About Will

Bio

Will Nicholls is a professional wildlife photographer and film-maker from the UK. As a trained zoologist too, Will has a great affinity for the natural world and hopes to work in the field of natural history for the rest of his life. He caught the photography bug in 2007, and hasn’t put his camera down since (except during university studies). Will also loves writing and runs the popular nature photography blog, Nature TTL. 

Interview

Where is your home base?

Northumberland, UK

What is your photography genre/specialty?

Wildlife

What is your most memorable image and why?

My most memorable image is of a spider monkey dropping down from the canopy of the Amazon rainforest in Manú, Peru. The sun was breaking through a gap in the trees and backlit this endangered species perfectly. It was an amazing experience, as both myself and the troop stumbled across each other’s paths. The spider monkeys were fascinated by me and stayed in the trees around me for almost an hour until they moved on. They even headed off to get the rest of their gang at one point, returning with them later!

Why did you become a photographer? What drives you to capture images and has this changed over time?

I caught the photography bug when my family first moved to the countryside when I was younger, and I have been doing it ever since. I love capturing animal behaviour on camera and sharing scenes with people that not everyone has the time or opportunity to see for themselves. It is important to raise and maintain awareness about ecosystems and the natural world, and photography is a great way to do this.

Do you have any personal rituals to help you get ready for a shoot?

Make sure my batteries are charged and cards are clear!

What are the top 5 things you can’t live without while on a shoot?

Well, my camera for one. Other than that, a flask of coffee, a warm jacket and even some thermal hand warmers on cold days.

How do you regain your inspiration if you hit a creative rut?

I like to go somewhere completely different if I can. I recently hit a photographic rut, so headed off to Finland to see bears and my inspiration was recharged!

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your journey as a photographer?

Probably my mum. I first started photography at the age of 12, and she’s been ever-so supportive since—through thick and thin.

If you could share just one tip with aspiring photographers, what would it be?

Find your niche. There are so many people picking up a camera nowadays that you need to find what makes you unique. Shoot for the story, not just one picture.

What are the top three Zenfolio features essential to helping you run your business?

1. The self-fulfilled orders that integrate with the online gallery is awesome. It works well and allows my customers to buy straight from the viewing experience of the website.

2. The themes are slick and work well, with nifty customization options to make them your own.

3. The speed and uptime. I can’t remember the last time my website was offline, and it’s super quick to load—that’s one of the most important things for a photo-based website!

If you could second shoot with any photographer (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Charlie Hamilton-James—and I’ve done it! He’s a photographer for National Geographic, and we spent some time in Manú, Peru, camera trapping wildlife around a regenerating forest for a magazine story. I learned a lot from him, and his work is one of a kind.

How has the photography world changed since you turned pro?

It’s become more and more competitive. Wildlife photography is becoming harder and harder to make money from, with photographers having to diversify their income streams more and more. I hear a lot of photographers complaining that they spend more time running the business than they do taking photos.

What one piece of software besides Zenfolio do you consider to be vital in your workflow?

Adobe Lightroom. I used to be a Photoshop guy, having never tried Lightroom out. But actually, it’s so good for organizing your photos and maintaining a quick, easy processing workflow.