Suzanne Nelson explains that she rarely picks up her camera with an end result in mind, unless she is capturing an element to be used in a composite.
“I need the challenge and stimulation of change. I need to be constantly exploring, constantly learning new things. Who knows what my focus will be tomorrow – but it is always an exciting prospect. “I don’t research locations by looking at the images taken by other photographers who have been there before and while some may see this as a negative, I feel that a preconceived expectation can often lead to disappointment. I don’t wish to emulate others and I much prefer to explore and see a location with fresh eyes, experimenting with what draws my interest on the day.
“If I create an image that portrays the scene as I felt it or as it was seen in my imagination, I have succeeded. I create what appeals to me.” Perhaps more of an artist than a photographer, Suzanne sees a blank canvas as offering her freedom and “the excitement of a bottomless pit of unlimited potential".
“Using a camera to create a photograph is similar in some ways to a painter. I am the artistic director. I enjoy the quiet moments when my mind is completely focused, when I am absorbed, when I am connected with my subject, immersed in my surroundings, fully in the moment. I guess it’s a form of meditation. I am a collector of what I call ‘treasure’ – every photograph has the potential to be a treasure. The more photographs I take, the more I have to work with in the future to fill the treasure chest.”
And while Suzanne has been very successful in photo competitions recently, her entries are always made for herself first and foremost. “I never create an image specifically for a competition and I take no notice of who the judges are. It is important for me to be true to myself and if all the ducks line up in terms of a competition, then that is a bonus.”
Check out Suzanne's amazing portfoiio of images and read how she creates them in the current issue of Better Photography (Issue 107). Click on the link below to subscribe - plus you get immediate access to over 50 back issues full of super informative material and inspirational ideas! Use coupon code BP40 to get 40% off - just $29.88 for an annual subscription.