Leda captured by Nic Bour (interview with SL Photographers Series)
Read My Interview with Nic below.
As many of you know, I spend a fair amount of time on flickr looking at various artists’ work and following their evolution, and their favorite works. The main reason for this is that our photography series (Meet SL Photographer) started with the mission to introduce artists that make the world look amazing - either in the pictures or in-world - and to bring to you faces to watch for in the coming years.
Recently, in one of my flickr paths, I landed on a page that held my attention. The artist did not have a super popular page, like those where every picture has hundreds of faves and fifty-nine comments. She looked fairly new to the field. I continued looking at the work she displayed for another few weeks, and decided she is definitely an artist to watch. NicBor has a fun sense of style, good sense of composition, and an acute sense of lighting. As I kept enjoying every time she posted a new picture, I finally called her up to meet and have a chat.
I arrived at her house where cute little kitties walk about. They are the replacement for her not being able to care for them in RL due to serious allergies. We had a good laugh about that, before settling down in her living room where she spent a great amount of time not only chatting with me but patiently looking at skins and hairs I was suggesting for our photo session. Her work turned out beautifully and she did capture the mood I was in as well.
Leda Carter: Nic, it is great to meet you. Thank you for your time and letting me visit you in your house.
Leda: From your profile, it doesn’t look like you have been around much. What brought you to SL?
Nic: Well, I've been on IMVU for few years and it was one of those days when your closest friends thought it was time to move onto another platform. So, we did and here we are.
Leda: Ah, so that’s how you have landed here. How would you sum up your experience so far?
Nic: It has been a great start to my virtual journey. Lots of talented people around, and tons of creativity. I appreciate it a lot. So, I am enjoying my virtual journey enormously.
Leda: That’s wonderful to hear. What are some of the things/places/people that give you the most pleasure in SL?
Nic: Sadly, I haven’t had the time to really explore SL just yet. Due to my day job, I have limited time to be online and when I am online, I am either taking photos or working on few other job assignments on SL. Having said that, I fully intend to explore places very soon.
Generally, I am almost always taking pics or thinking of different concepts for photos. Other than that, I go around mostly shopping for interesting props for photos... or feed my cats. *laughs*
Leda: I have to tell you, you are an amazing newbie. When i was 6 months old, I still was running around with my skirt not fitting right, and was sleeping under bridges.
Nic: *laughs* Thank you. I think being on IMVU helped me a lot to adjust here. It wasn’t if I wasn’t familiar with avatars. And, I have few friends who were here for many years. It just took a long time for me to get to their invitation.
Leda: How did you start on your photography path? Did you do that on IMVU as well?
Nic: In IMVU I created furnitures, clothes etc. I did take pictures there too, and did some edits as well. But, I was mostly a creator there.
I am not quite sure myself how I started taking photos on SL, but I can tell you that I am a real noob if you will. I probably have lots to learn, experience and explore in terms of photography, and just in general on Second Life. Photography definitely evolved on its own. I need to be productive in a virtual world or in RL. I couldn’t just come on here and not do anything like creating or designing. So, the first thing I did was to play around with the lightings, and then I was hooked.
Leda: I think for most people I have spoken with their SL profession was not a focused mission when they started SL, but often it has its roots in their RL and their passion. Does this passion for art and photography have its roots in RL for you as well?
Nic: I've always been interested in the creative process of any art - paintings, designs, photography, performing arts and so on and so forth. Creating art in your head
with an idea or a concept, and then delivering it to your audience for their interpretation is a keen interest to me. So I'd say this is my RL interest as well as SL.
Leda: Since you had not planned this from the start, how did you develop your technical skills?
Nic: I must confess, it is pretty difficult to 'learn' in SL as in if you don't have friends who are 'senior citizens' (that's what I call veterans on SL for laughs) to help you. As a beginner, you have no clue whatsoever, you just need to click around and see where it gets you by trial and error. But, I suppose I got the hang of it by reading lots of tutorials and by making mistakes.
Leda: From these lessons and mistakes, are there any tips you would share with our readers?
Nic: Well, I am no expert. As I said, I am considerably new to SL so I can only tell you what I'd like to see as a viewer. I appreciate photos that tell stories and provoke my emotions. Needless to say techniques are as important, but a perfect shot with no soul would be a pity. With a great risk of sounding cliche, I'd say if you sing with your voice or dance with your body, I'll listen with my ears or watch with my eyes, but if you sing or dance with your soul my emotions will respond. Same philosophy with taking photos. After all, it is art.
Leda: I absolutely agree with you. If an artist does not have their own voice, the emotional connection with the audience cannot happen. For you, what inspires your artistic sense?
Nic: Greatness inspire me, the grandeur of one's intellect or one's gracious and beautiful movement or one's humanity, raw talent or wit. Of course in reality you don't get to witness these qualities everyday, but when I do meet or even briefly cross their path, I feel tremendously inspired in all aspects of my life.
Leda: Since Valentine’s day is around the corner, I was wondering if you take clients in case any of our readers would be interested in offering that as a gift. Some of my friends like to gift a photo-shoot session to their loved ones.
Nic: Sure, I would take clients, But I worry whether the client could trust me and let me handle the shoot and the processing in my style. Do you know what I mean?
Leda: Absolutely. You don’t want them to bring in someone else’s work with a completely different sense of style and ask for one just like it.
Nic: Exactly. I would want them to let me handle the whole thing in my style.
Leda: Speaking of style, do you have the same sense of style in RL? What are the similarities?
Nic: My avatar is fearless! She has her hair really short in platinum blonde; she wears extremely low cuts and walks around sims with no problems. Lacking in guts, of course I wouldn't be able to that in RL. Although, we are both very keen on simplicity, classics and neutral tones with dash of striking color from time to time.
Leda: As always, I am curious about about the person behind the avatar. What can you tell us about her?
Nic: That's a tough question. Let's do this, I am gonna give you ten words that would accurately or loosely describe the person behind my bold avatar. I only say accurately or loosely because we are the worst critique of ourselves.
Disciplined, conservative, confident, anal (Can I say that?), uptight, blunt, fair, generous, creative but mostly I'd like to think that I am a good soul.
Leda: Do you adhere to this philosophy of keeping RL and SL separate?
Nic: I think in virtual or in reality we are faced with the equal amounts of complexity in terms of human interactions. I treat everyone on SL exactly the way I'd treat them in RL. Friends are friends, analogue or digital.
Leda: Thank you so much for your time, Nic. It was a pleasure to know you.