If you were to be in charge of your girl’s social media account for one post, what picture would you put up of her?
Modern day media is vast. Facebook and Instagram are just a small portion of this gigantic realm. You still have copious other formats including Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr and then the more traditional forms of magazines, newspapers and television. Media is readily on hand and constantly seen, especially by our girls!
So when prompted with the above question, how did you answer? Did the words happy, strong, powerful spring to mind? Nish of Nish Photography captures just that when he gets behind the lens of his camera.
We first came across Nish on the beaches of Ocean Grove. While we would stand and watch our girls battle the elements during nippers training, Nish would be on shore, camera in hand, snapping away. His photos started to filter out through the club and they were nothing short of amazing! They truly captured the determination and strength of girls, our girls! Without a doubt, if I had access to my girls’ social media page for one post, I would display this photo Nish captured of her.
Nish’s passion for photography is clearly evident in all that he captures but none more so than when he captures his girls in action (Nish is married with two gorgeous daughters). Pretty Powerful Girls was lucky enough to pick Nish’s brain (and we most certainly picked as Nish will attest). We wanted to find out what is behind capturing your girl in a powerful manner.
Can you tell us how you developed a passion for photography?
It came with my love for sport. As a kid growing up I was pretty sports mad. Footy, cricket, tennis, golf. Whether it was playing or watching it was a massive part of my childhood and that lead to an appreciation of sports photography. I dreamt of being a sports photographer. I was lucky enough that my Dad bought me a camera when I was 15, which is ironic because when I wanted to study photography post HSC, he told me that photography wasn’t a career and that I should be aiming to be a doctor. That’s a whole other story.
What role do you think finding a passion plays in your life?
How long have I got? It’s everything! And that comes from the voice of a person who worked in banking and finance for 24 years. A career that I just fell into and was never really passionate about and while successes along the way can keep you going and motivated, without loving what you do can only take you so far. I became really unhappy and didn’t think I could change my life. I was lucky enough to find a lady who counselled me and made me see that if I didn’t follow my passion, l would never be happy. So with the help of my very supportive wife, I left my corporate career and started life as a photographer.
What is the most powerful image you have captured of a girl?
While I love sports photography, nippers is my only outlet for that kind of photography. The bulk of my work is in the corporate space, which I also love. I take a lot of corporate portraits, images for websites, events. Most of the time in corporate environments, people are uncomfortable in front of the camera, so the challenge is to get them relaxed and to bring out their real personality and confidence. A confident gaze into the barrel of the lens can create a very powerful image.
But, I’d say that my most powerful images of girls have been at nippers. Probably because I’m in awe of the kids who compete. I’ve been taking nippers photos for six years now and have 1,000’s. There are two photos that stick in my head. The first is of a girl from our previous club. I probably took it about six years ago. She is coming out of the water from a swim and there is a trail of girls behind her desperately trying to catch her. You can just see the power in her body and the determination on her face.
The second one is of my daughter and her close friends. It is a great shot and apart from it being of my daughter winning gold, I love it because it’s a great story of two mates, fiercely competitive but at the same time, extremely supportive and encouraging of each other to do their best.
What is the most powerful image you have captured of your girls (including your wife)?
My girls are sporty, so once again I’d say it would have to be nippers photos. It’s the awe factor. I remember when they started nippers as 7 year-olds. They didn’t want to swim, they’d cry from fear and I totally get that. But now they have no fear, they are strong, confident competitors and believe in themselves. It’s awesome.
As a working photographer, I can be a bit slack with taking my camera out when I’m not working. But I always have my iPhone. I love this shot of her (my wife). She is a warm, happy and very caring person and I think it all comes out in this shot.
When your girls look at the images you have captured of them out in the surf, etc what do they say and how does it make them feel?
It’s funny, they are not a fan of me taking their photo in everyday circumstances, well not portraits anyway. It needs to be a fun action shot. I guess they are just sick of me following them around with a camera when they were younger. But they love it when I take action pics of them at nippers carnivals. I guess they feel proud of themselves. At the recent state titles, I was given a “shot list”.
You have constantly photographed your girls and other members of the surf lifesaving club. What qualities do you see come out in your girls and other people’s girls when they are doing nippers/surf lifesaving?
Resilient is a word you hear a lot in relation to nippers and it’s so true. I’ve seen it many times with kids when they don’t want to do that swim because they’re exhausted, its choppy as hell and cold. I don’t think that has quite left my girls, but as they have gotten older, stronger and mentally tougher, they do the swim.
Apart from resilience, physical and mental toughness, there is also mateship. They have such a good bond with their teammates and have also formed good friendships around other age groups and also other clubs. All these combined make it such an awesome sport.
A picture tells a thousand words. Thank you Nish for allowing strength and confidence to shine through your photography of today’s girls. Media is a powerful means but so are our girls!
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