I’ve always been a very visual person. I’ll watch a film, pausing ever so often to take in a moment, staring wondrously at what’s stirred the emotions.
I think it’s a talent that I’ve accumulated through my childhood, a dramatic event would happen, it would be ignored by my parents and I was left to ponder. Creating my own narrative, letting the anxiety build until a tic or some mild form of OCD would appear. “Stop that Nicky, why are you clicking your neck?” my mum would say. I was reliving the moment my dad drove his car though the neighbour´s living room in a drunken mess escaping the police. The click was me suppressing the fear, it was my trigger.
In the early years my dad started out as a builder. Things were simple, holidays where plenty and so was the laughter. In the mid 80s my dad lost his business in a freak incident and had to declare himself bankrupt, post a recent purchase of a dream home he could no longer afford. Maggie Thatcher’s reign had taken hold, the economy was weak and so was my dad’s judgement. He turned to crime and crime turned him into a drug addict who would one day call his son and ask me to prevent him from commiting suicide.
Four years ago I came to the realisation that the photography world was moving too fast. Photography had taken a shift, everyone with a smartphone was keen to show the world their offering and via a flick of a screen it would oblige. I wanted to change the pace, my plan was to work akin to a painter with a canvas, creating the photo and not finding it on location. Four years ago I opened my own studio and have since dedicated my time to this series and my style of creating images.
My process is slow and meticulous, it takes around 3 months to produce one picture, not helped by the fact that I work solo, desperately trying to stay a purest, at least for this personal feat. First I create the concept as a sketch, this I then transfer into a 3D pre visual where I pre light and test colour palettes. Next I would build the set, followed by set dressing and styling, etc. The next stage is the pre light, I use continuos lighting for a more cinematic and natural feel. I shoot with a medium format Hasselblad and often use multiple exposures to create a single picture. Retouching and grading is then performed by myself in a tedious painter like fashion.