My name is Nicole S. Young, and I’m a photographer, author, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Oregon. I began my career in photography after serving eight years in the US Navy when I started licensing stock photos through iStock, and it grew exponentially in just a short time. For about five years, I focused on commercial stock photography, mostly of people and food. However, in the past few years, my photography style and interested has shifted more towards landscape and travel photography, and my business has changed along with it.
I have used several different types of cameras in the many years I have been a photographer. As a kid, I shot with Pentax, Canon, and Nikon, and then moved to Nikon digital in 2005. When I started shooting stock photographs, there was a need for more megapixels in order to create larger photographs for my portfolio, so I upgraded to Canon. I have also written several books on cameras, so I tend to “collect” cameras and have four Canon DSLRs in my inventory.
Just recently I started shooting with a Fujifilm X-T1. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the camera, and so right now I am in what I consider a “transitional” period of camera systems. While my main camera is still a Canon 5D Mark III (which I still use for my food images), I also have two Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s, which I use for everyday photos, as well as landscapes. The lens choices are still limited, but I have a feeling that as more become available, it will be much easier to move over to mirrorless 100%. I do a fair amount of traveling, and having a lighter setup is a much more comfortable way to travel, especially when visiting overseas.
In terms of lighting, most of what I do needs nothing more than natural, beautiful, and sometimes diffused sunlight. For my food photography, I have a nice setup in my office where I do all of my shooting, and since I do it from home then there is no need to haul out the strobes. I do use them on occasion, particularly when I want to create a unique effect, or just need a faster light to capture steam or any other fast-moving object.
While photography is a very large part of my job and business, I also write books (both traditionally-published and self-published), create video tutorials, and have an online store, the Nicolesy Store, that has been growing little by little over the past few years. I love the freedom of owning my own business and creating something that is 100% my own.
Here’s a complete list of the gear i use:
Really Right Stuff TVC-24 Tripod
Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ballhead
Lee filter system
Square ND filters (3-stop, 6-stop, 10-stop)
ThinkTank Retrospective 10 and ThinkTank Retrospective 40, depending on where I’m going.