We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Aston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Once I let go of what I thought my industry’s and client’s ‘expectations’ of me were, my brand and business absolutely exploded with booked clients! I feel like so many of us waste time trying to follow in the footsteps of other business owners we admire, so much so that we forget that what makes us stand out is already inside of us- the passion that lead us to being a business owner in the first place. Trust your gut and dare to be different!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started becoming extremely interested in photography at a young age, around 13 or 14. For a while, I mostly annoyed the daylights out of my friends by showing up to every event with my little point-and-shoot camera I had gotten for Christmas and posting all the photos online. By age 15/16, I was deeply into the artist side of photography and started booking paid client work, including my first paid wedding. Here I am 10 years later, more in love with the art and this field than ever! It certainly was not easy- in fact, it still remains the hardest thing I have ever done with new challenges cropping up weekly! Destination wedding photography is very demanding, and I’m still learning how to obtain work/life balance (and not working 16 hour days year round, haha!). There were many times I was ready to hang up my camera and walk away- and I would have, had my husband let me. Whenever I felt like quitting, I remember all the goals I have for this business, or I scroll through a special folder on my phone where I’ve saved all the kind words, reviews, and love I’ve gotten from my clients. Their joy becomes mine and is what keeps me going! I’m passionate to my core about people and their love. My couples can attest that I get just as excited about them and their wedding day as they are! I believe each love story is incredibly unique and deeply personal, and it never stops being a complete thrill and deep honor being invited into their space to document that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Salt Lake, the options are endless! I’d probably take them downtown to a few of my favorite restaurants (Taqueria 27 for tacos and margs for starters), and then we’d hit the mountains! Living in Salt Lake means constant access to some of the best outdoors the world offers, and we’d spend the afternoon hiking, chilling on the mountain tops, and exploring the forest! For sunset, I’d take them to the salt flats to watch the sun go down over the alien landscape before heading back to my favorite piano bar for dinner and drinks!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list of people who deserve credit and recognition in my business story is truly endless. I wouldn’t be where I am without the selfless helping hands of my peers in the industry, the leaders who lifted me up when I was a beginner instead of putting me down, and those extra special friends and family who supported and cheered me on from day one. The biggest shoutout goes to my husband, who literally keeps this business running behind the scenes. I couldn’t get through the many demands of my career without him holding me up in the background!
Nicole Aston Photography