POP escaped to the country for a magical morning with third generation photographer Nathalie Hicks.
Nathalie lives just outside of the city on a picturesque property sharing her home with highland cows, chickens and her horses.
Having lived in city whilst raising a family, Nathalie decided to move to the country to live the farm life. Her property and her beloved animals have become the subject of her art photography, while also being a backdrop for her portrait sessions.
We spent an early winters morning at the farm to see how Nathalie captures the perfect shot. The etherial qualities of the morning fog were absolutely magical. It’s no wonder Nathalie finds a wealth of inspiration right out her back door!
Nathalie grew up with analogue photography and has continued an analogue methodology throughout her digital practice. None of her photos are introduced to photoshop. Nathalie values composition, working with the natural light, natural tones and textures. The rest is trial and error!
Nathalie's approach to her photography and to her farm and inspiring. Nathalie has a magic about her, and we're not the first to notice. The care, respect and adoration Nathalie has for her animals is something so special. Her cows, chickens, horses and puppy (tour guide) sprint towards her, excited to to stand in front of the camera and strike a pose. The trust between the animals and Nathalie is something we've never seen; the bond shared between her, the land and those she shares it with are captivating. Nathalie's ethos of appreciation and deep purpose are clear in each corner of her farm. Nathalie answered some questions to give us more of an insight into how her prints ended up on the POP print shop shelf!
How long have you been taking photos for and how long have you been printing and selling your works?
I have been taking photos forever. It started with a little Kodak Hawkeye Pocket Instamatic camera in the 1970’s (Gosh that was a long time ago - am I really that old?) and have had the bug ever since. I started taking photos professionally in 2014. At that time I was focussing on my family and enjoying seeing my children grow up (6 kids!) so birth photography, being able to capture new life and be part of the excitement, was a wonderful experience.
In 2016 we purchased a farm and moved to the country. I couldn’t stop photographing our farm life especially the beauty and unpredictability of our Highland Cattle and Horses. I wanted to share this amazing experience with everyone. I wanted them to see what I was seeing and the best way to do this was to share my photographs. As an AIPP member I started to win awards for my landscape and animal photography. This led to my passion growing into a small business. I established a website to showcase my work and started to sell my printed art early in 2020.
Why is local shopping so important to you?
There are so many amazing creatives, producers and farmers in the Canberra region. I really think that it is so important to support those small business to keep things local and to minimise our footprint on this beautiful planet of ours. Building a local community is important to me, and fostering and supporting that community is vital to start locally and if you can’t find what you need then move to the regional area.
What is your favourite aspect of your photography practice?
My most favourite part of my photography practice is that I get to record a moment in time. A moment in time that is captured forever and that I can share with everyone. When I look at any of my work it always brings back good memories and by sharing my work I hope others feel the same.
How do you know when you've got 'the shot'?
Sometimes I go out with an idea for a shot in mind. Other times I have no plans and just capture what is in front of me on a rambling walk. Some days the animals will play nice and others - well they just turn their rear ends to you. I take a lot of pictures but know instantly when I have captured a great shot - everything just comes together.
What is your favourite spot in Canberra?
I love that we are surrounded by nature in Canberra and I love that. My favourite spot is a little path that runs between the Governor General’s House and the Yarralumla nursery. Walking through there is so peaceful. Trees and greenery on one side and the lake on the other. It’s a little bit magical in spring when the dappled light shines through the blossoms. I try to do that walk as often as I can.
What have you been binge watching?
Don’t judge me but I can’t stop watching “Fear the Walking Dead”. I have no idea why I am enjoying it so much because I am constantly questioning why the characters do what they are doing (seriously why would you walk into the path of a Zombie) and jumping out of my skin when the Zombie arrives even though I know what is coming.
(We would never judge that)
We loved spending a morning encased in the enticing beauty of the mist and discovered why Nathalie's photos have that extra something you simply can't put your finger on. Magic.