When I first started this business back in 2013, I never imagined the journey it would take me on. My senior year of high school, my parents gifted me with my first ever DSLR camera. At the time, I was taking film photography while also creating videos as part of a videography course. I enjoyed the art of creating imagery, but the thought of becoming an entrepreneur hadn’t crossed my mind until shortly after I graduated.
I had some friends that asked if I could take some photos of them because I “had a nice camera” and so I agreed. Low and behold – Nicole Hoffmann Photography was born!
Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, but that’s where the roadmap started.
I continued to practice the art of taking pictures. I asked a lot of friends to model for me, and help me build a portfolio. I researched light and the technical skills it takes to create beautiful art. This was hard! Photography was hard! But I was learning, and growing, and my business was beginning to blossom and I was really starting to explore the idea of photography as a career.
(A shot from summer of 2013 during a themed shoot with some of my friends who were helping to build my portfolio)
After I graduated high school, I ventured to Madison College to play sports while enrolling in the Liberal Arts Transfer program. I spent most of my time being a student-athlete, while the remainder of my time was devoted to my business. I continued to shoot and serve clients who were interested in my artwork. I continued to grow and although at times very stressful, frustrating, and lost – I kept on working my photography.
(A portrait of senior, Raylin Betthauser during the summer of 2014)
After my two years were up at Madison College, I departed to UW Lacrosse where I anticipated obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I was studying communication arts while also obtaining a minor in photography. I spent a lot of time in the dark room with a film camera and eventually worked my way into the printing lab at UWL. I loved the photography program, but the city wasn’t right for me. I packed up my life in Lacrosse and moved back home.
(A portrait project at UWL focusing on Women Athletes, the shot includes Reed Karsten, a softball player at Winona State University)
My business was still working and although it wasn’t thriving like I wanted it to, it was growing and so was my knowledge and skill for the art. When I returned home to Sun Prairie, I knew I wanted to finish my degree so I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s online graduate program. In December of 2017, I officially graduated with a degree in Communication Arts.
Throughout all of the changes in my life, the one thing that stayed consistent was photography. It was an outlet for me to perform, to thrive, and to fall in love with a career that I didn’t know existed outside of the realm of education or the sporting field. I loved nothing more than capturing people’s loved ones. I loved being an influence in people’s lives who needed it most and to be a staple of a person’s most precious moments.
My dream of being an entrepreneur as an artist has quickly turned into a full blown reality. My passion for photography still far surpasses the idea of sitting inside an office, working sales or some other career I would have forced myself into. Granted, photography includes all aspects of business, to me the service and act of photography doesn’t feel that way. To be able to serve the world around me by highlighting life’s greatest blessings is so fascinating and rewarding to me. The Minted Shutter is a result of this fiery dream that I have worked so hard to achieve.
I have big dreams and big visions for my future in this field, and I know that if I believe in those visions that I can make this dream a reality. I also know that someday I will be changing my last name when I get married. I wanted to change my business name before I continue to establish myself within my career.
To me, my artwork resembles simplicity and purification. I strive to create a stream-less work of art that identifies with purity and clarity through clean editing and raw emotion. I believe that mint (minted) does just that. You feel refreshed and pure as soon as you pop the mint into your mouth. I want just that for the Minted Shutter. I want to share with the world, how refreshing photographic art can be.
I am so appreciative of this gift that I am able to share and am so thankful for all of the support of my clients – new and old, who support this journey and business that I promise to fulfill.