Nicola Davidson Reed

Posted: September 18, 2017 in Interviews

Nicola Davidson Reed, a professional photographer is known for her thematic and surrealistic work in monochrome. She is one of those few whom I admire and keep on checking for learning and new ideas. It is very kind of her that she consented to answer my questions despite her numerous family and professional commitments.

Her detailed work can be seen on





1. How would you describe yourself briefly as a person?

A good mother , hardworking, driven, passionate, friendly , kind, obsessive, irritable, cranky, funny, romantic, intelligent, organised, protective, loyal, private & curious.



2. Describe your photographic odyssey. How it started and where do you find yourself now?

Picking up a Polaroid camera when I was 7 in the sand dunes of blackpool, photographing with my brothers & sisters & loving the instant Polaroids. from developing my own films as a teenager to now , a working photographer & mother in my own small studio working with digital.



3. How would you describe your social vision?

​I  wouldn’t not yet, been too busy but I do possess one



4. Most of your work is based on thematic / surreal images. Is it a better medium to express your thought process?

​It just is what it is, for now.  I hope to move on and become more social and less personal. Just something I have to do at the time, something I have to exorcise from myself​, might still have a few spurges, but I do want to photograph more outside of myself now.




5. You have made a name at international level. How was your able to achieve this? Can you share your struggle and secrets of success?

​Really?​If you mean on a social forum platform , that is​ purely from posting daily and replying to folk who have taken the time to respond to one of my photographs.  I am never too busy to say thank you.​ My struggle is the same as anyone else’s, striving to make a better life for one’s family, just graft , hard work, focus and more graft, many sleepless nights, some wine & a patient husband.​
6. Do you think a formal training in art and photography is essential? How you learned photography?
Absolutely not​, but great if you want to do that. There is nothing you wont learn more than picking up that camera every single day and just shooting , and you save money on fees.
7. What is the reason for your preference for monochrome pictures as compared to colored? 
Just love the old masters Brassai , Kertesz, Bresson, and today Sally Mann ​, have always had a preference for  BW. It has a resonance that I cannot achieve with color although others can and I love seeing photographers’ color work just not my own.
8. From whom you have been most impressed in photography? Do you still keep learning from the work of masters or do you feel they hinder and blunt your innate personal vision?
Andre Kertesz , Bill brandt, sally Mann, Francesca woodman, so many, too many to mention​. Every day i learn from the masters​.
9. Do you feel photography influences one’s personality as literature and other genres of art do? How it has changed your own personality and world view?
Absolutely​. ​It has not only changed, it has become a part of me. I see the world through the lens, even if I am not holding up a camera.
1o. What is your photography routine? 
School drop off, go to studio, street sign put out, coffee, music on, look through diary, answer emails, check my list as I write everything down (getting older), look at the light in the studio, if inspired by something. Could be anything. Start shooting something personal, or if I have a job on , I prepare the studio, batteries , the lenses, put my studio chairs in natural light, wait for clients. Clients come, work so hard when they leave. I am sweating, then start the processing and developing in the digital darkroom which may take a couple of weeks and so on and so forth.​
11. How much time you spend in it and how you are able to manage it?  Do you work randomly or in planned way with a project in mind? 
 Nearly every day around other duties. I manage it very well​. I have been carving the routine over the years as my children have grown. ​all of them. I can have bursts of inspiration. I also work methodical ​& planned & project based.
12. What do you think are the benefits of social media in promotion of today’s world? 
Greatly beneficial. For me, opening my Facebook  is like opening a huge international photography ​book every day. I have only added mainly photographers and/or artists.
13. Lately you have not been very active on social media.
​I have, haven’t stopped. I went on holiday for a week if that is what you mean​, my G+ was moved to a collection so maybe you not seeing my work because of that.
14.  Do you think photography can help promote tolerance and human value in our lives? Do you feel you have been able to make a difference with your work? 
 ​Of course​. ​no idea​
15. Please name some of your compatriots who have impressed you. 
​Bernd schaefers, Lawrence del, Mundo ​crash taylor,  Betina la PLante, Sarah lawrie, Chris friel,  then so many, too many to list.
16. What are your current projects in photography?
​I have a couple of things buzzing in my mind but incubating at the moment so can’t call them projects.
17. Any other lesson/advice you would like to give to an aspiring photographer
​ Shoot every day.

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