|Photographer - Mark Hinds|
Hi Nicola, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. We should probably start at the beginning...when and how did you come about getting into the world of modelling?
'I started out about 8 years ago modelling for friends studying fashion and design at informal events but it wasn't something that I had considered taking up on a regular basis. I then got asked to take part in a charity calendar and did that and enjoyed it. Once that got published and the images were available to the public I got a few messages from other photographers wanting to collaborate on some of their ongoing projects, that is when I decided to put the images to some use and create an online portfolio.'
|Photographer - Simon Walker|
Most things, especially online, tend to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views something to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?
'I wouldn't say that my work is boxed in to a particular category. I started off more on the glamour side, then my collection of tattoos slowly grew so I suppose I would then fall more into the alternative sector. I try not to do too many shoots that are very similar as I don't want to come across as a one trick pony. Recently I've been involved in more commercial and fashion modelling.'
|Photographer - Mark Hinds|
Photography, modelling and their related skills, as with most things, can have their share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of modelling particularly challenging?
'I wouldn't say I find any of it particularly challenging. I guess the most challenging thing would probably be the communications side of things. We're all human with our own families and commitments and our focus can sometimes be swayed by other things but I do find people's flakiness and unreliability can be an issue. There's nothing more frustrating than putting weeks, sometimes months worth of thought into a shoot and getting prepared for it only to have the photographer (or other models) suddenly message a day before the shoot to say they can't do it because their pet hamster has a tummy ache. Luckily I haven't had it happen much.'
In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?
'I follow a lot of my favourite models and photographers on the likes of Instagram so I am constantly being inspired by their creativity and ideas. I also love underwater photographs and anything macabre so I do find myself being drawn to these and thinking up shoot ideas and wanting to push myself to deliver a high level of image with each shoot.'
Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?
'There was a shoot that I did in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland about 6 months ago with Conor Kerr and the images I received from that are quite close to my heart. I was going through a really bad time in my home life and wasn't feeling great but really enjoyed that day and location. I am from Belfast originally so it was lovely getting to combine it with seeing all my family and forgetting about things whilst concentrating on getting some fabulous images.'
|Photographer - Simon Walker|
Photoshoots can sometimes leave you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in on a shoot?
'I was booked for a stunt bike shoot for a company called Acklams Beta based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. When I turned up I found out I would be posing with a huge boa constrictor. Whilst I don't have a phobia of snakes, I had never been that up close and personal with one before. The snake's owner tried to assure me by telling me, "she doesn't usually bite, and I fed her yesterday so she should be ok.... just unravel her if she starts wrapping around you too much..." then gestured towards 4 guys stood in the doorway 'just in case' anything happened! As it happened we got along famously and I even kept her wrapped around my shoulders whilst we checked out the raw images. I guess you could say I became a snake convert!'
|Photographer - Silver Fox Studios|
We've talked about your start, we've talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? Any special projects? Plus in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?
'This next year I'm hoping to invest some more time into my modelling and aim to of worked with at least 3 of my top 5 UK photographers just as a personal goal. I will also be taking part in a lot of joint shoots with fellow alt models that have been in discussion but not happened yet just due to logistics. I will be continuing to be heavily involved in the designer clothing brand Bolongaro Trevor modelling their new collections and showcasing them at their seasonal fashion shows. I will also be the face of an awesome tattoo studio in Liverpool owned by Adam Griffiths, called Idol Hand, check it out if you're looking for any new artwork! I have a special project coming up with Leeds photographer Waseem Sadiq (Silverfox Studios) that we have been planning for quite awhile with a surreal Red Riding Hood theme.'
|Photographer - Conor Kerr|
When I speak to photographers I ask about their gear, it's only fair you get to geek out too...do you have any go to items you can't live without?
'I'd never turn up to any shoot without a good makeup kit, hairspray, a couple of pairs of black/neutral coloured heels, at least one black underwear set and of course my mobile phone in case of any last minute communication required with the photographer. I'd say these were essentials that any model would need to have with them regardless of shoot style.'
|Photographer - 123 Photography|
Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?
'I'm on Purpleport, I'm also on;
and Facebook - Nicola Paparazzo'
I'd like to thank Nicola again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of her work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.