5 Minutes With...A Photographer!

As part of our "5 MINUTES WITH..." series, we spent 5 minutes with photographer Nick Daly who has been represented by LPA for 10 years. Nick is known for his very natural shots of people and places. His images are both quietly subtle yet brimming with character, colour and detail. © Leela Axon

How long have you been a professional commercial photographer and what made you decide to become a photographer in the first place? I was at College wanting to do textile design, or fine art but then my tutor introduced me to the idea of being a photographer and it really inspired me. I had no idea what it meant or even if you could make money doing it! I’ve been self-employed ever since, first as an assistant, then a photographer. Over twenty years!

What would you say are the most important attributes to being a successful commercial photographer? Don’t let your private life intrude into your professional life, and managing kids esp at pre school age with working hours is very hard. Always do the best job you can regardless of the hours or the fees and never make excuses for your failures. In the end it’s all down to you.

Tell us about your first commercial commission? When I started I specialised in still life. I like the ability to spend hours arranging items in graphic ways and playing around with lighting. My first commission was a bottle of Genmorangie whisky for AD Mark Reddy who went on to be a superstar in advertising. I had to paint my own background and used Edwin Landseers Monarch of the Glen as a colour guide.

What inspires you when you’re shooting? Now it’s how to make something special out of what or who’s in front of camera. I try not to use weird lighting effects, but just get something extra out of the models.

Aside from your camera equipment, what is your most essential piece of kit? My folio and my website. Without them constantly being available and updated, my work would dry up, backed up of course by LPA and other advertising I do all the time.

What would be your dream shoot/client? I’m working on my dream shoot, but can’t say what it is. Previously it would have been the National Trust campaign, for the weather, locations and streetcasting people.

If you could choose 3 images that epitomise your work and style what would these be? The series which I took as my first personal project: a Care Home in Cheltenham, and the shot of Anna Mae who was 92 years old with the fan in front of her face, are very special, followed by the COI shoot in Shoreditch with the Asian and Muslim couples was also fun and has been very popular. I'd also say the shot of a little girl skipping, it is a really fun captured moment.

What are the best and worst things about being a photographer? Best things: ability to choose what you do for a living. Worst: complete inability to plan what your income will be.

What advice can you give to aspiring photographers/ tip for success. Keep on going no matter what.

What’s your favourite blog or website? Funnily enough, Julian Calverleys blog! www.juliancalverley.wordpress.com