Nicole Elliott began her photography career when she was 16 years old. “It was a completely different art form back then,” she said. “I studied under a master photographer for more than five years and I just loved the art of what photography was then. I love it now, but it is such a different world.”
She said her photography has grown and evolved, especially since she became a mother. “It was put on hold after we moved to Bismarck, but then I had my girls and my love for what photography was became something completely different,” said Elliott. “Now I am not just photographing seniors,families or kids, I am photographing my children, which to me is total beauty.”
She said she has found her niche, and discovered what inspires her and how to stay true to that. She does styled shoots and works very closely with her clients to make sure their shoots are extremely reflective of them and their family. Elliot said she wants her photos to tell a story. “Within the last three years I have thought , ‘what am I really passionate about?’,” she explained. “When I photograph dancers, for example, every part of my being comes alive. Dancers are my favorite subject to photograph. It is one art form combined with another.”
Photographers never stop learning, said Elliot, and she takes a workshop every year. Last year she took a workshop with Me Ra Koh. “She is an amazing, nationally known photographer,” she said . “She teaches workshops for photographers and also for moms. She has this big heart for moms, to teach them and empower them with the skills they need for taking better pictures of their family and their life.”
Me Ra Koh emailed Elliott a few weeks later, putting out a call for teachers to hold workshops throughout the country. “I have always had a passion for teaching, and I was one of the lucky ones chosen for this region, and one of 15 in the nation,” said Elliott. “We use her curriculum coupled with our images and knowledge to teach two different workshops, a Budding Confidence Workshop and a Growing Confidence Workshop.”
The workshops begin in January and Elliot will teach them in her studio. The Budding Confidence workshop is a half day event and is geared for the point and shoot or camera phone user. Participants will learn basic techniques on how to take better photos. The Growing Confidence Workshop is a full day event for DSLR users. “So many moms have these amazing cameras and have no idea how to use them,” said Elliott. “We dive into lighting, and more technical and creative details.”
The classes are designed to not only teach techniques, but find each person’s inner creativity. “Every mom is a photographer,” explained Elliott. “They wear all of these hats and one of them is ‘principal photographer,’ whether they chose it or not. I believe everyone has a creative spirit and this is an outlet for them to use it.”
For additional information or to register for a photography class, visit www.studioelliott.com.