Luba V Nel is a Professional Commercial Stock Photographer and Commercial Retoucher
Here's a small Q&A based on the questions I frequently get.
Q: How long have you been in the creative industry?
Luba: just over 11 years.
Q: What was your exposure to photography when growing up?
A: My father is an amazing amateur travel photographer and my grandfather was a recognized painter and art photographer.
Q: That should explain your interest?
A: unfortunately, no. I had no means of taking pictures as I was growing up and my father stopped trusting me with the camera after I dis-assembled it at the age of 6. He changed his mind last year, I was honored to posses my grandfather's camera.
Q: Are you a fine artist?
A: I wish I was, although I can draw pretty well. I spent my childhood paging and studying art books and escaped in ancient history textbooks. My interest in the ethnic literature of the world opened the importance of the visual symbolism and taught respect for cultural interpretations.
Q: What inspired you to take your first picture?
A: I was a newcomer in a new country and desperately needed work. As the new job was very enjoyable and my mentors simply spectacular, pretty soon I became comfortable and good at what I do.
Q: Film or digital?
A: I love film. But digital forced me to be much harder on myself for the perfect exposure, sharpness and colour.
Q: What is your weakness as a photographer?
A: I always fall in love with my models.
Q: And strength?
A: Detail in pre-production to avoid unnecessary post-production costs. I painstakingly plan shoots so that we can relax and be creative on the day. I love sharp, well lit images.
Q: Who is "we" you mentioned?
A: My partner, Sean Nel, co-founder of Shoots Imaging, our boutique production company. He is the lighting guru and the most balanced person I know. Besides that he humbly succumbs to an assistant role on my shoots.
Q: Do you do all your own retouching?
Q: Do you have a retouching set of rules?
A: Do what the client asks. I see my retouching as an extension of the photographic vision: if a photographer says "this is exactly what I had in mind when I shot this", - my job is complete. Make workflow suggestions, specially if they save time and money for the client. Make visual suggestions, but let the client decide.
Q: What is the "V" in the middle of your name?
A: Its the initial letter of my father's name. He gave up quite a bit so that I could have so much. He is also my strictest critic, if I think it would pass his level of quality - the job is well done.