Hi there, I’m Nicola…
…and I currently live in New Zealand, where I’m from, after 16 years living in the UK. I’m a film stills photographer, taking pictures on movie sets that get used for marketing. I’ve done some big films, but it wasn’t always that way. I started out shooting for free on short films. I paid the bills by shooting weddings – great training for any photographer!
I get asked how I got to be shooting big movies, and I usually say it’s a case of getting a good portfolio together and introducing yourself to people. But really, there’s more than that.
In my late twenties, I was living in my small hometown in NZ doing a job I didn’t love and dreaming of being a photographer. I had studied photography but never followed it through. I think I was a bit scared of failing.
One day I suddenly lost all hearing in one ear. I had scans and they said it might be a brain tumor. Luckily it wasn’t, but the doctors couldn’t tell me why it had happened.
I spent a month lying down while my body adjusted to the new reality, (it really affects your balance initially), and in that time I made a decision. I wasn’t going to live a safe life anymore. I realized that at any moment your life can change. I left my lovely hometown, with my camera, and left for the UK. I wanted to see what the world had in store for me. It turns out, eventually, it was the film industry.
I am still deaf in one ear, and I feel thankful every day for it (I’m always grateful it wasn’t an eye!). It continues to wake me up to the fact that life is for stepping outside your comfort zone and backing yourself, and I try to live by it still.