Friendor Series: Nikki Santerre Photography
Hi y'all! I had such a fun morning interviewing, chatting, and laughing with Nikki from Nikki Santerre Photography. Her sweet husband Matt came along, and it turns out that he's pretty helpful at her photo sessions, also! We hit it off like old friends, and I'm so excited to introduce you to this talented photog, so without further ado, meet Nikki!
Do you prefer shooting with film or digital?
- 100% film! Film is just more romantic. I love film for so many reasons. It’s got a timeless elegance to it that digital can never replicate. When you look at a film image, it’s got this 3D appearance to it. The subject really jumps from the background, the picture is more luminous. It’s great for bokeh, and it’s more forgiving on skin tones than digital photography. Film renders color in such a great way; I get the look I want in my images immediately and don’t have to edit them. It’s hard work, though. You have to slow down and be intentional with your shots. I think it’s made definitely me a better photographer.
How is working a full time job and also running a small time business?
- Oh gosh, it’s hard. I work a lot and I work on the weekends with weddings and shoots. It’s such a romantic notion to own your own business, but it is really tough behind the scenes. I am doing this work now because we have a life that we have dreamed of, and it involves me staying home, running a business and raising our kids. I’m hustling now so we can live out our dreams in the future. The business has afforded us the opportunity to meet people and go places that we never otherwise would have. It’s a lot of work, and it can be difficult but it is so rewarding. I would never want to do anything else than what I'm doing now.
What’s one of your biggest challenges as a business owner?
- I’m not good at saying no! I love to say yes to everything – shoots, weddings, engagements, I love to overbook myself. I've been learning the tricks to balancing my photography with my day job, and my relationships.
How do you feel about attending creative conferences?
- I love conferences, and they are great for so many reasons. You learn a lot from working sessions, and the network of people is probably the most important aspect of those few days you have. I just got back from Pursuit31, actually! I truly believe that attending conferences in your profession is one of the best things you can do for your business. Even if you go to a conference and know some of the things they are talking about, you can gain a new perspective. You can learn new techniques and meet friends, and who doesn't love that?
Where’s your ideal photography location?
- I would love to do a Charleston, SC wedding. Cotswolds (right outside London), Annapolis, anywhere in California, this list goes on! Asheville or Wilmington in North Carolina, too. I’m open to anything! I just did a travel photography bucket list – Seattle would be another fun one! Anywhere in Italy, or France- Paris, especially! As you can see, I'm passport ready!
What’s your favorite part of a wedding day, or your favorite shot from a wedding day?
- I love photographing the details, and I like composing and styling the details. I love bride and groom portrait time, and I love doing those privately for just the bride and groom. I am a huge proponent of a first look from an emotional standpoint. It’s an emotional moment! I also love a father daughter dance, I cry at every one of them. I have to warn my clients, I’ll be crying behind my camera during that dance!
Do you prefer engagements, weddings, or families?
- I want to be a part of my client’s lives and not just for one day, so I’ll offer newborn sessions or family portraits for my previous clients. I want to be a “life” photographer, not just their wedding photographer. It’s all about the relationship I build with my clients, I really value them. I also have a sweet spot for styled shoots! Editorial work gives you more freedom, and I love being able to take my time and create beautiful, thoughtful shots.