The pandemic has been pretty challenging for me, and yet it came with the most enormous gift. I was working as a portrait photographer, but something wasn’t gelling. I just couldn’t seem to move forward with it.
Then lockdown happened. It was very frightening indeed, because I was completely unable to work. But it gave me a hallowed space to be able to think about why I am really a photographer. I realised that I need to photograph lakes.
Photographing lakes gives me this incredible sense of peace. Often overlooked, a lake is a place where wildlife comes together – a place of abundance and peace. They have this extraordinary symbolism, myths and legends associated with them. They are often repositories for the worst of environmental failures – almost litmus tests of the health of our world, as well as geopolitically complex. Lakes are surprisingly ignored, but they are important – and interesting!
Driving down from Scotland I stopped off at a random lake that someone had suggested that happened to be on the way – Rutland Waters. I picked a point on the map that looked good, and I aimed to be there at golden hour. I had no idea what I was doing.
When I got there, I tried to find a shot that would justify the journey. I didn’t really know what I was looking for.
I hovered on a rock, trying not to dump several thousand pounds of camera in the water, whilst trying to find an interesting viewpoint. And guess what? For the first time this blissful sense feeling came over me. I felt a sense of peace, of life in my work.
And then suddenly I noticed that this incredible double rainbow had appeared!
I spent a few minutes trying to do justice to the beauty before me, before I sensed it was time to go. But still I hung on, feeling that I should do more. Even though I knew I had got the shot.
And then it began to pour with rain and I had to run for the car before my camera drowned. So that was a lesson for me!
And so I am now focusing on lakes. As ever, my mission is to disrupt the art world with luminous natural beauty. I believe that beauty has a place in art, and that it’s time it was allowed back in. The 20th century was about ugliness in art. Now artists that want to portray loveliness are tiptoeing back in. This is excellent news. Beauty serves to uplift, and to offer hope. It should not be the preserve of the commercial.
I shall still be offering family photography and portrait photography commissions for those that ask, and especially those who want to include a lake in their pictures(!)… but you will probably not see me marketing these.
At the same time I am campaigning for all sorts of issues, as ever, and 5% of all profits goes to supporting ActionAid and a lake charity. I’m still trying to select a suitable charity, so if you would like to nominate a lake or water charity, please let me know.
You can support my work by purchasing from my gallery at https://clients.fionacampbellhicksphotography.com/p/lakes/quiet-waters