UK native, Nicola Miles, first became interested in photography back in 2010 when she discovered the ISO setting in a dimly lit room in India. She took a photography course in Brighton, England, visited the William Klein exhibition at the Tate museum, and purchased her first point and shoot shortly after. When I first stumbled upon Nicola’s work, I fell in love with the colorful world she found during her personal travels to Myanmar. There are often large portions of color captured in Nicola’s work that urges the viewer to look.
In Myanmar, Nicola twice joined a photography workshop/adventure led by the photographer Maciej Dakowicz. “We worked in small groups-no larger than three,” says Miles. “We inspired and pushed one another to get results. I really enjoy shooting with other people, it gives confidence, especially to enter into certain situations, and sometimes an element of competition might creep in which is very helpful.”
While in Myanmar, Nicola engaged with women whose Muslim quarters were destroyed by riots. Voices of the women of Myanmar were captured, their stories only told to Miles herself. “The women wanted to open up to me, and share their stories. It was emotional, I didn’t want to leave.”
Photography is a constant learning experience for Nicola, who describes her relationship with photography as “a purpose, a challenge, a creative outlet, and as a way to engage with new people.” Photographing just before sunrise, Nicola makes sure she catches every second of light available to her. “I’ll walk and walk until it’s too bright,” Miles says. Nicola often seeks water, golden light, shadows, quiet moments, and subjects of personal interest while she is out on walks.
What is your favorite color? Book? Food? Music(ian)?
I like all colors, red and blue lot. Green too.
My first single was an Abba one. I worked in a record store for a long time, so most of my life has had a soundtrack. I like everything. It’s probably quicker to say I don’t like Funk very much. I would kiss the feet (not really) of M. Ward, Aretha Franklin, and Joni Mitchell. I was a Nirvana loving teen. My strong point in any pub quiz is 80s Pop.
Do you have any favorite photographers?
Narelle Autio, Alex Webb, Pentti Sammallahti, Maciej Dackowicz, Helen Levitt. I’m very enthusiastic about two Brighton photographers that I know the way that they photograph/exhibit- Pete Boyd & Ginette Rimmington Jones.
If you could give any advice to young girls starting out in photography, what would you say?
Let others always inspire you/take on board their knowledge but only ever listen to your own intuition. Photograph what you want, not what you think people want to see. There’s no right or wrong way to shoot.
Have plenty of batteries and memory cards. Get out there – walk!