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Daily Inspiration: Meet Nicole Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Martinez.

Hi Nicole, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I was six years old browsing through an Avon catalog at my grandma’s house when under the toys section I saw a purple camera I had to have! It was the type you could insert a roll of film in but was never quite sure if it actually worked. The point was I had a camera and I took it everywhere! One night, a few years later, my parents gifted me my first ‘real’ camera and I felt on top of the world. I was ecstatic! My showed me how it worked, we set it on a timer and snapped a picture of my mom and me under the kitchen doorway. I placed it next to my pillow every night for the first few weeks. I was in disbelief and so proud.

From that point on, my cameras became my most prized possessions. My collection grew – I purchased a few more and I received others as gifts. My fascination was fueled by my sentimental nature and love of experiences, both participating in, creating, and capturing them. As I grew into adulthood, this love for photography did not make it as a contender when deliberating my next steps in life. I took a conventional path – I earned my college degree in history and worked my way up in the museum world. To be fair, this in itself is a dream come true.

Fast forward to 2020, I contemplated my next steps. I knew one day I wanted to work for myself and it was time to move in that direction. I decided to focus on personal brand photography to collaborate closely with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses. That decisions felt right.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Owning a business has its share of challenges and has not been smooth – that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. MINDSET is an area of challenge, growth and constant learning. From comparison to self-doubt, it pops up. It isn’t something that will go away, rather, every new phase in business ownership will create opportunities to work through those mental blocks. That has been the case for me.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I story-tell through photography, making visual narratives with characters for creatives. My work is known for being vibrant and compelling. I aim to be different and I want that for my clients. I want their visual assets to set them apart from others. I use environment, color and themes to emphasize their stories and how they can connect with their ideal audiences. What sets me apart? I have over 8 years of museum storytelling experience that I use to find the concepts that work with audiences.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I found my mentor through TikTok. I reached out, got advice, worked on the recommendations she gave me, and have participated in one of her programs. It is a humbling experience to put yourself out there and get no’s or no responses at all but it can also work out in your favor.

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