Friday, March 20, 2015

Featured Artist | Holly Nicole Photography

Proudly introducing our next inspiration;

Featured Artist | Holly Nicole Photography


Name: Holly Awwad

Where are you located: New Baltimore, Michigan

Tell us about your photography journey and/or business:
I am a full-time mommy to three beautiful girls, ages 10, 7 and 1. They keep me very busy and are my little muses that inspire me everyday to document their lives. I have always loved photography. I took my first photography classes in college in 1998 when they still taught film. I used my dad's old Nikkormat from the 60's that he bought when he went to Korea in the Airforce. That sparked my creativity and I enjoyed experimenting with film. When I had my first daughter in 2005, the digital age was well underway and all I could afford was a point and shoot. But I took a ton of pictures of her with that point and shoot. I didn't really start thinking about getting a "good" camera until my second daughter was born in 2008. I didn't really even know what a DSLR was or anything about their features. But I knew that if I wanted to get my photos to look professional I needed to take the leap. My husband bought me my first DSLR, a Nikon D90, in 2009. I shot in Automatic for at least a year, and then ventured to semi-automatic. Then in 2011 I really decided it was time to learn Manual. I read countless books, watched countless Youtube videos and slowly started learning Manual Mode. I've not looked back since! I still consider myself a work in progress and I'm far too critical of my own work. But I think that is what pushes me to learn more and continue to grow.

Who/What inspires you?:
I am inspired by so many talented artists that I cannot possibly list them. I am inspired mostly by my three little muses. I try to capture their beauty in a way that shows the world how I see them through my eyes. I love dramatic light and shadow and try to use them to convey emotion in my photographs.

Describe your style in 2 words. Tell us about your specialization:
I would say that my style probably fits mostly into the lifestyle category, however I do love a stylized session from time to time. I gravitate toward black and white because I love the emotion it coveys. If I had to pick two words to describe my style I'd say Real and Light.

Do you have any special projects?:
Yes! I am currently doing my first 365 and I'm loving every minute of it. It has not only changed how I see things day to day but it has also helped me learn my gear so much more.

What's in your camera bag?:
I currently shoot with a Nikon D7100. Yes, I would LOVE a full frame camera but the budget doesn't allow that for now. And we all know it's not all about the gear - right? I have several lenses, but the ones that I use most are my 35mm 1.8 and my 85mm 1.8. Honestly, my 85mm 1.8 rarely leaves my camera. If I had to give up all my lenses but one, that would be the one I would keep. Next on my list is the 105mm Macro! I think I would have a lot of fun with that!

Do you have any other artistic outlets or hobbies besides photography?:
I love to travel with my family and see new places and experience new cultures. It goes hand-in-hand with my photography and allows me to see new things and get the creative juices flowing. Plus, it allows my children to experience new things as well.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would he/she be?
I love to photograph my family. My dream is to someday photograph my children's family. There are many people in the world I admire and would enjoy photographing. But nothing compares to those I love and will love in the future.

Natural light or artificial?
Natural all the way!

How does photography influence your family or social life?:
Well, photography is always a factor when you are doing a 365. My husband has gotten used to me busting out the camera at the store and the crazy looks I get. But seriously, part of the reason I choose to capture lifestyle images most of the time is because I don't want my family to be bothered by my hobby. I want to capture our real life with out disrupting it. It's all about balance and I think I've achieved that.

What is your most important artistic tool besides your camera?
My imagination for sure.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting in their photographic journey?
The most important advice I'd give to new photographers is learn to get it right in camera. Dive right in and learn Manual mode and your world will never be the same. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. And don't compare yourself to others. We are all at different points in the photography journey. There will always be someone less experienced and always someone more experienced than you. Don't get caught up in thinking you aren't good enough (I've been to that self-pity party myself!). Keep practicing and remember that the most important thing is capturing memories, not perfection! One other bit of advice... try a 365 or a 52 week project. It's amazing how much you learn by picking up your camera everyday!


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