Everyone has to start somewhere! Ok, embarrassing story . . . being a photographer kind of just happened for me. I didn’t know that this is what I wanted when I was 12 like other amazing photographers. Truth be told, when I got married, I feel in love with the photography part of the day— I felt a spark. So I took our gift money, headed to our local BestBuy and purchased a $400 Nikon D3100 and my business began. I booked my first wedding a week later after I shot my friend’s kids at a park, with no second shooting experience—well, no experience at all. I shot this couple’s wedding on a cropped-frame sensor, in auto, with a kit lens and are you ready . . . I edited their entire gallery on PHOTOBUCKET! My couple LOVED their wedding images. They recommended me to everyone they knew and I booked 19 weddings off of that one wedding alone. I went on to buy a full-frame camera, learned how to shoot in manual from the best teacher in the world—YouTube—and kissed PicMonkey + Photobucket goodbye. That spark turned into a flame, and once I found film, it burst into a wildfire. So, here is this nobody who taught herself all she knows who wanted to shoot film! I had so much fear, doubt and thought that because I had no background in photography, I wasn’t good enough. What a bunch of poop! I finally said, what the heck, and bought a #NikonF6, then upgraded to the #Pentax645 and eventually ended up with a #Contax645. 📷 If you want to shoot film, DO IT! The only obstacle keeping you from doing something you love is yourself. I found my brand, my style and myself as a photographer because of film. Take a chance, you will surprise yourself!!! I know I did!
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Getting rid of the safety net. Show of hands—does the idea of shooting only film give you the heebie jeebies? Leaving my digital camera behind was a major struggle in my film journey. I was using it as a safety net. And you know what? It was actually doing me more harm than good. Having my digital camera on me was a huge distraction and didn’t allow me to be fully present at my shoots. Once I left my digital camera behind, it was like the chains broke free and I could really connect with my clients. I started out slow—shooting only film at my editorials and eventually adding it into portrait sessions. Once I was confident in my film photography, I began utilizing it at weddings, first just documenting the details on film, and gradually adding more and more film shots into my work flow.
@nicolecolwellphotography #nicolesvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #photovisionprints #powhatan #virginia #profilmlab #filmisnotdead #sp3000 @fujifilm_profilm @millatfinecreek @lovebloomsdc @natalia.s.triassi @elizabethmackenziebridal
Would you hire yourself? When starting your own business, it is easy to be, well, a bit all over the place when trying to find your style. I remember shooting one session and editing every picture differently—one image was really vibrant, another desaturated. I was having fun and thought that I was being versatile, but in reality, I was not attracting my ideal clients or *any* clients for that matter. And I asked myself, “Would I hire myself?” My answer was a big fat NO. I was having a really hard time finding my style, until I saw an image that made me gasp. I loved its “light and airy” feel, and it had that awesome painterly effect. I knew right away that I wanted my work to look like that! Low and behold, I found out it was a film image, and in that moment, I found my style and brand. Staying consistent is key. Whether you are “light and airy” or more moody, you need to stick with that look. Don’t confuse your potential clients. Show them what look they will receive. Don’t leave them wondering.
Will work for Love Stories! When you look at your work, what is the first word that comes to your mind? For me, it was “romantic.” I knew I wanted my images to scream romance—I adore those intimate, tender shots and tend to produce those types of images. I am not a traditional “look at me and smile” photographer. Though I still document traditional portraits for my couples, I want to make them feel the romance when they look at these images and not just see a pretty photo. Film has helped me achieve that romantic look I wanted. It has helped me be more intimate, to slow down and connect with my couples, so I can capture them in that perfect moment. ❤
@nicolecolwellphotography #nicolesvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #photovisionprints #fallingsprings #virginia #profilmlab #filmisnotdead #sp3000 @fujifilm_profilm @sweetcarolinestyles @lovebloomsdc