Nicole Mondestin is an amazing photographer that I had the pleasure of meeting in New York this summer. The images she captures are absolutely breathtaking and her story of pursuing her passion inspiring. I’m so glad she decided to because she has a gift that was truly meant to be shared with the world. She was gracious enough to share a bit about herself with us.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in photography? Is it something that has always interested you?
A: My first foray in photography began on trip to Italy as teen. My dad gave me a camera and I remember thinking I’m not going to have time to take pictures. I’m sixteen and I’m going to Italy with no parents! By the end of the trip I was hooked. My camera and I were inseparable. After the trip I dabbled in photography for a few years. All of my friends told me I should be a photographer, I only considered it to be a hobby because I really wanted to be a lawyer….. I passed the law school admission test (LSAT) got accepted to law school and then decided, nope I don’t want to be a lawyer! My parents were devastated lol. After working in the legal field for a few years as a paralegal; I craved a creative outlet. As a I kid I loved to draw, sew etc. working a 9-5 in a law office is about uncreative as it can get. One day I picked up my camera and started to snap pictures and feel in love all over again and then decided to pursue photography professionally. Now I’m here capturing moments and making memories. I live through my camera.
Q: I’ve checked out your portfolio and your portraits are beautiful! What other types of services/shoots do you offer?
A: Thank you so much for the compliment. I also photograph weddings, parties and I recently had a natural hair photography exhibit last year. The exhibit was titled Captured Curls. The exhibit showcased African American women and the beauty of our natural hair. I plan to have more exhibits in the future both celebrating natural hair and exploring other topics that interest me.
Q: Out of all your works, do you have a favourite and why?
A: Ok this is a really hard question to answer because several photographs speak to different parts of me so it’s hard to choose just one. But I did and here it is. My favorite photograph is a picture I took of my husband and our god daughter at her christening. It was first professional photograph I took. We were on our way into the church and my husband was carrying our god daughter and I asked him to turn around. I just snapped the photo he is always smiling naturally. The photo was not posed. I didn’t have any elaborate background or setup. It was just a moment I captured on the sidewalk in front of a church. Capturing life as it happens always gives me such joy.
Q: Any words of advice for aspiring photographers out there?
A: My words of advice to aspiring photographers is that its going to be hard. When I started out I thought that I would have tons of support from my family and friends. Which was totally not the case. I got a lot of “you can’t do that”, “shoot me for free and I will refer you to my friends” or “why is it so expensive” or “focus on this area of photography so and so did it and they are doing great” My all time favorite is “you didn’t do that your camera did …. I could do that”. The road will be hard. Shoot what you love and don’t be afraid of people not getting your work, and or not relating to your vision. As long as you are happy with your work that is all that matters. I shoot with I love and my clients come to me because they get my work and share my vision.
pintrest: nicole mondestin