Life travels like a film reel around us. At times we stop and are present in these moments. Some moments are rewarding and others we would rather not relive. These occasions,
regardless of the outcome, linger and mold our character. As we age, we attempt to collect these instances and reflect on our purpose. Am I where I want to be? Am I successful? Am I doing what I want to be doing? Am I happy? Reflecting can be a catalyst for change or reassurance that you are exactly where you want to be. Regardless, one important message that ib designs represents and St Croix photographer, Nicole Canegata weaves through life and work is “feel good” in what you are doing.
Nicole Canegata had this exact epiphany when she decided to quit her financial job of 8 years and pursue her love of photography. Her father who compiled an abundance of family pictures and photo albums inspired Nicole at a young age. At age ten, her father handed her a camera to take a picture of him in his military uniform; little did the father and daughter know that as Nicole steadied her hand and snapped the moment, a seed would be planted. A love for photography was awakened. This seed lead to Nicole’s’s first solo art exhibit, The Traveling Lense, in January of 2011. A local art director, Francis Thomas Capone, invited her to show her work at his macheteMACHETE Art Studio. The show’s success catapulted her to quit her job and pursue her second degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography at Brooks Institute.
Nicole gains inspiration from the world around her. To date, she has traveled to six continents, 48 countries and 185 cities. She attributes her photo inspiration to her surroundings whether it be natural or urban – the ocean, sunsets, rolling green hills, full moons, dilapidated buildings, historic districts, industrial modern spaces; people from all walks of life, hobbies, food and traveling. While things we encounter in everyday life inspire Nicole, her work provides deeper meaning. Take for instance this image of food. Alone, a carrot, lemon, tomato and cucumber are delicious to eat, but in the image they are symmetrical and balanced. On first sight, the brightness of the fresh food might attract the viewer’s stomach. At the same time, graphically the composition is equally as powerful and deliberate. This balance and symmetry of the succulent vegetables gives the viewer a calm, Zen feeling.
In the second image of the tree, the eye is initially drawn to the texture of the photograph. A deeper study leads the eye to the sensual contours and curves of the tree. The roots resemble the torso of a female body. They emulate the s-curve of a females’ back and buttocks. Upon a broader study, you realize you are looking at the roots of a massive tree in juxtaposition to ruins. So much about this black and white still life speaks and breathes life; thus, provoking a feeling from the viewer. In comparison, Nicole’s human black and white portrait lures the viewer’s eye to traverse the contours of the woman’s neck, shoulder, back and bottom. The smooth lines of the human skin and tree root not only create feeling, they also honor their subjects. These photographs serve as a direct tribute to the talent, soul, connection and eye for beauty of the photographer.
Nicole hopes to continue her dreams and create work that is “inspiring, beautiful, thought provoking and commercially viable.” She professes it is never too late to make your dreams a reality. Nicole explains “I want to inspire anyone who has a dream, to always go for it; nothing is impossible with hard work, vision, and perseverance.” Her proudest work to date is her black and white fine art nude images. She would love to be published by Architectural Digest, work for a renowned photographer where she can continue to be challenged, and, in her spare time, publish a coffee table book.
When you view Nicole’s portfolio, one can truly see her emotional connection to the picture being snapped. Her life’s journey combined with her craft sends a “feel good” message. She has refined her craft to move the audience, similar to ib’s designs. Strength. Harmony. Infinity. Virtue. Om. Unity. Balance. Life. Depth. Love. Culture. Serenity. Peace. Feel good. Words that hold small value individually, amount to a powerful representation and a mold for living your life. ib designs and St Croix photographer Nicole Canegata are inspiring representations of the ib motto “feel good” in everything you do.