Let me introduce myself in more detail…
Born and raised on the beautiful island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, I was inspired by my father’s photo obsession at a young age. 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.
© 2012 Nicole Canegata – St. Croix, USVI – My Home
© 2013 Nicole Canegata – Polaroid Love – The Beginning
My undergraduate studies in International Relations at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 2001 provided 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 caught the ‘travel bug’ and knew photography and traveling would become life-long passions of mine. I purchased my first digital SLR camera in 2007, and life was never the same!
Semester at Sea – The Taj Mahal
© 2007 Nicole Canegata – My First Canon SLR Camera (Self Portrait)
I thoroughly continued to document my extensive world travels from thereon (I have traveled to 6 continents, 48 countries and 185 cities to date) and in November 2010, I was approached by a local art studio director, Francis Thomas Capone (now a great friend of mine) to have my first solo exhibit at his space, macheteMachete Art Studio. My solo debut: The Traveling Lense in January 2011, featured a collection of travel photos depicting everyday life around the globe.
“The Traveling Lense” Flyer
“The Traveling Lense” Exhibit
My show’s success was the catalyst that inspired me to augment my photography passion with formal instruction. Six months later, I decided to apply to a number of photography schools across the nation, and utilize educational benefits I was awarded from the military because of my Dad’s (Lt. Colonel David C. Canegata III) service and ultimate sacrifice for this country on January 20th, 2007, R.I.P. This journey would absolutely not be possible without his sacrifice and I will continue to make him proud!
My Dad…My Hero…Lt. Colonel David C. Canegata III
With all that said, on January 3rd, 2012…with 5 boxes shipped…2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons ready to go…not a wink of sleep (that was a given)…and a 10 hour flight ahead…I ended one chapter of my life…to begin a new one. I decided it was time to “follow my bliss” – so I quit my Financial Research Editor position of 8 years, said goodbye to my beloved island home and relocated to Santa Barbara, CA to pursue my second degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography at Brooks Institute.
© 2012 Nicole Canegata – Goodbye St. Croix
© 2012 Nicole Canegata – Hello Santa Barbara
I absolutely LOVE living in beautiful Santa Barbara. When I am not photographing or studying, I find peace and tranquility in nature and on my yoga mat.
Presently, I am two semesters away from graduating from Brooks, and working as a full-time architectural, food, and travel photographer. I cannot tell you how proud I am to have remained on course, and how excited I am for the opportunities that await me and the chance to travel some more! I am infinitely grateful for the knowledge I have gained, lessons learned and skills acquired while on this artistic and creative journey. I am living, breathing and dreaming photography and could not be happier!
Yogi in Nature
© 2012 Nicole Canegata – California Dreaming
This blog chronicles my journey as an artist and photographer…my inspirations…my musings…and all the new exciting updates in my photography world!
© 2012 Nicole Canegata – Vintage Traveler (Self Portrait)
Hope you enjoy and happy reading!