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Life & Work with Nina Russo of Nina Bella Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nina Russo.

Hi Nina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have had a passion for photography since my first class in 2005. I wanted to become a professional photographer as soon as I took that class but was urged to take a different career path at the time. I went on to get my nursing degree in 2009 but still had a passion for photography, so I continued to educate myself in the field and started a legal “side business” in 2015 while still working as a nurse. My photography business grew quickly, quicker than I had ever imagined. I never had the passion for nursing as I do for photography, and after some real soul searching decided to resign as a nurse to do photography full time in 2019. I consider myself blessed to be able to do something I love for a living.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My journey as a professional photographer has not been “smooth” per se, but I am happy with my journey. I started my business legally right around the time I had my 2nd (of 3) babies and was still working full-time as a nurse. I had a lot on my plate, but luckily I was young and ambitious, so I had no problem pulling late nights when needed. Everything was going well (although crazy busy) until we moved to Arizona from Chicago in 2019, and I lost all of my clients (obviously); then the pandemic hit, so I had very little work for a while. It was fine, though, because, at this point, I had 3 young children at home that needed my attention, from changing diapers to homeschooling. Wow, that was a crazy time! I decided not to get upset about the things I could not control, so I kept happy and had faith that things would work out, and right around November 2021, everything picked back up again at full speed for my photography business. Again, I consider myself blessed even with all the bumps in the road!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
There are so many genres of photography. I LOVE working with babies from newborns through the milestones of the first year, and I’m good at it. I like to photograph babies in my studio using beautiful sets, props, and studio lighting. I typically form a relationship with the families through these sessions and go on to do family sessions (outdoor) for these families as well. While there are many talented baby photographers worldwide, I am known to be THE baby photographer in Cave Creek, AZ.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some changes you expect to see over the next five to ten years?
As a photographer, I’m always learning and growing my craft. I feel that the moment I think I “know it all,” I am in trouble. I like to ensure that my work stays relatively timeless and beautiful, so I try to balance that with all the trends. I still have 3 very young children who require a lot of my attention, so I have to pick and choose where I spend my time for now, but in the future, I’d love to do some teaching in the industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The one of me is done by River and Ry photography. The rest are taken by me.

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