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Interview : Vicki Bell

How important is having the right equipment for the shot?

The right equipment is very important to me. I started out with Nikon F100 and have now graduated up to the Nikon D3 whilst upgrading in gradual steps and experiencing so many camera pedigrees along the way… Professional cameras and especially lenses do make the difference especially in the pixel world.

What is the essential gear every semipro photographer should own?

A digital SLR where you can have manual control over all functions and a 50mm lens. That is the lens. I started with and it’s a great way to see the world and is a great discipline in educating the eye… Then a variable focal lens eg 24-70mm.

Talent versus Skill – can you learn to be a great photographer?

Hmmm. I think it is easy to learn a skill especially through repetition and practice. But being a photographer is made up of so many ingredients not just about operating the equipment. It does take creativity, insight, foresight, instinct and intuition, and all this is part of who we are… Our own unique signature and the accumulation of life experience that creates who we are today.

What are the essential ingredients for a great photo?

Beautiful light, great expression and energy, technically spot on and an absolutely beautiful print that stirs you somehow deep inside and when you walk away you can still see that photo in your mind.

What are some helpful tips for the semi pro photographer trying to create great family photos?

Look for the light, keep it simple, watch your cropping in camera, Look at other images that inspire you and write down why. Identifying what you like helps to educate your eye. Explore posing combinations and different styles. Always look at styles from the past and certainly the present.

What’s the most challenging shoot you have done? Why? How did you rise to the challenge?

I guess when one of my pregnant ladies went into labour. Luckily it was a location shoot at her home and she insisted we keep going between contractions. She delivered and I delivered, We were both happy with the results! What’s the one piece you can’t do without? I love my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom lens it gets me in and gets me out and is sharp and great to use.

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