Welcome to the fifth installment of our new column “On Our Radar”
Is there a photographer whose work you find yourself going back to again and again? Maybe you have never heard of this photographer? Perhaps they are “flying under the radar”? It happens but I want to find those photographers. I want to celebrate their work. 2017 is the year of discovery at Senior Style Guide and I am counting on our readers to lead the way!
Each month we will be featuring an artist who is inspiring others, who may not necessarily be someone you have heard of. From time to time I will be enlisting the help of the SSG community to nominate an artist. I want to hear their story, share their triumphs and hear what they are doing to make this dream of theirs a reality. We can learn from others whether it be through inspiration, education or everything in between.
This community will only get stronger if we are there to uplift and give as many people as possible a voice.
Our “On Our Radar” artist this month is Nicollette Mollet of Seniors By Nicollette
Nominated By: Vickie Black
“I have been silently stalking Nicollette’s work for a while now. I am in love with it because it represents the trifecta of where this industry is going…Senior images with a fashion edge, studio and video. I have yet to find an image that didn’t make me stop to take it in. Nicollette is definitely someone’s work to follow.”
1. Tell us a little about yourself…the things that make you YOU!
3. How has the industry changed in that time?
Senior portraits have definitely become so much more popular to where it almost seems like a necessary part of senior year whereas when I was a senior, it was just something some seniors did and some didn’t. Which is great for us senior portrait photographers because our clientele continues to grow and our craft becomes more valuable. I would also say, the [senior portrait] industry has explored a little more on creativity and uniqueness pertaining to each seniors’ personality… which is so much fun!
4. Your fashion work is all the buzz right now! Tell us about it and why us senior photographers need to take notice!
Oh my gosh, thank you!
My fashion work is more of how I express myself creatively. It is my personal artwork (even if it is for commercial clients), it is my outlet, and who I truly am. I enjoy the thrill of finally getting to launch an editorial that’s featured in a magazine, or getting all dressed up and going to fashion shows and events. I’m a fashionista at heart! Senior portraits, however, do take up the majority of my time so I don’t always get to focus on my fashion work as much as I’d like to, but I love it just as much–if not more–for different reasons.
My senior portrait business all boils down to one question which is, “What would I have wanted as a senior?” The answers that come to mind are individuality, personality, trendy, fashion, beauty… But every one of those nouns or adjectives could mean something different to each senior. Maybe “trendy” means Dr. Martens to one senior and Christian Louboutin to another. But that’s where my love for fashion photography comes in, for example, how can I stay true to my brand as a fashion photographer but still portray the seniors’ personality? It’s the same question I ask myself with my fashion work sometimes; how can I create an editorial that is a fashion story representing a story or topic that has nothing to do with fashion at all?
Fashion photography is creating an artistic fantasy, an exaggerated truth. Because I’ve used what I’ve learned through fashion and apply that to my senior portraits, I tend to attract seniors who also have the same interests. This is my ideal senior. I love giving my seniors the chance to 1) know what it’s like to feel like a supermodel for a day (including the chance to work with fashion-industry professional stylists who are represented by agencies here in Dallas), 2) have something that is not only artwork, but interesting and timeless, and best of all, something that represents who they are… my favorite part is thinking about what their great grand children will say when they see their vintage iconic senior portraits someday.
5. Your adjective is?
6. Your super power is?
Connecting with the senior and providing top customer service.
7. What was your facepalm moment in the senior industry with your business?
H’oh MAN… I would say the biggest facepalm period of my business was not providing contracts and not thoroughly explaining the payment process to the parents or guardians (in writing) beforehand… Especially when my current clientele at the time was not the right fit for me and I was too naïve and trustworthy of strangers. However, it taught me a lot about self worth and when to put the brakes on giving too much of myself. I could talk forever on this topic, and I’m sure a lot of photographers could relate to me, especially female photographers.
8. In 5 words describe 2016
Growth, Renovation, Cleansing, Optimistic, and Expensive. Lol.
9. What are your top 3 goals for 2017?
1) Branch out into new markets/schools and build a wider audience on social media
2) Literally just keeping up with my fashion blog. Girrrrrl, why is that so hard to do?! ‘Cause ain’t nobody got time fuh dat (I’m going to try though).
3) Balancing a healthy relationship between work (senior/fashion) and home (the fam & friends).
10. What is the one thing you want all of us to know about YOU?
That I am SO eager to learn from other photographers as well as share my knowledge with them. I love learning and changing, I never stop. The career path we chose is so much harder than most people can even fathom. As long as you stay true to who you are as an artist, then there is no competition for you, only colleagues moving up the ladder along side of you dealing with the same pressures in life and business. We are all in this together. *fist bump*