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Meet Mindy Mellenbruch of Mindy Nicole Photography in Bankers Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mindy Mellenbruch.

Mindy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I come from a family of artists. My Mom, Dad, two brothers and I, are all entrepreneurs in creative fields. I guess when you grow up watching your parents work from home, doing what they love, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

In 1999, I attended Missouri State University to study graphic design. It was in the use of photography and Photoshop for my class projects, as well as a film photography class, that spurred my interest in the field. Before long, I was creating fine art photography in my free time.

In 2004, I made the move from Kansas City, MO to Orange County, CA with a few friends, pursuing adventure, sunny beaches and opportunity (hopefully in photography). I was not sure exactly how I wanted my career in photography to look. Starting with a haphazard attempt to sell my work in galleries and art shows. Eventually I decided that I’d prefer to offer a photography service, as opposed to selling fine art. I took a position assisting a baby photographer who set up lighting and a backdrop in baby stores. I thought this was a great idea, and decided to use a similar model with pet photography. The business was off to a good start, when a friend presented me with an opportunity to photograph real estate in Laguna Beach. This photography niche was not even on my radar at the time, and yet, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. Architecture was already a favorite subject of mine to photograph, and I had long been an admirer of interior design.

Needless to say, I jumped on board, and it wasn’t long before my portfolio grew. I took a job working for a real estate photography company which provided the consistent practice I needed to mature. Since then, I have worked for several different companies where my work continued to evolve. In 2014, I went into business for myself as Mindy Nicole Photography. I feel fortunate to have had such supportive clients who helped to jumpstart my career, and who continue to send referrals my way.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As with any skill, there is a learning curve, and architectural photography was no exception to the rule. In short order, I realized that photographing interiors is one of the most difficult to learn. The tremendous difference in lighting between the dark interiors and bright light flooding through windows, made for quite the challenge. With a bit of research, I learned that there were ways of blending several exposures together to compensate for the large variance in lighting. I also started to increase my use of artificial lighting to help balance the light. It would take years of trial and error to perfect these techniques, and lighting will always be the biggest challenge in shooting architecture and interiors.

Photography is a very competitive field. To be successful you have to either be a great business person or provide an extraordinary product. I knew that business and sales were not my strong suit, so I worked hard for years with minimal pay to develop the skills that would set me apart from the rest. This took time, but was a steady evolution to entrepreneurship.

With the start of my business came many new challenges, deciding how to price my work has proven to be a difficult task. I know what I think my photos are worth, but do others with an untrained eye fully appreciate the difference between my photos and others?

Decisions needed to be made on how I wanted to run my business, and what methods I would or wouldn’t use to compete with other photography companies. Should I cut corners in shooting and post-processing, enabling me to take on more shoots and keep my prices low?  Or should I continue to spend the time necessary shooting and editing, and hope that clients see the great difference that I see my photos. Due to my perfectionistic nature, I didn’t feel I had any choice but to go with the latter. I would need to attract clientele who place a high value on quality, have the eye to spot quality work, and want a product that they can be proud of.

Mindy Nicole Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in photographing architecture and interior spaces. I also offer headshot photography. My clients consist of realtors, architects, interior designers, business owners, etc…

What sets me apart from the rest is my experience, as well as desire & ability to produce the best possible results for my clients. I have become known for my precision and attention to detail with lighting, angles and Photoshop techniques. All photos and post processing are done by me, so you can expect consistency with my product.

My portfolio is what I am most proud of. Looking back to some of my first photos, it is cool to see the immense progress I have made in my work. I look forward to seeing what kind of projects will come my way in the future, and watching the course of my business unfold.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment of my career is when I took the plunge into working for myself.

Contact Info:

  Image Credit:
Mindy Mellenbruch

2 Comments

  1. Gary Mellenbruch

    November 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Great work, must have been good genes.

  2. Susan Saxton

    November 9, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Mindy Nicole Photography played a big part in the successful sale of my home. A potential buyer said, “I fell in love with your house just from the photos.” Mindy is not only a gifted photographer, she is an exceptional person.

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