Celebrating a Milestone: Graduating from Brooks

Two years ago today, I graduated from Brooks Institute – what a journey it was! Not sure how I did it, but it was the best decision I ever made with my life! Proud to have gotten the outstanding photography education afforded to me and grateful for it to have helped make my dream of becoming a “real” working photographer come true! Thank you to my amazing instructors who paved the way for me! To my fellow Brookies – I miss all of you – I love seeing all the incredible work you all are producing near and far! Cheers to the Class of 2014!!! 🎓📸🍾


With Classmates: Kenny Castro & Saskia Koerner 

graduation crew_

With my wonderful family & friends who made it to SB to see me graduate! 

I also wrote the following “Thank You” note (see below) two years ago upon completing my final semester at Brooks and graduating. No one got to see it because it was hung up on the second floor at our Cota campus and that floor was closed off to the public during my last week there. So, I thought what an appropriate day to share 🙂 



“Brown Sparrow Wedding” Feature

This has been an AMAZING week as another one of my favorite weddings has been featured, this time on Brown Sparrow Wedding’s website!

Amanda and Kendall’s whimsical and enchanting garden wedding at the beautiful Estate Belvedere was one of my first weddings I shot when I moved back home to St. Croix from California. I was their second shooter, and photographed alongside Greg Wyatt.

Their wedding will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the catalyst for me to expand my photography portfolio and shoot weddings on a full-time basis 🙂 I absolutely LOVE capturing the LOVE!

Thanks again Digitally Brewed for your assistance in getting published!

Check out the full feature on Brown Sparrow Wedding’s website here.


© Nicole Canegata

“The Well Groomed Groom” Feature

I’m super excited to share that some of my photos from Kelsy & Adam Kadisak’s beautiful and intimate destination wedding at the Palms at Pelican Cove has been featured on The Well Groomed Groom’s website!

Thank you Cindy Clearwater from SunCelebration for officiating the ceremony and all the wonderful “rustic chic” wedding details!

Thank you Digitally Brewed for your assistance in getting published!

Check out the full feature on The Well Groomed Groom’s website here.


© Nicole Canegata

“Seacoast Lately” Blog Feature

I am thrilled to share that one of my wedding images from Savannah + Matt’s destination wedding in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was featured on Seacoast Lately’s Blog, featuring the amazing event planning of Leander Matos from The I Do Scene. Check out Seacoast Lately’s entire blog post here.


© 2015 Nicole Canegata

“Love is in the Air”

“Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.” ~Voltaire~

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Love Birds out there!


© 2009 Nicole Canegata

IB Designs: Featured Artist

THANK YOU Kimberly Hummers for the BEAUTIFUL write up of me and my photography work featured on ib designs blog!!!

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, St Croix Photographer - Nicole Canegata and ib designs team up.
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 | Food PhotographyNicole 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 herNicole Canegata | Cambodian Roots 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 Canegata PhotographyNicole 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 Nicole Canegata Photographycraft 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.


Kimberly Hummers

See more at: http://www.ibdesignsvi.com/feelgoodblog/#sthash.vMgZQw6C.dpuf

TabyCats Creative Popular Picks

I’m thrilled to be featured amongst Taby Cats Creative popular picks of amazing photographers! 11224098_736664652358_4337036502169883804_n

TabyCats Creative: 25 Questions

TabyCats Creative interviewed me as one of their featured artist (see previous post) and here are my 25 questions:

Ode to Mr. Rollei (self-portrait)

Ode to Mr. Rollei (self-portrait)

1. Film or Digital?


2. Left handed or Right handed?

Right handed

3. Favorite Food?

Sushi – I could eat it everyday!

4. What is a talent or skill most people would be surprised to learn you possess?

I sing – I’m a little shy, but I won a karaoke contest once singing “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and “Fallin” by Alicia Keys. I was also one of the main leads in two of my high school musicals: “Liesel” in “The Sound of Music”, and “Hope Harcourt” in “Anything Goes”.

5. Where were you born?

St. Croix, the largest U.S. Virgin Island

6. If you were given an open-ended plane ticket where would you go?

Spain, Portugal, Morocco & Turkey to start…

7. Home cooked or take out?

Take out – my goal this year is to cook more!

8. If you were stuck on an island what musician or band would you want with you?

Dead: Bob Marley

Alive: Sade

9. What are you most proud of?

Changing my career…graduating from the intense Brooks Institute… pursuing my dream of being a working photographer, and my world travels to 6 continents, 48 countries and 185 cities.

