Nadia Meli: Aligning Your Values With Your Photography Business

INTRODUCING NADIA MELI

Nadia is a portrait photographer currently based in the UK. She spent many years working as a destination wedding photographer before she decided to change her path because what she was doing did not feel aligned with her values any longer. Nadia shares openly and honestly about her journey and experiences.

Hi, I am Aida, host of  My Wedding Season -The Podcast!
If you prefer listening, this blog post is also available in audio format on my podcast: Episode 29.

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INTERVIEW MAIN TAKEAWAYS

Nadia expresses that she always aims to be intentional in everything that she does, whether it is her day-to-day or big life decisions – and that includes her photography business. It has always been important for her to ensure that her reality is aligned with her values – because that is her definition of success. For example, early in her career she decided to shift from capturing big weddings to smaller, more intimate weddings. Similarily, although destination weddings were exciting for her in the beginning, with time she realised that it stresses her out and doesn’t make her happy anymore – so she decided to make changes and stop taking on destination weddings. Soon after she realised that weddings were no longer her thing and transitioned into becoming a portrait photographer.

Now as a portrait photographer based in the UK, Nadia feels like she is exactly where she needs to be, although there are challenges that come along with entering this genre of photography. She shares how she struggles with a bit of self-doubt as she finds her footing and establishes herself in this world.

Wedding photography is clearly different from taking portraits. The work that she does now requires vulnerability – which comes naturally to her. When photographers ask her how she is able to get her clients so comfortable and open in front of her lens, she clarifies to them that in order for clients to be vulnerable, you as the photographer have to be vulnerable first. She further explains that the way that you show up can potentially make your clients feel more tense or less tense.

This is a quote from her website that resonates deeply with me:

“A portrait allows you to see yourself and be seen by others. It takes vulnerability and strength to do both those things. When they happen, connection happens. And that’s the best thing about photography.”

– Nadia Meli

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”

– Brené Brown

Nadia tells the story about the day that she realised the power of a portrait when she volunteered at a women’s shelter back in 2019. They were mostly elderly women who didn’t have their portraits taken since several decades, and were feeling rather nervous. But once they received their printed photographs, they felt so good about themselves. And that is when the thought entered her mind, however simple as it may sound “A photo allows you to see yourself.” At the same time, she recognised that this sentence is very deep, meaningful and powerful. Because for a lot of people, it is very difficult to see themselves. And that makes having their portrait taken very vulernable.

We also talked about the responsibility that photographers have in society because by being the ones that produce images, we help shape the perceptions of people and beauty standards. There truly is a lack of diversity and representation in photography (that is not drenched in stereotypes). Nadia is committed to making her portfolio more and more inclusive precisely because it is a reflection of our society – it is a reflection of reality. I love it!

I am so grateful to Nadia for taking the time share so much valuable information with us.

Episode & show notes: EP 20. Nadia Meli – Aligning Your Values With Your Photography Business
Website: www.nadiameli.com
Instagram: @nadiameli
Newsletter: Life Letters
Course: The Signature Style System
Brené Brown’s Values Assessment: Living Into Our Values

HERE IS A LOOK AT HER INCREDIBLE WORK


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AIDA GLOWIK

PHOTOGRAPHER & PODCASTER

I specialise in European intimate weddings & elopements.
I provide overwhelmed wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a thriving brand and business.


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