I am a Chicago based photographer. My soul's passion is photography. My camera is only the tool that helps me create an image that tells a story. Though my images I hope that when the viewer looks at my images, they can not only see my passion but feel it too.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Annette. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I am the first generation born and raised in Chicago. I love pizza and a pet mom to a rescue named Aden and a new mom to a puppy named Diego. I love road trips and sunsets. I meditate barefooted to keep me grounded with Mother Earth. I love camping and cooking. One thing my friends and family don’t know about me ( until now) I LOVE singing in the shower, but not just regular olde singing.... I make up words that sound like I’m singing in foreign languages. Lol.
Annette, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion for photography started when I was very young. My grandmother travelled and was the keeper of family photos and movies. I was fascinated looking and meeting my ancestors via an image. I visited places faraway through these photographs. I was given a Birthday when I was about ten years a Kodak 110 film camera. I loved it, and my parents So gracious would have them developed when they could afford to. Then a few years later I received my first Polaroid SX70. I was hooked I could still feel the adrenaline rush as I held the image in my hand and watched it come alive.
So I just knew Photography was my soul's passion. I took a different career path to served the public but kept Photography as my escape a way to never get jaded by the dark side that the world sometimes gives us. I chose Photography to see and capture all of the beauty that does exist and the true kindness of humanity.
My goal is to buy an airstream one day fitted it with a huge printer and just photograph my travels. Capturing people, place and culture.... then share with the world through print. Because every image has a story to tell...
Who is your inspiration in life Annette? How do you keep inspired?
My dogs.. I say this with true meaning. See when I get home no matter what kind of day I've had , be it crappy, happy, or meaningless. I am ALWAYS 100% greeted at he door with this unconditional LOVE and happiness. Aden and Diego are my inspiration and to always remain present.
We all make mistakes Annette; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I would have to say no speaking up sooner. Once during a Photoshoot with a group of photographers. A new photographer arrived at learned. A senior photographer exercised no patience and his criticism was not constructive pretty much plain cruel. As time passed the new photographers excitement turned into pure panic and feared the situation could have been considered bullying. I did right ten and there yell “ENOUGH”... everyone stopped and starred. I did have some argumentive words and thought I was going to be asked to leave. But after much debate all worked out. I guess I regret not speaking up sooner. I learned to be very mindful of others and my feelings. A learning experience for all.
Annette, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I am very organized; this was a learned behaviour for sure. I keep a written calendar and task list and a digital one too. I back up all my work from multiple sources. My task list is pretty detailed and in order of the day. I love people to people conversation, so phone calls are important and with some that don’t have the time to talk and prefer text and email that works well too. I will always keep copies of anything electronically sent.
Please tell us, Annette, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
In particular, I had a very high priority wedding with a guest list of almost 600. They agreed to only I Additional Photographer. This was a very demanding couple, and everything had to be perfect. I created a checkoff list a month prior, and obviously, it changed week to week. But that check list was critical and a life saver. It gave the client a sense of direction and one less thing to stress about. A week before we finalized the list and a timeline was created for they day and mine. Yes, some things we adjusted as needed but having a checklist and great communication with you client is crucial and professional.
Annette, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
The time I remember was for a wedding. The guest list was 600 plus. The couple when we first met was very much just wanted the guest to just have a great time. They only wanted one additional photographer and in no particular order how the photos were to be taken. After much debate back and forth I finally had them agree to a timeline and checklist. I had to explain that with so many events happening during their wedding from the ceremony, the first dance, the entertainment, the surprises to happen and the must-have requested the each of their guests must be photographed. Oh, we needed a must have, no way we cannot have a timeline and checklist. Finally, they agreed and years later they still thanks me for capturing their day exactly as they dreamed it.
Annette, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I travelled to Cuba in 2013, and I showed some friends some of my images. Through the suggestion of these friends, I created a website and sometime later I was contacted and asked to submit my work to be shown at SCOPE Miami. This is a well known International Contemporary, Art Show. Artist and people from all over the world come to see this exhibit and only a select are asked to show here. So this was huge, just to be asked. Well, my work was accepted, and I flew to Miami in Dec 2015 and stood alongside some jaw-dropping artist. That experience was so humbling and exciting. I will never forget that event.
Annette, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was asked by a hair salon in Chicago, Salon Salomé to photograph some models for a marketing event. We drove to an abandoned church in Gary Indiana this place was AMAZING. Sad that this beautiful structure that once thrives in the community was devastated and in total disrepair. Getting the models into rooms where walls were gone, floor pieces missing and how to change and makeup and properly light these models was a huge challenge. We collectively worked as a team to get it done and create some amazing images.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Learn the technical part to know how your camera works. Know all the dials and buttons. Once you are comfortable with what the buttons mean, Work on your creative eye. If you enjoy nature or street photography or food or whatever moves you go to that place and sit and watch it. Go today, go tomorrow, go next week even next month, sit and watch. The minute you can block out the noise and just see what is in front of you, around you is the moment you bring your camera up to your eye. Visually see and emotionally feel what is in your viewfinder, then click away.....
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always open to learning, sharing and networking.
Photographer Annette Nieves