Nicky Hamilton

Process Talks

Having started your creative career within an ad agency role, you transitioned over to photography, what inspired your move behind the camera?


“At the time, my role within M&C Saatchi merged from art director to head of art, which pushed me more away from making the work and further into selling, which I didn’t enjoy. This made me realise that my heart was in production and the craft of creating, so I left to start my own production company with a desire to learn the tools of photography and start a new career.”



Throughout the lockdown, you’ve been busy working on an exciting new personal project. What have you been shooting?


“Last year was really busy for me and I barely had a chance to shoot any new personal work, so when lockdown happened and I took the opportunity to create new personal work, it was a welcome distraction from the pandemic! The new project is called ‘The Upside Down’. It’s a surreal look into the mental state of my family during lockdown - explored through otherworldly set-ups, shot in both stills and motion.”



You regularly share behind the scenes snaps on social media, can you tell us something about your creative process that people may not know?


“For my personal studio work, I do everything myself. I enjoy the hands-on exploratory process that working solo brings, it allows me to keep my pencil sharp, remove the pressure of time, and to try new things.”



Who are your influences in the photographic world, are there any artists who really inspire you?


“I tend to be influenced more by cinematography these days but early on David LaChapelle was a big influence, his use of production and lighting really struck me, same for Gregory Crewdson and Erwin Olaf.”



We all recognise that Coronavirus is going to have a significant impact on the way that we work, but limitations can still inspire creativity. In thinking about the practicalities of shooting new work post-COVID, have you been struck with any moments of inspiration you may not have otherwise had, perhaps in how or what you might be shooting?


“Totally, at the end of last year, I started a new series called ‘Sign of the Times’ which is a social reflection of the state of the world. With what’s gone on so far this year; Australian Bush Fires, COVID and the BLM movement, it’s reinforced my belief in the importance for social commentary through photography.”



Dream commissions? Who would you love to shoot with when the photographic industry is back to some kind of new normal?


“I would love to play with my style in other genres. A cinematic stills & motion campaign with a brand like Nike would be at the top of my bucket list for sure.”



What advice would you give to young photographers starting out in the industry?


“Create work that you’re really passionate about and gain exposure to the work. This can be achieved by winning awards, sharing on photography blogs, magazines and your social media channels. Try to remove the pressure of time and live in the now.”



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