1. Give me some background information on yourself and your photography business.
My business is Nichole Lynn Photography, my photography studio is focused primarily on women and the relationships that they hold most dear. I myself am a wife and mother of 2 energetic little boys. I am creative, passionate and dedicated to finding the beauty in the world. I have a deep passion for finding the beauty in others, and helping them to celebrate it.
2. What made you decide to become a photographer? Was there a defining moment when you knew?
I have always been interested in photography, even as a kid I would save my allowance in order to buy film for my mom’s camera and take as many awful photographs as possible. As I became a mother documenting my children’s lives become more and more important to me and my photography skills began to grow and I was asked by family and friends to start taking their photos as well. I had always wanted to start my business but the time never seemed to be great. But one day I took the leap and decided I could keep talking about it, or I could get it done. Starting m business was therapeutic for me as I was feeling very lost in Motherhood and wasn’t taking any time for me or my need to create, and starting my business gave me an outlet to be me and not just mommy.
3. What were the best & hardest parts of starting your business, both personally and professionally?
The hardest part for me has been giving myself permission to take the time I need to work on my business. I think that this is a common problem for many women as we feel that we must always be available to our family and to say I need 4 hours today, or I have these sessions today and I’ll be gone all day is hard. Being able to say what my needs are and taking the time for them has been difficult, but my husband has been amazingly supportive and is an equal part of my team, and the mom guilt has lessened over time.
4. What did you learn about yourself and your support system while training and starting your business?
I learned how little sleep I can actually live on! Running a photography business isn’t as glamorous as one would think. So little of my time is actually spent photographing my clients. I learned how to balance my time better between working on my business and working on my education to take my skills up to the next level.
5. What is your niche or specialty? How do potential clients recognize you?
My specialty is Women, I love to photograph women. I’ve noticed that women tend to fade into the background once they have children. I find this to be so sad! These are some of the best years of women’s lives and they are hiding from the camera. I truly believe that all women are beautiful and deserve to be celebrated and photographed for her and her family to enjoy for years. My favorite sessions are generations session where Mom will come in for her daughters, maybe her sister, and her mother and grandmother. These photographs will always hold such a special meaning for the family today and 20 years from now.
The bulk of my photography work is women’s portraiture, Family portraits, and Personal Branding/Professional headshots. My clients recognize my work by my classic and clean style that truly shows who my clients are.
6. Describe the photography culture & community in Raleigh and North Carolina.
The Raleigh photographers community is amazing. There is an amazing pool of talent in our area for all areas of photography. The best part is, I haven’t met with anyone who wasn’t kind and willing to lend a hand. I have seen on local groups photographers stepping in for each other when equipment fails or someone gets sick. I know I have many that I can ask for a hand with an edit or a question. I think it’s so important to our industry to create a community and not competition, which I have found to be the case in our area.
7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years I hope to see my business continue to grow and I become an area leader in the art of women’s photography.
8. What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or revamp their business?
Do 3x more planning that you think you need, and really focus on your business skills. Remember a cup cake shot has never failed because they couldn’t make cupcakes. It’s the business side of your business that will make or break you.
9. Who do you look up to or admire in the photography and/or art community?
One of the photographers that I most admire is Sue Bryce, she is not only an amazing women’s photographer but a gifted educator that teaches the importance of believing in your value and your worth, which I think are words that can benefit any entrepreneur.
10. Describe how you balance being a momprenuer (mom + entrepreneur).
I think it’s important to set boundaries for both spaces in your life. I have begun scheduling family weekends and TV nights with my husband. While there is always more work to do on my business, I know that keeping my marriage strong and spending quality time with my family is more important. And sometimes it’s okay to admit that you are tired and just need a rest. Building a successful business is a marathon and you won’t reach the end if you burn yourself out in the first year.
11. Tell me about your most recent business win.
I recently had a client come in for updated business headshots. In speaking with her I found out that she is going through a divorce and has been feeling a little low and down as she is rebuilding her life in her 40’s. During our wardrobe consultation I convinced her to bring along some sexy dresses from her closet to her shoot. “just for Fun.” After we took her business portraits we took some more glam and sexy portraits. When she came back for her image reveal she was so amazed to herself confident, amazing, and beautiful that she teared up. She told me later that her portrait session with me has been a turning point in her healing process. Knowing that I could bring out the true woman she is and allow her to reconnect with herself is one of the best parts of my job.