My First REAL Photography Experience


The story of how my business got started might surprise you. When I first picked up my camera, I had no inkling that I would use it to photograph weddings. I did not even think I would make any money with it at all!

In 2017, I was a fresh college grad hustling to build my portfolio to land a job in digital marketing. I wanted to make writing a big part of my career, so I decided to revamp my old blog. It was called “Feathers of Fancy” – a blog about life, faith, and just generally anything I was inspired to write. The name was inspired by my favorite animal: the flamingo! Fanciest feathered friend I could think of.

I wanted everything about “Feathers of Fancy” to be organically my own – even the images that dotted my blog posts. So when my talented photographer sister-in-law told me she was selling her old Canon EOS 60D DSLR, I hopped at the opportunity. For $300, I had a new toy that I had NO idea how to use.

My sister tries to photobomb a picture of me in front of our house boat

I first practiced with it on our big family vacation to Lake Powell. My family rented a huge house boat for a week. We drove around the large canyon-surrounded lake exploring, swimming, kayaking, hiking the red rocky shorelines, and tubing. The moment I started shooting, I felt such a buzz. It’s like I knew this was about to turn into something different than I originally intended.

One thing led to another, a few fun photo sessions with friends, a few special requests for legit, paid sessions, and before I knew it I was falling more in love with the idea of starting my own business. Sounds simple, but I assure you it wasn’t – and still isn’t. But that’s a story for another time.

For now, I thought it’d be fun to share those “first-ever” images I took with my DSLR. I shoot a Canon 5D Mark IV, but that trusty $300 hand-me-down served me well when I was learning. And WHEW it’s crazy to look back at these – my terrible editing, experimental composition, fuzzy focus.

But I’ll always love these images. Not only do they commemorate one of my favorite family vacations, but they’re the conception of what Emily Nicole Photography is today.

A canyon in Lake Powell

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