Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Nicole of Nicole Bates Photography, based in Saint Joseph, Michigan. Enjoy!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I am a less than a month away from twenty five and from a small town in Southwest Michigan.  I love the beach, breakfast, and my german shepard. When I am not taking portraits, I am teaching yoga to my lovely little community in Saint Joseph, Michigan. Photography has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember, and that interest has really began to feel like a career for me. Over the last few years, the people in front of my camera became clients and not just models. My ideas now become reality through my camera lens and within that my photographs show my true style and artistic vision. I truly feel like my company is becoming something more and that I have so very much room to grow.

Read the full interview after the cut!

How did you get into wedding photography?

I’ve known I wanted to be a photographer for quite awhile. It was not until the last two years that I really decided that weddings were my thing. I love weddings and will cry at every single one. After studying photography in Montana at Rocky Mountain School of Photography, I fell in love with documentary style photography. While I feel that there are so many important things happening in the world that need to be documented- capturing the love of couples and their family and friends is so very important. Having worked in customer service for so long, I have acquired the skills it takes to handle the multitasking and stress that weddings can bring. It’s a perfect fit.

What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

My favorite part of the day to capture is the moment the bride and groom see each other for the first time. I love when couples do a first look before the ceremony- it is the most intimate, special moment of the day. So many lovely, real moments can be captured during this moment.


What is your favorite venue and why?

So far my favorite venue is Sundance Studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Sundance has a very vintage vibe and every couple brings something unique to the space. The venue provides a gorgeous outdoor ceremony site.


Nikon or Canon?



What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

My dream location to shoot a wedding would be anywhere in the mountains- or any outdoor space with awesome scenery and wild flowers.


If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

David & Victoria Beckham. Can you say 90s? Can you say custom Vera Wang? Not only are they a gorgeous couple (then and now), they are a famous couple whose relationship seems to be respectable. They were married in a castle in Ireland- yes, please! With beautiful florals- I would never miss an opportunity to photograph the details of a bouquet. Plus, the Spice Girls were there.


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

The biggest lesson I have learned thus far is don’t underestimate or undersell yourself. Know your talent and its value. Be true to who you are as a photographer and be real with your clients. Especially when you are just starting out- people want to be able to relate to their photographer and they want to feel comfortable around you. If you are uncomfortable or unsure, they will be too.


What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?

The number one tip I would give a couple is to hire a photographer that you can trust. You shouldn’t have to worry about a thing on your big day. Have a photographer by your side that works well with others and can handle multitasking. They should be able to make you relax, smile, and enjoy the best day of your life.


Thanks Nicole! For more information about Nicole Bates Photography, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Nicole? Add them to the comments below!