lifetime.
Man Ray started his early days exhibitions with little or no financial gain, but continued with his creativity. Man Ray once advised a fellow photographer “You don’t need a huge audience. You only need 5 or 6 people who care, and are there to encourage you…don’t worry about idealism and practicality…try to get paid for what you do, and don’t worry if you don’t. Just keep on working. You’ll make up for it in time.”
I also liked the ideas associated with the surrealist movement that ‘Women are more close to dreams and the unconscious’ which is perhaps why they were a fascination for Man Ray.
Keeping up my levels of creativity is a challenge sometimes and can become a bit demotivated (as I am sure many of us do), therefore it was important visiting the exhibition as it gave me ideas, inspiration, and a ‘lift’ that if you believe in something you are passionate about, keep doing it, anything is possible.
I will continue to keep my stick drawings for story boards (My Nude Models will know of this well!), to not be afraid to document my passage through time, and documenting those around me. It is photographing a particular time in your life, a thought, and avenue of creativity. To have a muse. To continue with the analogue photography, double exposures, work in cynotype. I’ve also thought about being more abstract in my photography and using more crops and close ups of my nudes;
Most of all I’ll continue to enjoy my love of photography. I’m off now to buy an autobiography………
For my first Nude Shoot, I prepared my home studio and like a good girl scout read a ‘Do’s and Don’ts of nude photography.
A lot of the Do’s and Don’ts online seem to be instructing male photographers, and assume the model would be female, of course for my first shoot my model was female, and controversially therefore would I be a more compassionate and considerate photographer? Did I need guidance? Is there any Female Photographer Nude Shoot Do’s and Don’ts out there? Do male photographers shooting nudes really need this level of guidance? Stuff for Example:make sure she has a warm separate space to change, tips on the art of conversation etiquette not to ask ‘can I help you with those love’. Maybe i’m thinking too simply wouldn’t you do this anyway?
So I decided to put together a little list from my experience, for a good Nude Shoot:
1) know your model a little before you shoot (this helped my thought process how best to shoot them, and what positions would work for them).
2) give a bit of time to explain what it is you want from the shoot (so they get the general feel of what you are asking the model to do. I sent my models a mood board before the day which was appreciated).
3) ensure that the heating is on (unless of course it is a baking hot summers day, or an old victorian terrace like mine!).
4) it is always good to have some appropriate music on, anything calming/easy listening is good (playing music is always a good ice breaker, however its always wise to choose something appropriate, having Sting’s ‘Roxanne’ coming over the speakers although hilarious to both my first model and me, may not be everyone’s cup of tea! Again on the second nude shoot my models chose their own music and the Pointer Sisters ‘Pinball number count’ kept us chipper!).
5) always have a small selection of accessories, but as with the music choose wisely for the feel of the shoot you are going for (feather boas are good if you want a soft focus 1980’s feel, also sometimes for a nude shoot less is definitely more).
6) models may be more relaxed in their own home, so shoot there if you can (The second shoot I undertook was for couple Tom and Becky. I wanted to try a totally different approach for this shoot, going to their home and taking the photos within their home setting, i.e. without the use of a Black or White Colorama. I also am familiar with their home (as they are friends of mine) therefore could vision how the shots could work with their furniture). There was great chemistry between them both, which again made for a really relaxed shoot.
7) always be mindful of how the model is feeling (make sure they have rest times, to keep warm, and chill out a bit more).
8) as with number 7, always ensure you are mindful of how you would feel if you were in front of the lens. Even if I know the model really well I’m always professional, constantly being mindful of how the model/person I am shooting is feeling.
9) A sense of humour is a must! -this will keep you going in all situations.
10) And enjoy yourself, to quote Robbie Williams’ Candy ‘if it don’t feel good what are you doing it for!’
My shoots were influenced by Moriyama, whose Exhibition I saw at the Tate Modern last year, just love his film photography, Arbus, Hopper, Sherman, Dijkstra and May Ray. I’m really looking forward to Man Ray Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery this Spring!
I think Nude Photography is like going back to the basics, revisiting yourself before a new beginning, a new idea, really being and understanding YOU for a while. Julia explained that being from the Massage and Beauty industry, she sees her clients in various states of undress, although this does not phase her, looking at herself in this way was still a profound and wonderful experience.
It was great to shoot Tom and Becky individually and together as a couple, and to see the tenderness between them. It was heartwarming to receive feedback from Tom that he thoroughly enjoyed the shoot and that was down to him feeling relaxed and comfortable with me as the photographer.
Both shoots featured people at a particular point in their life, allowing them to be expressive without the barriers of clothing. It is also important for me to capture those individuals who may not normally model, i.e. not doing it as profession and who may not ‘fit’ into the norms of current stereotypes of models in the media. I love the thought from some that being nude is ‘returning to nature’ and having ‘notable improvements in peoples general health’.
I feel a lot happier for undertaking these shoots, happiest in front of the camera, my models enjoying the experience, therefore I would agree!
Till next time.
Much Love X