Today we hear from Surrey-based photographer Nikki van der Molen about her calming influence, her dinosaur necklace and how she tends to get brides who hate having their photo taken!
Q. Please tell us a bit about your background?
A. Before I started my photography business I was working in the HR team of a London legal firm. Totally different to what I’m doing now! I loved the people I worked with, but I just wasn’t happy in the job. I wanted something more creative and also running my own business really appealed to me. I had been doing some photography in my spare time for a while and suddenly through that perhaps that could be the direction for me to go in. So I quit my job, moved back in with my parents and did a year-long diploma in photography. I loved it! While I was studying I started second shooting with some other wedding photographers, built a portfolio and started booking my own clients. That was four years ago and it’s been the best decision for me.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Colour, individuality, vintage or unique style, and quirky, intelligent and interesting people. I’ll occasionally see something in film or in other people’s photos that I like and that inspires me to try something new. I also love learning, I like attending photography workshops and I will always learn something I can apply to my own photography and business.
Q. What do you love about wedding photography?
A. My couples often tell me that I am a calming influence on them throughout the day and I love playing that role. I love getting to know my couples so that when I turn up at the wedding I can bring that calm, and they know they can relax a bit because I am there. I love the real, amazing, emotion-filled moments that I get to capture, and the creativity I can use throughout the day to ensure I give the couple an awesome set of photos.
Q. How would you describe your photography style?
A. Informal, documentary, creative and fun. My relaxed and calm personality helps create really natural looking portraits, and I make a big effort to capture photos that really feel like “you”, genuine moments rather than awkward poses.
Q. What is the vibe of your ideal wedding to shoot?
A. I like relaxed, laid back weddings with couples who just want to have an amazing time and aren’t too worried about doing things the traditional way. Anything that is a bit quirky and different will be right up my street. I also love feminist weddings – more and more brides are doing speeches nowadays and I think that is brilliant. My couples usually tend to be the type of people who hate having their photo taken. I love making them feel better about that so they won’t worry about it on the day.
Q. What else do you love to photograph except weddings?
A. In the past year I have started offering photography for businesses, such as personal branding photography, product photography, lifestyle photography, etc. I would also like to start taking more photos just for fun in my personal life – I so rarely do this!
Q. How would you describe your personal style?
A. In terms of clothes, my style is very casual (with the occasional dressing up day). I love denim, colourful prints and stripes, cosy jumpers, layering, flat shoes, and a few favourite bits of jewellery. My fave is my dinosaur necklace I got from Whistles a few years ago!
I love real, emotion-filled moments
Q. What do you love to do on your days off?
A. Spending time with my partner Mark and seeing friends and family. I like to keep my fitness levels up so I’ll go to classes, and I would love to get back into yoga. I love a massive Sunday lunch, even out at a pub or at home. Recently we made home-made pizzas which were amazing!