Nadia Dole is a photographer, stylist, writer and chef, living in Vermont, USA with her daughter Poet. When Nadia is not travelling the world teaching photography, styling or hosting workshops, you can find her on her farm, taking care of horses or at her cafe, market or shop.
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
My Name is Nadia Q. Dole I am a mother to an incredible 5-year-old little being named Poet. I am a stylist, photographer, designer and I also own a company that specialises in workshops and retreats all over the world. The last few years I have been opening concept stores - cafe, restaurants and small batch shops that specialise in simple, beautiful and purposeful goods.
You live on a farm in Vermont, it looks like a stunning place to bring up your little girl. Tell us a little bit about where you are from?
I am originally from Montreal but I currently live Vermont in the loveliest little village with makers all around and two theaters with performances every day. I have recently moved from our dream farm of eight years to another dream farm and I am working hard to make it a perfect place to raise my daughter, along with our two horses, two dogs, two cats, and many ducks and chickens. The house started as a one room house in the 1760s and now is a large home with five bedrooms that have been pieced together through time. Our favorite room is the library, where we like to sit and listen to records, or meals sat outside on our porch which over looks the vegetable garden. This is where we have spent the majority of our time recently, harvesting asparagus, spinach and watching strawberries grow.
Your work has taken you to some fantastic destinations, tell us, how do you decide on where to go and what has been your favourite destination so far?
I am very lucky to be able to travel to remote places around the world. Fueled by a passion for the unknown, being emerged in cultures and being inspired by incredible landscapes is what drives me to create workshops and retreats. Often I am drawn to a place/country and I create a workshop around it, other times it is a house, villa or certain light in a space, for example a castle light that compels me to create a retreat. Other times a photographer, filmmaker or chef will contact me with a location in mind and I will create a workshop around it. No matter what the destination, the most important thing is to give our attendees a unique experience, away from the saturated of tourist destinations or social media "must sees". Instead we search for hidden gems yet to be discovered. Currently I am obsessed with Morocco and the Nomads, their life in the desert, I am drawn by the connection to its people. Truth be told I love every place I have visited or worked in, I usually fall hard in the moment. This year there we are doing a trip to Bhutan, India, Morocco, France, Vermont and possibly Ireland.
What are your top tips for aspiring photographers?
Shoot in natural light (forget that your camera has a flash). Commit to your shot, too often when shooting other people, such as a farmer or a vendor at the farmers market, we rush it trying to sneak the picture in, when we do this we end up not holding the camera steady and most likely will not get the shot. Take it without asking if possible, but always politely.
Think again, is this shot too obvious? Could you find a more interesting angle? Try to do everything in camera and don't rely heavily on post processing, unless you like it. I don"t have the patience or time so I try very hard to get the shot as I want it before I press the shutter.
Dead space is key for a clean and modern image. There are a lot of tutorials and videos online - learning just one new technique can profoundly change your photographs. Workshops are great not only for one on one time with your instructor, but also what you learn from other attendees
Finally, if you are wondering if a new camera would help you take better pictures, rent that camera and a lens. It is inexpensive to do and will give you a feel for the possibilities. Oh, and shooting with your phone is perfectly acceptable these days and I always do!