Viewing life through a new lens
Her name is Nika Ostby, and I have to admit, I didn’t find her, she found me.
She is twenty years old, yet she describes herself as an old soul: “I wear slippers and drink tea, and more than anything else, I take pictures” – she says. I have never met Nika but through the constant exchange of emails along with the time I have spent looking at her pictures, I truly feel like I have met her. This is what her images do. They tell stories.
As the photographer Richard Avedon said “And if a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up. I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.”
Nika says she has always loved photography but she never allowed herself to pick up the camera and just start shooting. She was obsessed, but terrified to fail. I mean, isn’t that how most people feel about letting go of the social dictatorship of what they must do and pursuing their dreams instead?
It wasn’t until Nika survived a very difficult time in her life that her parents gave her a camera along with a note asking her to open herself to viewing life through a new lens, and just like that, the dream became her reality. She hasn’t gone a day without taking pictures. There is no better way to get over your fears than the push and full support of your loved ones so I have to commend Nika’s parents for opening the door for Nika to live her dream.
When Nika discovered photography she claims to have been broken and searching for something to make her life and herself feel whole again. She truly believes that the best way to heal yourself is by helping others in the process. When a friend of hers who has always suffered from low self esteem told her that the moment she saw the pictures Nika had taken of her was the first time she had felt beautiful in years, Nika found a sense of purpose.
Her subjects may not have perfect proportions, or see themselves the way that she does: unique, special, photogenic… BEAUTIFUL, but through her images people can see just how beautiful they are. This, according to Nika is why she takes pictures. She feels the need to show them just how beautiful they are, inside and out.
At the young age of twenty years old, Nika has managed to find her purpose and how beautiful is it that it is by helping others? She has this innate ability to capture her subject’s inner beauty with just a camera lens. Her pictures speak without words and if this is what she has accomplished at such young age, I cannot even imagine what will come with time and experience. This is why I fell in love with Nika’s pictures, because without having ever seen her, Nika herself is a beautiful human being.
I invite you to follow the path of this young girl. You can find a bigger collection on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NikaOstbyPhotography