10. If you were not a Photographer, what would you do?

I would be a yoga instructor part-time, and a writer of some sort – probably a travel writer/blogger and would love to work for Conde Nast Traveler or National Geographic Traveler. I would also like to own a little bed and breakfast in a provincial beach town.

11. What was the last movie you went to? 


12. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Disorganization – I’m a bit OCD.

13. Is your glass half full or half empty?

Half full for sure!

14. Introvert or Extrovert?

A bit of both – depends on my mood

15. If you had to be described by others in one word, which word would you hope they used?


16. What celebrity would you like to meet for coffee?

Angelina Jolie – I admire the humanitarian work she does for the United Nations, and her life is just so inspiring on so many levels besides being a celebrity.

17. Favorite Social Media outlet?


18. Favorite Book?

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy & Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

19.  Favorite all-time movie?

The Princess Bride – I’m an 80’s baby lol!

 20. Sweet treats or Salty treats?

Sweets all the way – I’m addicted to chocolate of every kind!

21. On a rough day, how do you practice self-care?

Yoga and meditation.

22. What professional photographers do you look up to?

Classic Photographers: Fritz Henle, Imogen Cunningham, Ruth Bernhardt, Michael Kenna, Sally Mann & Irvin Penn

Contemporary Photographers: Brian Hodges, Nancy Neil, Jose Villa & Lisa Romerein

23. Your favorite image or project you created

My black and white fine art nude series

 24. Favorite Disney movie and Pixar movie

The Little Mermaid

Pixar Movie: The Incredibles

25. Beauty or Brain

More brains than beauty with a sense of humor

Check out the original post here 🙂

TabyCats Creative: Featured Artist

I am very happy and proud to share that I am this week’s featured artist on TabyCats Creative site:

Check out some of my new work and read a little bit about my creative process below:

“TabyCat’s Featured Artist of the week is a wonderful woman with a beautiful soul. From working with her in the past I know she takes her craft very seriously and truly enjoys being a photographer. This is only a peak into the work she can produce, so please also check out her website to see all of the different types of photography she is versed in.”

Name: Nicole Canegata

Website: www.nicolecanegata.com

Instagram:  @NicoleCanegata

Featured Artist: Nicole Canegata
When / How did you start creating?  

I was inspired by my father’s photo obsession at a young age; he compiled massive photo albums of every occasion and was an avid picture taker. He first handed me a Polaroid camera at age 10 – gave me a quick tutorial and requested that I take an outdoor portrait of him in his military uniform because my mother could not take a ‘straight’ picture to save her life! He was surprisingly impressed and satisfied with the prints – one of my proudest photographic moments to date! Little did he know, he awoke the budding photographer inside of me; however, it was not until later on in life that I would explore my photographic potential and skills.

During my undergraduate studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where I received a B.A. in International Relations, I had the opportunity to work as a print and commercial model, and I became fascinated with the artistic and technical process behind the lens, while in front of it. It wasn’t until I participated in Semester at Sea my senior year, a study abroad program where I lived on a ship for 100 days, circumnavigating the globe and visiting 10 different countries, that I picked up a camera and really fell in love with photography and traveling. My dad ended up giving me my first film camera as my graduation present from college and little did I know, the beginning of my photography journey began.

I ended up purchasing my first digital SLR camera in 2007, and life was never the same! From thereon, I continued to document my extensive world travels; I have traveled to 6 continents, 48 countries and 185 cities to date. In January 2011, I was invited by a local art director, Francis Thomas Capone (now a great friend of mine) to have my first solo exhibit: The Traveling Lense at his space, MacheteMachete Art Studio. My show’s success was the catalyst that inspired me to “follow my bliss” – quit my Financial Research Editor position of 8 years, and relocate to Santa Barbara, CA to pursue my second degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography at Brooks Institute.

I graduated in April of 2014 from Brooks, and am presently a freelance commercial, editorial and fine art photographer, running my photography business back home in St. Croix USVI, where I specialize in architectural, food and portraiture photography. 


What is your creative process?

My creative process really depends on the project. When working on certain personal and commercial projects, I really enjoy being inspired in the moment…being open and spontaneous and just going with the flow of creative energy. With other projects, I do lots of research and try to be as prepared as possible for specific shoots.

As I approach photographing architectural interior shoots, I want to be able to give life to a space, make the viewer feel like they can walk through the space, and capture details that may go unnoticed to the average eye. If I haven’t scouted the location, I am very inspired in the moment and will observe, explore and play. If I have scouted the location and my client has specific angles or a vision they want me to capture, I follow their lead and go from there.

