We had the good fortune of connecting with Nina & Dominic (N) Hart (D) Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nina & Dominic, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting our own business was the result of a creative passion to tell stories. We both grew up in the arts & as a husband and wife we knew we wanted to run a creative business together. Our passion for wedding photography stemmed from planning, styling, and creating decor for our own wedding. We learned how much couples and their families invest into their weddings and how important celebrating their love is, through our own process of planning a wedding. Fast forward to our decision to actually begin our own business, we felt that we had a lot of love and creativity to offer our couples. Our focus is delivering an experience and creating space that allows our couples connection to be the heart of our work. The thought process behind starting our own business was to become professionals in an industry that celebrates connection and creativity. In the beginning we had no idea what we were doing business wise and it really has been a live and learn experience that we are continually working on perfecting.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Like we mentioned, our couples connection and story is the catalyst for our art. As humans, one of our deepest desires that we share is to be known. Not in a superficial way, but on a personal and intimate level. We take pride in building personal and deep relationships with our clients. We want to get to know them and for our couples to feel known and seen. We feel that this approach tends to set us apart in what we do. We got to where we are now through a lot of learning. Some learning is the result of research and some of our learning has been through experience. It wasn’t always easy, and at times it was downright stressful and painful, but the result has been an investment in a profession that we absolutely love. Leaning on each other and encouraging one another has been at the heart of pulling through obstacles. Taking each obstacle as a learning opportunity, as cliche as it may sound, has been key to overcoming obstacles as well. We’ve learned that nothing really beats hard work and dedication. You can want to be successful until your blue in the face, but if you don’t have the work ethic and dedication, you won’t get far. The main thing we want the world to know about our brand and story is how highly we value love and connection above all else. We pour ourselves and everything we are into our couples and our art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in Joshua Tree, there are some really amazing places to visit and ways to spend your time If you were to come spend a week with us, the first couple of days we would spend exploring our wonderful Joshua Tree National Park and camping. We’d probably camp at Jumbo Rocks and spend our mornings reading and doing Yoga, followed by some day hikes and then climb the boulders to watch the sunsets. We’d head to the chola gardens for sunrise or sunset and hit up a couple other of our favorite locations. We’d spend the evenings singing songs and playing acoustic guitar, drinking and laughing by the campfire. We’d then head back into town to grab some local coffee at Joshua Tree Roasters and check out some of the local art exhibits. Maybe take you for some beers and pizza at Giant Rock Meeting Room before seeing the largest free standing boulder Giant Rock herself. Really interesting stories to be heard there. We’d spend the afternoon thrifting and picking up cool nick knacks. Lastly a visit wouldn’t be complete without checking out the intimate and world famous Pappy & Harriets for some vegan burgers, chili fries & most importantly awesome live music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We definitely want to give the biggest shoutout to our clients and fellow vendors. First our clients trust us with one of the most important days of their lives and we realize that the investment they make in us is a huge honor. Second our fellow vendors and creatives deserve a shout out for their support, inspiration and referrals. People like Heather Baguyo from Willow Tree Weddings, Eric & Sabrina Martinez from The Authentic Storytellers, Kelsey Sage from K Sage Events, Ruth Marie from Ruth Marie Photography, Gabriela Pilar form Gabriela Pilar Events, & Jenn & Pawel from Jenn & Pawel Photography, to name a few, all deserve a special shout out for their love & support. We work with so many talented and kind vendors that support one another through community and we are incredibly thankful for them. Lastly Doms mom has been such a huge supporter of us from the beginning and without her continual love and encouragement, we would not be where we are today. Thanks mom!!
Joshua Tree: Top Row (L): Robert Marcillas Joshua Tree: Top Row (R): Apartment 3 Photography Joshua Tree: Second Row (L&R): Robert Marcillas Big Bear: Third Row (L&R): Lliana Coronado Los Angeles: Bottom Row (L&R): Apartment 3 Photography