Noelle Neff is a professional photographer, writer, and digital nomad. She knows that the business world is full of others in her profession so she does things to make herself stand out from the crowd such as accepting bitcoin as payment. Noelle is the founder of Miami based Noelle Neff Photography, she will be sharing with us in this interview, her experince with Bitcoin.
1) Hi Noelle, please tell us how you got started in photography?
Well, if I’m being completely honest, at first I saw photography as a way to pay for college. I knew that I had a natural talent for it, so on nights and weekends I started taking just about any paying gig I could find while I was working on my journalism degree. Along with the occasional photojournalism assignment, I worked a lot of weddings and did some portrait photography too during those early days.
Even though I was laser-focused on my writing career, I ultimately fell in love with photography and realized that I couldn’t envision a future that excluded either journalism or photography. I’m fortunate that I’ve found success in two disciplines that bring me so much joy on both a personal and professional level.
2) Please tell us about “Noelle Neff Photography”?
As I alluded to, I founded Noelle Neff Photography while I was still attending the University of Miami, but it has grown so much since then and no longer bears any resemblance to the side business I founded to help pay the bills. We still do a lot of wedding photography (Miami-area weddings are the best! The scenery found throughout the city always serves as the perfect backdrop and makes my job that much easier), but we’ve expanded our services to include fine art photography and travel photography. In Miami especially, my company has developed a reputation for our exceptional still life photography, photojournalism, portraits, and macrophotography.
3) You are already an accomplished young photographer and Noelle Neff Photography’s founder. To what do you attribute your success?
That’s a question I’ve asked myself often, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint any one thing that is responsible for my success with Noelle Neff Photography. I think the main thing that the people I work with appreciate is the joy I get from photography. It’s not something you can credibly fake; people see right through that kind of thing. And that joy, I believe, is always evident in the end result.
4) Different photographers have different goals for their work. What would you like to say about your photographs?
It depends on the assignment. With photojournalism, for instance, I want each image to tell a detailed story while conveying all the complex emotions experienced by each individual subject. Wedding photography demands a different approach. I’m still trying to capture each subject’s emotions on film, but I’m also trying to flatter the subject by capturing each moment in the most appealing light possible, both in a literal and figurative sense.
5) What is it about your business that separates you from your competitors?
I need to be fully invested in everything I do, so every assignment I accept is approached with an exacting level of detail. In talking with a lot of my professional peers, I’ve learned that I’m very much in the minority in this regard. There are quite a few photographers who approach the bulk of their work with a sense of detachment, while others view certain assignments as being beneath them but still necessary to fund their creative projects. I just don’t see things that way, and I think my clients appreciate that they’ll always get my best work.
6) What are some of the most memorable shoots you’ve had?
The travel shoots are always the most memorable. My trip to Italy comes immediately to mind, and the shoot at Sardinia Beach yielded some of my best work. The funny thing about so many of my travel shoots is the number of times I fail to take a photograph because I’m so overwhelmed by the beauty of a particular moment. Sometimes I just have to set the camera aside so I can soak it all in.
7) You are accepting Bitcoin as payment for your work. Why are you accepting it? Have you taken any payments in Bitcoins so far?
I actually have quite a few reasons for accepting Bitcoin, but it was the significantly lower transaction fees that initially appealed to me. As a small business owner, I don’t have the negotiating leverage to get reduced transaction fees on credit cards. Avoiding these transaction fees by accepting bitcoin, in my estimation, has helped my business avoid a revenue loss of as much as five percent. The payment process is so much quicker, and I have found that bitcoin has made international transactions easier than ever before.
8) What are your hopes coming into the next chapter of your life and career?
I’m just looking forward to seeing where my love of photography and journalism will take me next; I don’t have any preconceived notions for the future, and my mind is open to whatever opportunity for adventure presents itself.
9) What advice do you have for upcoming photographers trying to make a career for themselves?
Never lose sight of the fact that photography is an art, plain and simple. You’ll do your best work when you approach photography with the perspective of an artist.
11) Do you want to talk specifically about any person that inspired you at all? Or art that inspires you?
I’ve always been inspired by Richard Avedon’s portrait photography, and I’m still awed by Ruth Orkin’s breathtaking travel photography.
12) And because we want the Techbullion community to get to know about you as a person … Briefly describe your perfect day?
This might sound weird but, as a photographer, the idea of just a single day of perfection is actually quite terrifying to me. I’m just crazy about all the subtle, almost imperceptible changes that each new day brings. Each shift in the wind’s direction, the sudden appearance of those thick, asymmetrical clouds that obscure the light of the sun ever so slightly — these tiny changes create an exciting new world for you to explore and experience each and every time you wake up. So, in my own weird kind of way, every day, with its unique and impermanent qualities, is a perfect day, at least in my eyes.