When preparing for a food shoot, I spend a LOT of time with pre-production. Once I figure out exactly what type of food experience I want to capture or convey, I will do my research for inspiration photos in books and online. My research includes the food/drink items, to the plate-ware & cutlery, color theme and feel of the shoot. I really enjoy this process, as I am a foodie through and through!

Most recently, I have done a couple pseudo “fashion” editorials as personal projects. During this process, I tend to look through print fashion magazines and online fashion blogs for ideas and inspiration with a specific vision in mind. Then I scout and select models that will help me accomplish this vision, with the goal of collaborating with them, and most of all having fun in the end!


What are your inspirations?

I am inspired by my every day environment 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 – friends, family & strangers; books (I LOVE to read); poetry; music; yoga & mediation; traveling; photographers past & present; independent films; complimentary colors; and I’m obsessed with shapes, lines & textures (thanks to Brooks).



How would you describe your style?

That is a difficult question for me to answer, as I feel my style is still evolving. When I first picked up a camera, it was more about documenting my surroundings and experiences. Initially, I was really intent on becoming a travel photographer and throughout my time at Brooks, my focus and interest shifted to architectural and food photography. For a long time, I avoided photographing people at all costs, because it made me super nervous; now I think people are the most interesting subjects to photograph and I can’t get enough of it!

Presently, my main objective is to create imagery that is meaningful – I want my viewers to have an emotional connection with my work. I LOVE utilizing natural light above all else. I love capturing black and white images that emulate the dark room film process for my personal fine art work. I enjoy abstracting parts of the whole. With my commercial work, I want my images to be as clean and minimalistic as possible. During portrait sessions, I love creating soft, ethereal, timeless scenes. With my fashion work, I like bold, bright, complimentary colors, and I enjoy juxtaposing my models within interesting environments. I am fascinated with people, places, architecture, food, nature, fine art and documentary photography – I can’t quite narrow down my genre or subject matter, but who says I have to?! I am pretty happy shooting it all, and in time my style will come together.


Among your work, what is a favorite project and why?

To date, my favorite project is a black and white, fine art, female nude series I did about two years ago. This project was very personal for me as I really discovered the fine artist in me during the process. I have always wanted to honor and celebrate the beautiful, fascinating and mysterious female form and was inspired by a nude series by the classic photographer, Ruth Bernhard. I was very fortunate to have one of my best friends pose for me in my apartment, utilizing strobe lights, which are not my forte, but I really was able to express so much with the lighting and overcome the technical challenges – conveying strength and grace through movement and stillness, creating shapes with shadows, and also highlighting and abstracting parts of the whole. I am very proud of this series and hope to do another series similar to it in the future, possibly with a male subject.


Any advice you would like to give an aspiring Photographer? 

  • Be open to evolving as an artist.
  • Believe in your work and always defend it.
  • Accept constructive criticism when need be, but in the end, make yourself happy – not everyone will love your work, but you should strive to, as we tend to be our own worst critic.
  • Shoot personal projects as much as you can.
  • There is always something new to learn and discover about your craft – continue to educate yourself.
  • Manage your time well – I struggle with this one the most!
  • Challenge yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • Create something extraordinary.
  • Be inspired.
  • The wise photographer, Ernst Haas once said, “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”

Hope you enjoyed!

~ Nicole

Mullenberg Designs: Inspired by the Maine Coast

So happy to see my photography portfolio featured in this Mullenberg Designs blog post 🙂

Also honored to be alongside fellow Brookies, fashion / beauty photographer: Augusta Sagnelli & portrait / lifestyle photographer: Cara Robbins!

Mullenberg Designs

Maine Coast

We look to the sea….

Full Case book w/ Slipcase

Full Case Photography portfolio for Grace Chon

Nicole Canegata Print Portfolio

3-Piece Print Portfolio w/ Slipcase for Nicole Canegata

Bohnhoff front view

3-Piece Portfolio w/ Slipcase for Chris Bohnoff


3-Piece Portfolio w/ Slipcase for Beth Dixon


3-Piece Portfolio Book for Cara Robbins


Spinless Clam Box Tonal Vision


iPad Case for Ivan Wentland


3-Piece Designer Portfolio Book for Aimee Sheridan


Portfolio and Slipcase for Kristin Teig


Full Case Portfolio Book for Russ and Reyn


3-Piece Portfolio Book for Augusta Sagnelli

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