Being Adaptive, Experimental and Crafting Memories – An Interview with Nic Redshaw

In our continuing series highlighting female photographers, we talk to Nic Redshaw, a wedding, portrait and pet photographer working in the North West of England. Nic is passionate about capturing authentic moments with her camera, telling stories to create lasting memories for her clients. I spoke to Nic to find out more about her photographic journey.

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Photo by Nic Redshaw

What got you into photography?

N: I’ve always loved photography and the concept of taking a photograph and turning it into a piece of artwork. What made me more passionate about it was having my children. During the Covid lockdown, my mental health was starting to suffer, and I found photography made me less anxious and distracted me from my worries. Photography is my happy place and even when I’m editing, I get into a little bubble. It’s both a passion and a distraction!

I’ve worked for other people, and it can be pressurised and stressful – there’s just none of that when I’m taking photos. I only got my first proper camera four or five years ago and shot my first wedding for my friend on my phone! That was the point that I really wanted to start making a go of photography, so I saved up for my Sony. I’m now a part-time photographer and make pet accessories on the side – I taught myself how to make things by watching YouTube videos.

I started off shooting landscapes, but now I don’t restrict myself and will try anything. You learn so much from different types of photography.

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Photo by Nic Redshaw

Do you have a favourite genre of photography and why? Tell me a bit more about what you shoot.

It’s a tough one. I’ve got the things I don’t like to photograph, but I am fairly open to a lot of things. I do really enjoy wedding photography, although the first wedding I shot made me think that I never wanted to do that again! But then I got asked again and now I feel like I’ve really gotten into them. I love shooting the before and after the ceremony shots as you’ve got more time to play around.

Children are tough to work with as you’ve only got a short amount of time to work with them. You get a window and that’s it. Despite this, I really enjoy working with children, and I’ve captured some lovely photos of them. 

I also enjoy going out on my own and photographing landscapes – I like abstracts and putting a different angle on things. I also much prefer shooting candid photos and don’t enjoy the staged photos as much as I can find them a little bland and lifeless at times. When you catch people just being themselves you get the most natural shots. 

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Photo by Nic Redshaw

What kind of influences do you draw inspiration from?

I don’t have favourite photographers per se, but favourite images. I look at photos and I either love them or I don’t. I can appreciate photos that are taken completely differently from how I work – there are a couple of local photographers I follow in Instagram and, while I love their work, it’s very different style wise to how I shoot. From doing photography professionally, I’ve learned that you have to work with what you’re shooting. For instance, I love cinematic photography, but can’t necessarily integrate that into a wedding. You have to be adaptive, allow yourself to experiment when you can and don’t give yourself boundaries.

What kit do you shoot with and what’s your favourite bit of kit?

I have two Sony A6000s with 16-55mm, 50-110mm and 85-210mm lenses. I’d like a macro lens and a flash is on my Christmas list, although I prefer working with natural light.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have a few weddings coming up and I’ve also got a Wiccan vow renewal. It’s just a small family gathering, but the client is really open to ideas, and she’s given me free rein, so I’m excited about that. I’m doing lots for myself as well at the moment and I still potter about shooting cinematic style flowers when I can. 

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Photo by Nic Redshaw

What would you say is your goal with your photography?

To be able to work as a photographer full time – it would be my dream to do something I really love for a living. I’d like to have my work recognised on a larger scale, irrelevant to money, and it would be nice to get noticed and have people know my work. Getting feedback from customers feels really good.

As a female photographer, do you feel that you face any particular challenges? Do you feel that the industry is favourable towards women, or would you like to see any changes?

I think the industry in general can be quite unsupportive. There is a lot of competition and people are very quick to judge and be negative. I have met a number of male photographers who sadly have come across as arrogant with overpowering egos – it’s extremely off-putting.

Went to a wedding fair a couple of weeks ago – there was a male photographer there who was incredibly arrogant. Couldn’t wait to tell me about his awards – not sure what I was meant to say to that! The way he presented himself was that he was better than anyone in the room. Some male photographers can be very arrogant and believe women can’t be as good as them.

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Photo by Nic Redshaw

What advice would you give to budding photographers?

I’ve learned to be open minded. Practice and keep learning. You’ll learn on every shoot you do. And don’t become complacent – you might be extremely good but there is always something new to learn. And don’t be afraid to be different as everyone interprets photography differently. Some people take a photo and that’s it, while others like to turn it into a work of art and do lots of editing. Neither approach is wrong.

See more of Nic’s work at her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Nic Headshot
Photographer, Nic Redshaw

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