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Conversations with the Inspiring Nicolette Bardos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicolette Bardos.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicolette. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Absolutely! So, thinking back, my photography passion and journey came sort of naturally. I was always an “artsy” kind of kid, and particularly found myself interested in and fascinated with cameras. I became obsessed with the ability to freeze moments in time, and document things that I saw that caught my eye.

People quickly became my favorite subject. The unpredictable nature of them and the variety excited me. As I got a little older and into high school, I found a few other friends who shared this love with me. Whenever we would get together, our favorite activity would be putting together “photoshoots” — dressing up in different outfits, and any other crazy ideas that came to mind — then taking HUNDREDS of pictures (thank goodness for digital cameras.) Looking back now, all of these “photoshoots” we did are absolutely hilarious and pretty embarrassing — but that is what got us started! Soon enough, I was taking graduation pictures for my friends, family photos for people I knew — then it hit me: I could really turn this into something. Taking photos brought me a joy that I knew I couldn’t ignore. I worked hard to shoot as much as I could, learn about editing by playing with different free programs, and try to start promoting myself as a photographer. This snowballed into booking several photo shoots a week and there, I was making a profit off of something I loved so much.

I ended up formally studying Art & Design as well as business in college, and it was one of the best decisions I made! Flash forward to a few years post-grad and I have been officially running my photography business full-time! My main client base and place of business is still back home in Northern Colorado, although I have spent about a year and a half now in Southern California, expanding and exploring my opportunities and experiences. I travel back and forth between here and Colorado quite often, but SD truly has a huge piece of my heart now.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Owning your own business, and working as a freelance artist definitely comes with its challenges. I wear a ton of hats in order to run my business full time and to successfully support myself and grow. There is a lot of unpredictability, often uncertainty, and other challenges that I have to work through. But honestly, I consider it all a blessing. Do I get to make a living doing what I love the most — what beats that? To face new challenges means I am learning and growing as a business and an artist, and that’s all I could ever ask for.

When it comes to advising, I typically find myself telling others the following:

Trust your vision.
Challenge yourself.
Find and utilize your support systems.
Don’t stand in your own way.
Stay open minded.
Know that you have to start at the bottom of a new venture, and be okay with that!
Always seek the positive!

What should we know about Nicolette Bardos Photography? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Portrait photography is my thing! I specialize in weddings, engagements, family photos, all things people! I also shoot a lot of brand content, editorial, and lifestyle fashion, etc. Pretty much all things people! Regardless of the genre, I am shooting, the magic comes from the person I am photographing. I strive to bring out and embrace the realness of each of my subjects. I am not about “cookie-cutter” standards and expectations.

Most would call me a “natural light” or “available light” photographer, with a very lifestyle type and natural look to my work. The use of light has always been my magic.

A big thing that I tell people I work with or potential new clients is that while my photography is of course based on delivering them beautiful images, it is also focused on the whole experience… my clients quickly become my friends, and it is always my goal to make each and every one of them both comfortable and excited about our experience together from start to finish.

This business and passion of mine have brought me opportunities to get to know people from all walks of life and different backgrounds, which is all I could ever ask for.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I fully believe that women have been, and continue to be incredible leaders, team members, entrepreneurs and business owners. There are so many women I have been inspired by for as long as I can remember, and more and more as I grow older. Challenges lead to learning, self-discovery and so many more rewarding things that I try to just view them as a blessing, and as energy to keep pushing forward and making positive strides.


  • Portrait Sessions range from about $300-$500
  • Wedding Collections Range from about $2,500-$4,000

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kiley Shai Photography

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