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  • Nicole Byrne Photography - Get to know Nicole!

    Nicole Byrne Photography - Get to know Nicole!

    My name is Nicole and I am a third generation photographer that specializes in branding and portrait photography. I am the owner and photographer at Nicole Byrne Photography.  I always like to identify that photography has been in my family because it’s the reason why I am running my own photography business today.  I grew up in my family’s portrait studio that my Mom and Dad operated, a studio my grandfather opened in 1953.

    I earned my first “official” desk and office when I was 10, and I will never forget it. I had a desk, a typewriter, pen and paper for all my drawings and ideas, (I also shared my office with the furnace and cleaning supplies) but it had a folding door that nearly closed... it was heaven.  But the best part of this office was that it was right outside of the large studio space where my Dad would photograph his clients. I frequently heard the clicks and pops of his camera and lights as he guided his clients through their sessions. My favorite was hearing my Dad talk to his clients, he was a master at connecting with people and putting them at ease.  I got to tag along with my Dad to outdoor sessions, for seniors and families. I held reflectors and carried equipment, but mostly I was watching him and joking with him, and that was my introduction to photography. It’s always felt like home to me.

    I certainly didn’t have a direct path to become a professional photographer. I was urged by my parents to consider other avenues to sharpen other skills and to have strengths beyond photography. They wanted to make sure that if photography wasn’t my calling that I had other skills to fall back on, and I so appreciate the journey I took.

    I worked for a fashion photographer in Chicago, learning the production end of putting together a larger shoot for clothing catalogs. That experience spurred my interest in art direction, and I went to school for art direction then to intern at one of the biggest ad agencies in Chicago, DDB. The large scale agencies didn't connect for me, so I went on to work for small businesses as marketing managers and learned to bolster their image/brand through photography and bridging their connection to the community. My last job as art director for a Madison publication really prepared me for the jump I had been wanting to make for so long. The journey was long but I feel strongly that it has made me a better photographer.

    In the summer of 2020, when the world seemed like it was upside down, I made the leap. I realized as businesses struggled to do what they needed to, they were operating in a nearly 100% digital space, and they relied on the images on their websites and social pages to convey what they were doing. I saw a need and I tried filling it as best I could by doing sessions at outdoor locations at safe distances and I haven’t looked back since.  I am so grateful to be able to do something that helps businesses connect in their community space, and also give treasured images to families. My personal reward is that I can still connect with my Dad, my grandpa and now on the right occasions my son’s join me to learn about photography.

    Nicole Byrne Bell
    Owner of Nicole Byrne Photography
    Phone 608-643-9062 

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