TikToker and self-taught photographer Nina Collins had thought a career in photography was unattainable, but she was determined to succeed. "I was a broke student, but despite studying something completely unrelated, I knew that I wanted to work in photography and therefore I needed to put together a portfolio," she explains. "I taught myself through lots of research as well as a lot of trial and error."
Rather than posting on her usual platforms, where she already had a presence, Nina decided to start from scratch on TikTok. "I was afraid of bad feedback," she explains. "I felt like people would be overly critical and notice imperfections in my editing skills or camera settings."
The response to her inspirational TikTok videos was resoundingly positive, though, and she quickly developed a following. "I was up to 20k in the first four months. People's comments were so uplifting and they had no idea who I was. They didn't have to say nice things – they commented because they actually liked what they saw and that gave me the confidence that I needed."
Nina's series of 'Decades' photoshoots, where she shows off fashions, hairstyles and shooting styles through the ages, have proved particularly popular. She also gives the viewer access to her preparation behind the scenes, demonstrating how anybody can have a go at recreating different looks. Her goal now is to inspire other people to pick up a camera and have a go. "I create my TikTok videos to share ideas, methods and solutions, in the hope that it might benefit other people with a passion for photography," she says.
Here, Nina tells us about the simplicity behind her setup, how she styles her shoots, and shares some tips for building confidence when posing for your own creative self-portraits.