In the run up to Farm Week 16, we will be asking all of our mentors these Ten Questions, to get to know them a little, to discover some new facts about them and because we just want to know more about what makes them tick.
This week we ask our Ten Questions to Baltimore based wedding photographer Nessa K. I think I first started to follow Nessa is 2010 and was drawn as much to her personality as her imagery. I feel like she has always been great at expressing her character online and I've always thought I'd love to hang out with her. Ok I confess, I have more than a slight girl crush on Nessa. Over drinks last night a fellow photographer asked me if I was an outsider, which Farm Week 16 class would I pick to attend and hands down, for me it would be Nessa's. I think she is one very clever cookie and I've always adored what she posts, from her Stylebooks to her videos. She is a master with light and obviously builds an incredible rapport with her clients who all get up in the middle of the night so that she can shoot their engagement sessions at sunrise.. wow! As you may guess, I was super excited to find out a little bit more about Nessa...
Can you remember the first camera that you ever owned and if so tell us about it?
It was a Pentax K1000. I found it in a vintage store when I was 18. A frightening man behind the counter was telling me about what different filters did and it all sounded overwhelming so I just bought a 50mm and ran out. I didn’t touch it more than once or twice until I was 19. Also, I don't ever use UV filters or lens caps and I blame that scary man.
I sometimes think about how amazing the Instagram accounts would have been of people who are not around anymore, like Andy Warhol… His feed would have been incredible. Who do you think would have had a great Instagram?
Marie Antionette. She would’ve owned it, you know? Also, I really like pictures of food and dogs so I think it would’ve covered all my bases for content I’d like to see.
What’s the one piece of advice that you have been given that proved to have had the most influence on you?
My freshman year of college, I took a photo that was a little out of focus with lens flare and I was trying to crop it to make it interesting when it wasn’t. I printed 5 different versions and asked an upperclassman for her honest feedback. She said “it looks like you’re a freshman trying to turn in a shitty print.” I totally was. I couldn’t explain what I meant or tell her the circumstances because I missed the moment and the focus and didn’t compose anything well and no one needed to see that photo. It’s advice I use to this day when I try something and it’s failing.
What function do you wish your camera could have that it doesn’t already?
A button that would switch from AI-Focus single point to AI-Servo with the 9 point grid focus. Also, a button that dispenses caramels.
If you were not a photographer what job would you be doing?
Illustration, painting, or something with art gallery work. Photography was picked at random from a list of art majors.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
I love myself. I feel like I had to work hard for it because nothing about our world is conducive to that.
Name one book that you think we should go out and buy.
"The People of Paper" by Salvador Plascencia. It's sad and weird, but wonderful.
What’s the strangest thing you have ever been asked to photograph and did you do it?
If you could go back and say one thing to yourself aged 20, what would it be?
I have a novel I'd write of things my 20 year old self should know, but if I know 20 year old Nessa, she wouldn't listen to anyone.
What question do you wish we’d asked you?
Nessa is teaching a wedding masterclass at Farm Week 16 in February. Amongst the topics covered, Nessa will discuss how she uses social media with the intention of attracting the right clients for her. She will educate you on her use of light and inspire you by shooting a couple and demonstrating how she sees light. This will be an intense but enlightening day. To grab one of the remaining places just head here.