Hear It!

Going under the moniker of Nikkiphoto, our featured photographer of the month is a mysterious yet highly creative individual who enjoys snapping photos of culinary delights and natural wonders.

Photographer: Nikkiphoto
Tools and equipments : Canon 5d MKII

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
I heavily rely on my Canon 5d MKII, several Canon L series lenses, and digital painting tools to get the job done.

2. What do you think of photography these days?
Photography equipments are getting more affordable these days, encouraging more people to experiment with photography. It will be very interesting to see what the development of new technologies will bring to the photography world. It is developing at such a fast rate that it is easy to get left behind if you don't pay attention to new trends.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be an artist.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I was always "into" photography and art, but with the rise of the digital era, I decided to really pursue this field.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
I think that talent is one thing, and the other factors are hard work and constant learning.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Seeing if I can be competitive and if buyers will like what I can produce.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
As a photographer and graphic designer/illustrator, it is the opportunity to constantly be creative and do what I truly love. Other perks include daily challenges to learn new things, software and techniques.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
It really depends on which type of shoot or graphic project I do. Sometimes, I can come up with an idea quickly and at times, it takes a while. I find that if you're feeling burned out, you can do more damage than good by trying to push yourself. That is the good part of producing for stock. You don't have deadlines.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
In the photography section of my work, I would say it is simple and natural. The graphic art part is quite cartoonish and probably children-oriented, while I also like to create backgrounds, photo manipulations and composites.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex checklist in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/checklist.
I always start with a basic idea as to how the shoot should look, but I improvise quite often and add elements to the set-up which I find will make the photographs more appealing. As far as the graphic creation is concerned, I always start with a sketch, then I paint it using Photoshop or Illustrator, or sometimes both, depending on the effect I want to achieve.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Food, nature and macro subjects. It is hard to decide. I also like to draw and design funny characters as well as design posters and flyers.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
It is very difficult to shoot macro nature photos outside of the studio if the weather is not completely stable, taking environmental factors, such as light and wind into consideration.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
I love what I do and I enjoy experimenting with my shoots. I am constantly learning new things and reading various books. I always think there is room for improvement. There is nothing more thrilling than the feeling of reaching the goal you had set for yourself.oting, keep shooting, and keep shooting. This is the best way to improve your technique in my opinion.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
I find inspiration in everything around me, but somehow I am most amazed by nature.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things to organize and do, aside from encouraging the flow of creative juices. Thus, I try to do the things that I keep postponing. To be honest, in my case, the creative juices are always here with me. They never seem to go away, so I have a hard time to do other things in life. It is difficult for me to distance myself from the "creative mode".

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
Often once I begin a trip for the purpose of photography, I become a different person. I sleep less, eat less, and work more. This almost comes naturally. In the midst of a "photo expedition" to a place like Tokyo or New York, I can work all day without ever becoming fatigued. I do not have to force myself to walk around for 12 hours or more a day photographing, it simply comes natural like some sort of adrenalin rush.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
II discovered that I have steady hands. It seems that I am quite good at shooting with an air pistol and I believe this comes from my camera handling. So, I discovered a new hobby through photography.

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
There are so many gifted artists out there that it just wouldn't be fair to name only a few. I admire anyone who is eager to learn and improve his or her craft; dedicating himself or herself to his/her inspiration.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting into stock photography?
Keep learning and improving. Don't give up just because results don't show up overnight.

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