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Making people feel comfortable, confident and proud of the way they look is no easy task. It’s also what headshot photographer Nicole Richard describes as her superpower.
“My clients are professional people,” says Nicole. “As an artist I used to be intimidated by a client in a blazer. Quickly I became amazed at how ready everyone is to throw off the metaphorical blazer when you give them permission to have fun! It turns out we’re all just people eager to connect and share a laugh.”
Nicole truly is an expert at putting people at ease. Her energy is infectious and her positivity has the power to dissolve the stress, anxiety or nerves that get in the way of a great photo.
She didn’t always have that spark.
“I spent a lot of time hiding,” Nicole reflects. “I had crippling social anxiety for many years, which meant I had low self esteem and didn’t believe I could succeed as my authentic self.”
Overcoming her social anxiety was a long road with many trips outside her comfort zone. One strategy Nicole used during the process was designing a third party fundraiser for the Bridge’s Youth Recovery House that required her to photograph a number of people she had always wanted to meet.
“Now, I operate with three currencies,” she says. “One is money, sure. But the other two are connecting with inspiring people, and giving back to the community. When I struggled to do things for myself, I made it about other people and that made a huge difference.”
Nicole believes her experience with mental health and self love are what make her so good at what she does.
“Everyone is truly beautiful just as they are,” says Nicole. “I get to help people show up as their authentic selves and then capture that beauty in a way that communicates their brand with an audience. That’s powerful stuff.”
On top of her superpower, Nicole is a highly skilled photographer with extensive education and the technical expertise needed to capture the exact shot from the perfect angle that both conveys meaning and accommodates the client’s preferences.
“I take my time with each headshot session,” she explains. “We review images together as I take them, and I’ll get to know what you like or don’t like about the way you look in photos. I'll guide you into different poses and expressions. Together we’ll create a headshot so dynamic you can’t wait to use it.”
While it took her some time to learn the art of self acceptance, Nicole says she is “viciously proud” of who she is today.
“Women are often taught low self worth,” says Nicole. “But I am really good at what I do and I want all women to feel that proud about who they are. I want all my clients to know they are beautiful. They are enough, and they will achieve amazing things!”