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Meet Nicole Jaramillo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Jaramillo.  

Hi Nicole, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My path to photography has been a lifelong love but has not been straight. My father gave me my first DSLR camera when I was in college in 2010, a hand-me-down from himself. He is also a photographer and has been for longer than I have been alive probably. I have memories of living in our little apartment, where he would develop film in the bathroom when he wasn’t working. Film of my mom, us as family, my brothers and I growing up, and other projects he worked on in his spare time. That was just a part of life for me. Now, that I look back, I wonder what memories my kids will have of me editing images or setting up for a photoshoot. That first camera he gave me, I just had fun taking photos of my cat and dog… He taught me a little about how to use it, but I really didn’t know what I was doing! At the time I was living in a studio in La Mesa by SDSU and I was 19. Fast forward 10+ years and I am now a self-taught photographer with 2 kids and a husband, and yes, the same cat and dog. I started taking photos of my oldest son when he was going through his milestones and that is what really got the sparks going and to be honest got me my first few clients. Then came my second baby boy. Now with 2 under 2, my time was stretched incredibly thin. I did shoots here and there, just trying to hone my craft and improve. At this point, I was getting inquiries for engagements, weddings, family, and senior portraits. I learned a lot and fell in love with creating images for women and young ladies that helped them feel amazing. Still, my goal is to bring wholesome and genuine connections into an upbuilding environment. I am now based in the Palm Springs area (my hometown) and travel to San Diego, Joshua Tree, and Idyllwild for fun shoots for my clients. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Having your own business is never a smooth road. That has been one of the hardest growing pains. Learning business while doing a creative job. Having to put a price on my work. Understanding my limitations as a young mom of 2 and a wife. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that taking one day at a time and finding balance can be truly comforting, especially in dark times. Thankfully I have a very supportive group of family and friends. So many people in my life have been boosting me up and encouraging me to keep moving forward even when things get hard, I mean straight up I feel like I am learning something new every week to apply to my business or in my craft, and sometimes I think “Wow, I’m still such an amateur!” I heard a quote recently that really sat hard with me… “The fastest way to get where you want to go is one step at a time.” So now when FOMO sets in and I think I need to be somewhere that I am not, I remember to slow down. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I probably am most well-known for my style of photography. I love to get people to smile, but in a real way, not a say cheese way. When I first started and was doing a lot of engagement sessions, I would swoon over the couples and their love! I was so proud to be able to capture those moments authentically. I am also really happy to say my clients leave feeling like they had a good time and the photo shoot was a fun experience. 

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Invest in education. It is hard when you are starting out, but YouTube university can only take you so far. Even if you buy one class at a time! I really learned a lot from other photographers on Creative Live, like Selena S. Blair and Sue Bryce. Two very different styles, but they bring it all to the table to help other photographers grow. Also, don’t get so hyped on the gear. It is so funny how you can be told you need this one piece of equipment to be better, but; really you just need to practice and shoot. Maybe one speed light to experiment with artificial light. 


  • Session Fee: $600 includes $400 print credit and hair and makeup

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Nicole Jaramillo

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