I took a photography class in high-school and I was enchanted with the magic of the darkroom process. The school had 35 mm cameras we were allowed to use during the time we were in the class, but after the year ended, I could not afford a professional camera, I just had a point and shoot instamatic. Which I used to document life, friends, family, events. The idea of making a career with photography never entered my mind.
I was interested in fashion, but I didn’t have the money or opportunity to go to a fashion institute.
I went to a state college with a reputation for liberal arts, Evergreen, in Olympia Washington. My visual arts training there was focused on painting and printmaking (etchings). I never planned to be a photographer, although I always enjoyed taking snapshots.
When I was thirty I moved to Arizona to take care of elderly relatives and my uncle gave me his 35 mm Minolta with lenses. I decided to take a refresher course at the local community college to familiarize myself with the process. It was love all over again, I was exciting to be able to bring certain ideas to life, dreamlike images were created by blending two or more negatives together in the enlarger to produce a complex and intricate image. I did this with wet process, making mural sized prints which I would then paint on. At the time I had access to the darkroom facilities at the school which were rarely used. After a time this was no longer available but digital was on the market and there were Photoshop classes offered. At this point I moved to a digital format, which was much less expensive and cleaner. (trying to set up a personal dark room and dealing with the disposal of the chemicals was an issue).
Learning the digital editing process took time to master and it was years until the program was advanced enough to do what I do now with layers. Now I have more the thirty years experience with photography as an art form including the use of Photoshop since it first came on the market.
I started my career using film and producing the large prints for gallery exhibition, but in recent years I have mainly done work for the fashion and publishing industry. My focus is currently with digital media and design. I still love the hands-on wet process techniques, I have dabbled in various Alt process printing processes. But I don’t often have the space or time to do painting, or mixed media projects, and I miss it. I still produce some small painted pieces which I photograph to use as layers in my post production photography work. And I do feel that having been a painter, this has informed or influenced my work as a photographer, my photographic images are painterly.
I am the curator and staff Photographer and one of the designers for Miroir Magazine and I have published in many other magazines, journals and books internationally.
I enjoy doing elaborate unusual projects. When I shoot fashion I tend to work mainly with Avant Garde designers and artists who create wearable art. In addition to photography and editing, I am a wardrobe stylist, set designer and hair stylist. My other projects are usually credited under the name Dreamloka.
Some of the shoots I do for creative fashion are underwater, sometimes mixed post-production with images I’ve taken in palaces or mansions for an otherworldly final image. (However, there are none of these in my sample set this year), you can see them if you visit my website.
Links to Nina’s work: