NAME Nicole Wallace
LOCATION Northern California
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in International & Intercultural Communication
COMPANY Nicole Dianne Photography
ESTABLISHED I first launched my photography business in 2011 under a different name, but I rebranded in April of 2013 to Nicole Dianne
Tell me a little bit about your company & how you first got started in photography. From a young age I knew that I would be part of a creative industry. I often dreamt of being a cartoonist for Nickelodeon or an illustrator for children’s books because I loved drawing and painting. After some time, I grew out of the mindset that I would be an artist for a living, but knew that I would find something else to satisfy my need to create. Fast-forward to high school when digital cameras became the rage and using funky filters entered the scene. I used to spend hours on our home computer editing pictures I’d taken with my point and shoot camera. I loved to see the image transform from something standard and flat to something a bit more artistic and edgy. It wasn’t until a few years later when a friend of mine noticed these edited images of mine and asked me to take her maternity pictures. I had wanted to invest in a DSLR for a few months at that point, and decided to get serious about it after I agreed to shoot her maternity session. I purchased my first DSLR in October of 2009 and haven’t looked back since!
Which photographers have influenced you the most & what aspects of their career or work product have shaped your style and business? I would say the biggest influence for the style of my photography is Orange County based photographer, Tara Whitney. Her images are raw and real. She’s not a photographer of overdone, posed moments. She’s a photographer of life; the good, bad, and real. Whether it be a wedding or family shoot, I approach everything with the intent to invoke real, unposed moments. It’s my desire that when clients see their pictures from a session with me, they don’t see this idealized shoot of what a portrait session should look like. Instead, they see the progression of their story unfold through images.
When you look back at pictures, you want to tap into every emotion you experienced during that picture. Real moments aren’t generational pictures with tilted heads, hands placed perfectly on shoulders, and everyone facing forward, smiling. Those pictures still serve a purpose, but I’m not the photographer that people come to for those types of images. To me, real moments are found during the unexpected. Sure, I’ll give some directive posing throughout my session so that clients aren’t completely lost. But it’s in that directive posing that I catch something real and picture-worthy. I’m after those moments, and Tara has been a constant source of inspiration in that.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started out? I wish I knew that photography is equal parts business and creativity. I didn’t pursue a creative industry so that I could become an expert in Quickbooks, taxes, and business management but those are all incorporated in my weekly tasks as a business owner.
Taking photographs is only half the fun! Tell me a bit about what the editing process is like. The editing process is actually a lot longer than most people probably think! When you’re working with considerably larger files, this process can take hours. For any given wedding, I’ll spend an average of 25 to 30 hours on editing alone. During this step, I cull my images, which is the process of sifting through every image taken during the day. I shoot an anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 images for an eight hour wedding, so this process is sometimes the longest and hardest for me. After my images are culled to only the best of the best, I begin color correcting the images. After I’ve color corrected and made small adjustments to each image, I select up to 65 of my favorite images to cultivate a sneak peek blog post for my bride and groom.
The process for portrait sessions is fairly similar, with considerably less images so the process takes an average of 10-15 hours. That doesn’t include importing the images from my camera to computer, exporting the images once they’re complete, formulating a blog post, uploading the pictures to a gallery so my client can view them, and finally processing any orders that come in after the wedding! A lot of people misconstrue what photographers really do. They think we travel to beautifully remote places, take loads of pretty pictures, go home, throw a VSCO filter on them, and call it a day. But the editing process is much more than worldwide travels and using vintage filters!
To this point, what project or accomplishment has been the most rewarding? I would say the most accomplished I ever felt was the first time someone asked me to shoot their wedding. I knew at that point that photography was important – not only was I supposed to successfully document one of the most important days in two people’s lives, but I was entrusted with telling the story of their wedding day.
Cake or pie? Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a big glass of milk, mmmm.
Guilty pleasure? Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Bachelor and British YouTube videos.
Go-to breakfast? Greek yogurt topped with strawberries.
Favorite corner of the world? Europe, specifically the UK. I like to think living in the UK is a magical mix of Hogwarts and cottages on cobblestoned roads and someday, I’ll experience it!
Favorite animated movie? Tangled is the cutest.