Presenting Nancy Hawkins

Nancy Hawkins
Calgary, Alberta
Nancy Hawkins ~ Photostream
Nancy's Photo Journal blog
Equipment ~ Sony a 350 , a 18-70 mm lens ( my walking around lens) and a 55-200 mm zoom lens. Also use UV filters and a circular polarizer on bright sunny days.

Born and raised in Newfoundland, photography has always been an interest for me. I remember my first camera was the Kodak 110, think I used hundreds of rolls of film, it was the best Christmas gift ever! Upgraded to a Canon elf about 9 years ago, then upgraded to a newer version about two years ago. Just over a year ago, my husband surprised me with a Sony a 350, and my love of dSLR was born! Photography is a hobby that I am totally passionate about!! I currently live in Calgary, AB with my husband and two kids.

Why do you photograph?

I photograph to try to capture the world as I see it. To freeze a moment in time. I try to present my images as realistic as possible, though sometimes I tweak an image so much it looks surreal!

Is there a particular photographer you admire?
That’s a tough one. Professional photographers, I very much enjoy the work of John Marriott and Darwin Wiggett. But there are many wonderful photographers on Flickr that just make my jaw drop when I see their photos. I simply enjoy the beauty of their work; how they capture the Canadian landscape is just inspiring to me.

If you process your images at all, what software do you use and how much processing do you do?
I only recently started using Photoshop CS3, before that , a few click using Picassa was all I’d use.. to crop and do minor tweaking with contrast or saturation. Now I’m learning layering, and having fun with a few plug ins.

How did you learn your skills - are you self-taught?

Yes, self taught, I’ve never done a photography class, even though I keep telling myself I will. I’ve read many books, and asked questions to some of my flickr friends.

What is the next piece of equipment/software on your wish list?
That’s a long list, I think a wireless flash, or a longer zoom lens (400mm or 500mm)

What inspires your photos?

My surroundings inspire me, I see something I like, I try to capture it with the camera the way I see it.

What is your favorite subject or theme to photograph?
My favorite has to be nature photography, either landscapes or still life. I just LOVE shooting flower macros; they seem to get the biggest response on flickr.

Do you self-portrait?

NO, I don’t do self portraits.. I’m not comfortable with taking my own picture, then putting it out there for people to look at and criticize. I admire people who do the selfies, but I think I would be too self conscious. Although if I do get a new flash, and start shooting more people, I’ll probably use myself as a guinea pig.

What is your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me is remembering the settings of the camera!! I’m a forgetful person and really have to think about what I’m doing behind the camera. Second to that, I’d have to say time. I can spend hours shooting, and hours more going through the photos I’ve taken to process my images, if I’m not careful, a whole day can slip away from me!

What advice do you have for new photographers?

This is an easy question to answer, my advice is to shoot shoot and shoot some more. Get to know you camera, read all you can about the particular style of photography that you enjoy, and if you’re serious about it, learn the processing side of photography. The shot isn’t done when you take your finger off the shutter release. A whole other world opens up when you download your photos. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially on a forum such a flickr. I have a handful of contacts, which I consider friends, who I bounce questions off, or ask for an opinion, and they give it to me straight up, and I really appreciate that.

Thank you so much Nancy. We love to see your photos in the flickHERist group and are looking forward to seeing more with the summer scenes!
~ Andrea and Kari


  1. A superb interview, Nancy.

    I am most impressed that you are self-taught - you seem to have mastered so much by yourself that has taken many patient kind teachers to instill in me!

    Your choice of subject matter really appeals to me and I find your landscapes particularly inspiring. Having said that, the portrait of your children is absolutely stunning and I think you are as good as, if not better, than any professional portrait photographer out there!

    Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview!


  2. Yes, agreed, a great interview.

    I am very proud of you and progress in photography and your passion for it is showing through for sure...and I am behind you 100%!

    Keep up the good work!

    Paul - the other half

  3. wow, Nancy your work is fantastic! great interview - i'm heading right over to your flickr!

  4. I read this when it was first posted but wanted to come back for another visit...your landscapes take my breath away!
    And what a sweet husband you have too ;-)


Sweet Critique!
What do you think?