Nikki Harrison’s photographs are overflowing with dramatic, emotional light. Her style takes portraiture to an elegant, even ethereal level. It’s hard to pin exactly what you are feeling or why you are feeling it when you look at her photos. All you know for certain is that they are beautiful. “I was always an artist, mostly just drawing, sketching, charcoal and pencil,” Nikki told me. ” I have been shooting seriously only since 2008. I was a Mortgage Broker, and suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. I started shooting and realized I could extend my passion of drawing through Photoshop. I slugged my way through, not really having much of a clue. Completely self taught.” Her lack of a formal photo education doesn’t surprise me actually. There is so much happening in her images that you can’t teach and very few people could ever learn. It is something you just “get.”

Her work sings of true inspiration, of seeing an image hours before it comes together. “Mostly I am inspired by Italian Painters. I see those paintings and want to recreate them. I am very drawn to the beauty of women and children in a very beautiful, classy, romantic way. Many times lately I will create a dress or skirt and get inspired from that.”

“I try to create a painting from a photograph. I use my camera and photoshop as my tools. My goal is to create an image so lovely, that the client wants it to be huge, on their wall. Is it work, in that it is a source of income. That is not what drives me, however.”

Nikkis Favorite Gear

Elinchrom Ranger System
Mola Setti BD
5ft Octabank (Elinchrom)
Westcott Spyder Lights

Nikkis Advice to Emerging Photographers

“Be kind to others, do not belittle people because they are new. Help them, encourage them, guide them. You were new once too.”

“Take criticism with a grain of sand, but consider the source, and remember that just because someone more popular has an opinion, it doesn’t make it truth. This is your art, do it you way. There is no right, there is no wrong.”

“There are a million ways to work with a layer mask, do it any way you like.”

“Don’t listen to the noise.”

“Be kind to the models and people that help you out in your journey, remember you would be nothing without them.”

“Turn Facebook off every few days.”

“Never, ever, stop learning.”

Be sure to check out Nikki’s