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Q&A with Nicole S. Young

Full-time photographer and author from Portland

My name is Nicole S. Young, I am a photographer and an author. I make my living selling stock photography, and also through writing eBooks and training materials that I sell through my online store. I also have a blog where I write articles about photography.

How did you get started in photography?

I became interested in photography while I was in high school, but instead of pursuing photography I joined the US Navy. About 6 years after I joined, I discovered microstock photography and used it as a way to improve my own photography skills. Through that process, along with reading books and articles about photography, I learned a lot and photography started to become profitable. So I separated from the military a few years later and started my own photography business.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on a few different books, as well as a video training course on onOne Software. I also have had some recent travels, and will be heading to Thailand to teach a workshop for a few weeks.

What hardware do you use?

I use Canon gear, and my main camera is the 5D Mark III. I use an assortment of lenses, but my primary lenses are the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II and Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS (for landscape and travel), and I use the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens for a lot of my food images.

What is your ideal work environment?

When it comes to photographing food, I have a nice setup in my office with great window light. I also love photographing landscapes and nature, and really enjoy being outdoors. Sunrises are the most peaceful and beautiful, so when I am traveling I always try to get up early and enjoy the cool air and quiet mornings.

Where are your favourite places for photography?

I live in Portland, Oregon, USA, and we have a lot of forests and waterfalls nearby. I moved here because of the nature, and really enjoy photographing in the forests. It's such a great feeling to hear nothing but a roaring waterfall nearby and feel the cool breeze from the mountain water as it flows by.

Which photographers has inspired you the most?

I'm very inspired by Gregory Crewdson. He creates very eerie, unique images, almost like they come from dreams. It's very opposite to what my own style and imagery consists of, which is why I think it appeals to me so much.

photo: © dav.d –