Nicole Lauren Hill has been doing photography for about 5 years now. This 25 year old lives in Los Angeles, California with her “10 year old crazy, and somewhat senile, miniature pinscher.” This young lady’s hobbies include hiking and getting away from the city. But photography, something many pick up as a hobby, is a kick-ass profession that Nicole takes seriously. Let’s get to know this LA chick who has a talent in capturing fashion with her own free-spirited attitude.
JF-How did you get started with photography? And how long have you been at it?
NH-Photography sort of happened randomly for me. A few years back one of my best friends got a new point and shoot camera so we started taking pictures for our Myspace pages (did I really just publicly admit that?!), and I kind of became obsessed. We’d find random fields to run around in, and I definitely got hooked on the feelings of freedom we found in those simple photos. Once I hit the peak of my Myspace photography career (ha ha), I knew I had to step it up. So then I got a new camera, went to school, and here I am 5 years later!
JF-Wow. Funny how social networking sites play such an influential role in our lives these days, hm? So what is your ideal environment for the perfect photo shoot?
NH-Sunny skies, a nice breeze, and an epic landscape to work with.
JF- Sounds like a dream. Obviously though, it’s not that easy. What was the most difficult thing you have ever had to shoot?…The weirdest shoot you’ve ever done?
NH-I have talked about this shoot a lot in the past but it just really sticks out in my mind when I think of difficult photo shoots. The model, of course, wasn’t difficult to photograph… but our circumstances definitely were difficult to overcome. Last year my team and I were shooting on location at some sand dunes. Once we arrived to our location, which was about 3 hours away, we come to find out that the only road to the actual dunes had collapsed due to some rain, and the hike to our actual shooting location was about four miles away through the sand. Let me just remind you that we had bags and bags of clothing and camera gear…
I was a bit hesitant, fearing that nobody in their right minds would let me convince them into continuing this shoot, but once I looked around and our model, Karina, had already loaded herself up with gear and was 10 steps ahead of us ready to man the 4 mile hike. No convincing needed; everyone was game. It really sticks out in my mind because it’s not everyday that you get to be surrounded by such good spirited people who appreciate what they are doing even in difficult situations and keep truckin’ with a smile.
JF- Geez. Trekking in the sand with all of that gear? I have to admit… I might have not been as willing as Karina. So what kind of equipment did you have to lug four miles in the sand?…More specifically, what is your favorite camera/equipment to use?
NH-My 5D Mark II & the sun.
JF-Your must haves for a photo shoot?
NH-Give me good vibes, and it’s game time.
JF-Alright. That’s the attitude. Where do you get such fired-up inspiration from? Who are your favorite photographers?
NH-Oh geez, right now I am in love with Greg Kadel, Guy Aroch, Ani Leibovitz, Sebastian Kim, Jamie Nelson & Camilla Akrans to name a few. I am constantly obsessing over new photographers, I feel like each one has influenced my work slightly—always inspiring me to try something new and experiment with things that scare me.
JF-You recently did Threadsence’s spring lookbook! So awesome. You went out to Palm Desert to take the photos…How was that experience? The photos are pretty amazing. What worked for you? What was the most challenging thing to have to deal with during the shoot? Do you have any favorite images from this shoot?
NH-Thank you! It was a really great time. You never know what’s going to happen when you get to a shoot so it’s always amazing when the vibes are good and everyone’s energy is flowing together smoothly. Surprisingly, everything went really well that day so we didn’t really have many challenges, but I guess if I had to choose one, it would have been when we were racing against sun before the final shot of the day!
Thankfully we beat it and ended up getting the shot just in time! Woo! I think my favorite image from the lookbook is the last shot of the car driving off into the sunset!I love the feeling it gives me when I look at it.
JF- Aw. I love that photo! I see that you focus on fashion photography the most. Why fashion? What is it about fashion that draws you in to capture images like you did for Threadsence?
NH-I think the reason I love fashion photography so much is because it’s the one type of photography that I’ve found that really helps release what’s trapped inside me. With fashion photography it’s like a inspiration overload, and when I shoot I am just trying to show people what I see. The fashion from our shoot for Threadsence really inspired those feelings of freedom for me; that free spirit inside that just wants to get in her car and run away… I guess that’s what I tried to convey.
JF- Sounds like you’ve really found your calling. You really do manage to convey certain themes and feelings through your photography…Has working with models ever been a big obstacle to overcome when trying to capture the “perfect” shots?
NH-I’ve been pretty lucky and have always had a great time working with models….. Definitely a breeze!
JF-For someone who wants to be in your shoes one day, what wise words would you pass down onto them?
NH-Never stop shooting! Shoot what makes YOU happy—not anyone else…Never stop shooting …and…oh…never stop shooting!
JF-Ha ha. Sounds like persistence is the key. So what’s next for you? Any up-and-coming projects your fans can look forward to?
NH-I gotta plug my girl Katie-May @ katiemay.net. She is such an amazingly talented fashion designer and just an overall rad person. At the end of the month we will be shooting her fall collection. I am pretty certain it will blow minds.
JF-Oooooh. You did such a good job with Threadsence’s spring lookbook, I’ll have to keep an eye for that next one! Nicole, again, thank you so much for your time.
Stay updated with Nicole’s work here:
Check out her work in our Spring Lookbook: Souls of Mischief, made of hard rock and blue skies