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Maternity, Newborn, &
Family photography

Serving Columbia, SC &
the surrounding areas

Welcome to the NWP Blog!

Take a look around to see past maternity, newborn, and family sessions, read tips for clients, and get little peek into my life as a mom and photographer!

The (Last) Last Day of School

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I walked down the quiet school hallways, following the familiar pathway to my classroom as though I was on autopilot. Under my arm was tucked a small box — a box that felt surprisingly light given the importance of what it held.

I entered the room that had become my home away from home for the last two years of my teaching career. It was stark and impersonal compared to what it had been, the once colorful walls bare and blank, all my personal belongings packed up in boxes, most of the furniture pushed to one corner to prepare it for summer cleaning.

I closed the door, sat down at my desk, and sliced through the brown packing tape on the box. It felt fitting that this would be the place where I first held my new camera in my hands. My new professional camera, a full-frame DSLR that I had been saving for and working toward for ages. It seemed right that it would be this day—my last full day of school with my students—that it would arrive, a symbol of one journey ending and a new one beginning.

Tears welled in my eyes as I pulled the camera body out of the box and held it in my hands. So this is what it feels like, I thought to myself. I remembered how I felt so many possibilities opening up to me when I held my first DSLR camera. But this feeling… there was no comparison. It felt like I was holding the magnitude of my decision in my hands — branching out into new territory, stepping out of my comfort zone to pursue a dream, finding a new passion, and running after it with everything I had.

*****

I have cried every year on the last day of school, both as a student and as a teacher, but this last time, the tears fell for so many reasons. The emotion of the end of the year. Relief over having survived the end-of-school-year craziness. Watching my kiddos—my sweet students— head off for the summer, hoping I had done all I could to prepare them for the next year (and for life), praying I had made even just a small difference in their lives. Bittersweet feelings over leaving the profession I had always imagined for myself to pursue another that sparked an equal passion and excitement in me. The unknown of branching out into something entirely new, and the fear of falling flat on my face.

It’s always scary for me to take a leap of faith, especially when there’s so much at stake. And as excited as I was to pursue photography full-time, it was still hard to close the chapter on a comfortable, familiar career that I loved. But as I finished that final school year and closed that chapter of my life, I also stepped forward into the first week of a new month, the first day of a new venture, the first session with my new gear photographing my sweet friend Diana’s first child, her newborn son, in my first fresh 48 newborn session.

And looking back… as hard and as scary as it was to make that leap, I’m so grateful that I did. This job has been so rewarding, and I’m reminded every day how many amazing clients I am able to serve and how much I absolutely love what I do.

*****

 
Catch up with the rest of my photography journey series through the links below!

Part I – What I Learned about Photography from My First Point and Shoot Camera
Part II – What I Learned about Storytelling through Photography on My First Trip Abroad
Part III – What My Photography Journey has Taught Me about Perfectionism and Taking Risks
Part IV – The (Last) Last Day of School

 

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Hey, I’m Nicole!

Columbia, SC Newborn, Maternity, & Family Photographer

I’m a sentimental mom of two with a heart for helping moms like you have a stress-free photography experience. I’m here to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera and capture beautiful photos to tell the story of this season of life.

Serving Columbia, SC & the surrounding areas