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CBR RAW Awards: Nigel Hawkins

Josephine Walsh

Did you know that there are now over 300 million people using Instagram? The popular social media photo-sharing site proudly claimed in a recent blog post that around 70 million photos and videos are shared each day. So. Many. #Igers.

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Canberra Balloon Festival

 

“Photography is definitely still an art form, and whilst these days almost anyone can take a photo, it still takes an artist to create a memorable one,” Nigel Hawkins Nudgepix photography tells me. I spoke with Canberra local Nigel, aka Nudge, about his approach to photography and his recent RAWard for ACT Photographer of the Year, 2014.

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RAW: natural born artists is an independent international arts organisation run by artists, for artists. Founded by Heidi Luera in LA in 2009, RAW provides artists from over 60 cities across the world with “the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.” The annual RAWards celebrates the best of the best in film, fashion, music, art, photography, performing art, accessories, hair and makeup, with one winner from each city chosen by community votes.

How did it feel to win the RAWard for ACT Photographer of 2014?

Great! I’m very happy to have won a local award, and proud that my hard work and focus on my art form has paid off. I’m humbled that I won with so many other fantastic photographers involved with RAW Canberra – some of which have actually inspired me in the first place.

I’m new to RAW, but I love how us local ‘small timers’ can have a go and show off what we do. Imagery is everywhere and literally in our faces everyday, so RAW is an important opportunity to bypass some of the static and get our work straight to the people.

What goes through your mind when you’re trying to capture those intimate moments between your subjects, say on their wedding day or during a family portrait?

To be honest, the majority of the time when creating, I’m looking at composition, light and shapes first and foremost. Usually by the time of the shoot I’ve built up trust and rapport with the clients and everything is pretty relaxed – which is really important. If they aren’t relaxed and having fun, it becomes too staged and fake. Then once all the technical stuff is under control, I’m looking for the emotion, the story and the personalities of the people to show through the image – especially for weddings and family portraits.

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Kaitlyn is a Canberra-born aspiring actress currently living in Sydney. Make-up by Sara Ross, from Dolled Up Beauty Studio, Queanbeyan.

 

How do you feel about the huge prevalence of camera phones, digital altering apps and social media when it comes to photography?

Personally, I still use my camera phone, Instagram & social media. I think they allow and probably even encourage people to take and share pictures that otherwise would never have been taken. I use my camera phone to take ‘happy snaps’ and social media to promote and distribute my photos easily – whilst taking the odd photo about life behind the camera, behind the scenes at shoots and personal life etc. I’m not much of a filter person though. I think there’s definitely room for both ‘insta-photos’ and traditional photography in the industry. Both can go hand in hand, and most people can tell the difference between ‘insta-photos’, filters or bad photoshop and a professional photo. Photography is definitely still an art form, and whilst these days almost anyone can take a photo, it still takes an artist to create a memorable one – and ultimately those are the ones people will hang on their walls, display in galleries etc.

What’s the plan for 2015 – any photography bucket list items that you’re hoping to tick off, maybe here or abroad?

2015 for me is about evolving and growing. I’m looking to get into more studio based, edgy, artistic styles of photography. I have an ongoing commercial project with Mandalynn Swimwear, and I’m looking forward to completing and releasing here and the US late this year (Oct-Nov). I’d like to work with more fashion designers and makeup artists, hairstylist and create some real stand out pieces for this year. My goal is to have a really good set or two to showcase again – probably in another RAW show for 2016, in a different city. So any designers or makeup artists around that have similar goals – get in touch!

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Kaitlyn is a Canberra-born aspiring actress currently living in Sydney. Make-up by Sara Ross, from Dolled Up Beauty Studio, Queanbeyan

 

If you could pick one spot in Canberra that’s your favourite place to photograph, it would be…

This is a hard one. Every location is totally dependent on the project, and there are so many good spots. One location I’ve shot a few times before, which I love, is out at Tidbinbilla National Park – just near the tracking station. In spring, you get some amazing sunsets that contrast with the dark blue of the mountains and the bright green fields on the hills and the end result is fantastic! Every time I’ve been shooting in that area, I’ve come away with some really good shots.

Check out Nudge’s stunning work, and keep up to date with his latest projects at nudgepix.com.au.

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Josephine Walsh

Jose Walsh is a digital communications specialist who also runs her own blog, mapleandmabel.com. She has a passion for museums and the arts, a deep love of travel and more shoes than sense. Having worked in museums for the past seven years, she loves finding new ways to connect people with their cultural institutions. She loves meeting new people, hunting for a decent espresso, and planning her next adventure. More about the Author