For American photographer Niki Gardner, taking pictures was more than a hobby, it has been a focal point of her personality since she was 10 years old.
“My dad bought me my first camera, a Kodak 110, and since then I’ve always been interested in art and stories and I think photography allows me to pursue both at once,” says Gardner.
With images that are showcase a personal warmth with a retro 70s spirit, Gardner’s technique is a mixture of film choice, spaces, emotion and capturing images that influence her. From topics like history for photography and music to films and painting, Gardner is drawn to several art forms that help inspire her and keep her work fresh.
When asked what draws her to take a picture, Gardner’s answer is simple. “I photograph life: a connection to time, place, memory.”
“I think a beautiful picture holds up a mirror to our human experience as if it has a reflective quality to it. It gives pause and holds us in its frame. It reveals something true about life,” adds Gardner.
One of her favourite pieces is an image she took of her son wearing swimming goggles in black and white instant film. Shot with a Polaroid SX-70, this is a photograph Gardner holds very dear to her heart.
Active on social media, Gardner isn’t afraid to put her work out for the world to see. Through her social accounts, Art & Lemons, she showcases her work for what it is, meaningful, deep and personal.
“My process is minimal. I make the shot in camera, tweak the basics, and let the image do the rest,” says Gardner as she explains the complexities of her frames. She doesn’t tell Foreground much, which only leaves us wanting to know more.
The thing about photography is that it captures moments – forever and allows us to look back. For Nikki Gardner, this could not be truer. Every image is a reflection of life at it’s prime and most beautiful. For this American photographer, the perfect picture is worth a million takes. As for her audience, a million takes are worth that perfect image, for what we see is an honest and endearing effort to freeze time for years to come.