We had the good fortune of connecting with Noelle Oliveira and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Noelle, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Being creative in a way that makes other people happy. For instance, seeing how my photography helps someone’s self esteem. Often times people feel self conscious about themselves at the beginning of a shoot. They’re not sure what to do or how to pose, but by the end of it they are working it for the camera and having so much fun. When they see the photos they get excited and say, “wow I look so good!” That makes me so happy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Your past always informs your present, and I have done a lot of work that has led to me becoming the photographer I am now. I went to Art Center College of Design for graphic design, so before I started photography I already had learned how to use a camera and a ton about photo editing. I’m always still learning and growing. I learn from other photographers and from models.
I have modeled a little bit as well, and having been a model I know how uncomfortable it is to just have someone point a camera at you and say, “go.” As a photographer, you have to give most people some guidance for how to pose. It’s not like posing in front of a mirror, the subject won’t know how they look until weeks later. Having been on both sides of the camera gives me a better idea of how to set up shots and make people feel at ease.
I think the combination of these skills has made the craft itself come easily to me. I feel like I’m good at what I do, but I know there’s always more to learn and I’m looking forward to growing as a photographer and business owner.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I can remember pre-covid times! I love King’s Row Gastropub in Pasadena, they have indoor and outdoor space and always have good music. Te’kila on Hollywood Boulevard has great food, and during football season hosts fans of my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. I love stand up comedy so I’d bring guests to the Comedy Store or any smaller venues that have stand up going on. Definitely would have to do something outdoors like the beach or a hike, but nothing too crowded. I’ve only lived here about 6 years, so I’m still exploring, and I think I do my best exploring when guests come to town. I guess I need some visitors to find some new spots!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I mean my whole life has lead up to this, but there have been two major influences on me over the last year. First, my friend Meghan Ingram, who goes by @adventureingrams on instagram, is the photographer that inspired me to get into this. Last year she changed her whole life to be a full time photographer and her work is incredible. I did a few shoots with her that I learned a lot from. Second is the production group The Last Dragons, run by my friend Alex Young. I met him modeling for one of their shoots in October, and since then he has been so open to my ideas and suggestions for new shoots. He’s organized (covid-safe) events for photographers, models, artists, musicians, and other creatives to meet. The Last Dragons work on a lot of community outreach work too, especially with Black Lives Matter and the Latin community. This group is full of positivity and great supporters and collaborators. Everyone works well together and supports one another.