My name is Nicole Mason and I am a freelance photographer based in Portland, Oregon.
Photography has been a part of my life since I was very young (my parents took many photos of my sister and I, and I always had a camera in my hands whether we were on vacation or sitting in the living room at home), but it wasn’t until I went to study art in university that I truly fell in love with it, as I learned the process of developing my own film, shooting roll after roll of black & white, spending countless hours in the darkroom watching my own images appear in the chemical process. I like to think that this type of education and background has given me a special connection and relationship with this medium among a very digital world. Though I shoot primarily digital now for most of my jobs, I am still inspired by the look of film & old photographs.
“Allow the subtle things to be glorious. Flip fear into courage. Sweetly anticipate nothing in particular. Be rocked and riveted by the “ordinary”. Think poetically. Look for the beauty. Create magic. Be love.”
– Victoria Erickson
The key to creativity is…
Variety. go outside, stay in, make things, take breaks, spend time with people, spend time alone, etc.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?
Nature, fashion, art, design, travel, music, movies, other photographers. I think the combination of these things that I love make up my vision.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and what is the best advice you would give to someone just starting out?
They’re both very cliche answers, but “hard work pays off” & “be yourself”. You have to have passion for what you do as well as a drive to get better every day to succeed as a freelance artist. You can’t expect everything to be perfect right away, or have instant success; you don’t become a full-time photographer overnight. Your work is also a reflection of who you are, so if you’re trying to be someone else, it’s going to show. You’ll produce your best work when you’re shooting on instinct, with your own vision.
Right now favorites
“I Found” by Amber Run
“The Theory of Everything”
“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
The Oregon Coast