Today I am pleased to share a one-on-one interview with my very favorite photographer, Nicole Speer! You have seen a lot of her work in my gallery here–we worked together when I lived in Indianapolis, IN and still continue to work together even though I am all the way in Tempe, AZ! Her vision for showcasing my pieces is spectacular and I just love the atmosphere and energy she conveys through her photography.
Nicole is based out of Indianapolis, IN and specializes in natural light photography, offering wedding, family and senior portrait sessions–read on to hear more about how she turned a hobby into a (more than!) full-time career and where she draws her inspiration from…
WHAT DREW YOU TO PHOTOGRAPHY AS A FORM OF ARTISTIC AND PERSONAL EXPRESSION?
My children were most definitely my inspiration for beginning my journey into photography. I can remember as a teenager, I always had a disposable camera with me everywhere I went. Once I had my first, and then second child, I realized that photographing moments, and the details surrounding those moments, were so important and special to me. The fact that I could do it well with even a disposable camera, was the motivation I needed to purchase a DSLR and things just took off from there. It was a friend that actually realized I had the eye before I did, and his encouragement to pursue my hobby as a potential career was what jump started me to where I am today.
WHAT PUTS YOU INTO A CREATIVE MINDSET? WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
There are SO many things I could list here!!!! I would have to say my top 3 are – my children, the sky, and antique/vintage finds. Three completely different things!!! My children are first and foremost my inspiration and I find inspiration in everything they do. The sky/sun because it’s the most important in my style of photography and there is just something incredible and amazing about a gorgeous sunset or even a stormy sky that makes me want to grab my camera and run out the front door!!! And lastly, vintage and antique finds. I can spend HOURS in a flea market, and every item I come across, I can think of an awesome way to use it in a session. Which also leads to my bank account hating me. HA!!
PLEASE DESCRIBE A MAJOR HURDLE OR RECENT GOAL THAT YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME OR ACCOMPLISHED RECENTLY?
How about a hurdle AND a goal?! I have long struggled with valuing myself and my work. I compare myself to my peers who are teaching workshops, and charging so much more than myself and have always thought, I will NEVER be that good. People will never book me like those other photographers are booking. Not in a million years. I realized, just within the last 6 months, that my constant struggle with comparison and valuing myself and my work was what was holding me back from my potential (HELLO?! Comparison is the thief of joy anyone?!). I raised my rates. Started booking more. Started loving my work more. Started getting the recognition I desired for years of hard work. Wrote a guide. Co-authored another. And now, I’m teaching workshops. In other states, even!! 😉 I’m doing what I want to do because I finally stopped holding myself back and started valuing myself and my creativity. My ultimate goal is to be teaching workshops across the country by this time next year!!!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR PERSONAL CREATIVE PROCESS?
My favorite part is becoming friends with my clients during their session!! I am the least uptight and stuffy person you will ever meet. I make fart noises during sessions. Seriously. I have conversations with my clients about work, and play, and life and when my clients leave their session, I want them to feel like they made a new friend, not like they just left a business transaction. A session for me is play time and fun!!! Definitely my favorite part.
LASTLY, WHAT IS AN ACTIVITY YOU DO TO UNWIND/JUST FOR FUN?
This year, we decided to become chicken parents! There is really nothing better than cracking open a hard cider and sitting in the yard with my kids and my chickens at the end of the day. Throw in some good music and I’m made in the shade. 🙂
Thank you Nicole for a peek into your work, inspiration and process! And I am seriously inspired by your recent accomplishments–it is so true that we cannot compare our road to others and should always value our work!!! Check out Nicole’s blog and more of her work on her website! ? ? ?
Cassie Uhl is the founder and owner of Zenned Out, a jewelry company that handcrafts jewelry with meaning and provides a community that inspires a mindful and spiritual lifestyle. Cassie grew up with a open minded, astrology obsessed grandmother and a father that would take her and her sister star gazing in the wee hours of the night. These experiences shaped Cassie and Zenned Out into what they are today by bringing spirituality and astrology into the forefront. Cassie hopes to give spiritual souls a place to feel at home on the Zenned Out blog and offers handcrafted jewelry with meaningful symbols, powerful gemstones, and mindful quotes to enable people to wear jewelry that aligns with their souls purpose.