Beyond the Lens: Flashing beauty with Diabo Photography
American media practitioner extraordinaire Oprah Winfrey once declared, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Empowering others with the thrill of ‘flashing beauty’ is photographer Nicolina Diabo.
Diabo, who has been a photographer for four and a half years, explained to Outlook what unearthed her ‘shuttering’ passion by chance.
“I got into photography by coincidence or ‘buck ups’, if you will.”
She shared that during her tertiary years as a hospitality student (who majored in food and beverage), she had in her possession a DSLR camera but never knew the full capacity of the equipment. She was, however, fascinated and eager to learn more.
Armed with her degree, she initiated the quest to find a job within her area of expertise. Unfortunately, she fell short of the mark of employment. It was during this time that a photography opportunity fell in her lap, and she cradled it like a newborn baby.
One day while at a wedding, she met the photographer and saw his nuptial set-up. Intrigued, she began to question the expert about his camera, as well as the field of photography on a whole.
“I eventually added to the conversation that I own a camera.”
That information, along with Diabo’s enthusiasm, inspired the veteran to hire her as a photographer.
“I got the new position and didn’t know one thing about photography. All that did was motivate me even more to learn about this amazing art form. If you asked me if I knew I was going to do photography as a job, I’d say, ‘No way’. I didn’t know this was an actual thing.”
Self-taught, she specialises in portraiture, food and beverage photography, as well as aerial photography. She later began taking pictures at events, which remains active in her photography portfolio. In addition, she engages in a few maternity and birthday shoots, but gravitates more towards capturing the ‘happily ever after’ of weddings.
“I love nuptial photography because it makes me happy to know that I can contribute to preserving their happy moments with my pictures.”
She describes the journey so far as challenging but fun.
“I’ve always seen photography as an art. So what I like most about photography is the fact that I get to express myself artistically through my images.”
Balancing the art of working for others and working for herself, Diabo Photography has been a manageable mission for the young photographer because her hours are flexible. “That’s what I appreciate most about being a freelance photographer,” she added. Scheduling and time management are also important factors that help to make this process a harmonious one.
Photography, she highlighted, is a very expensive business. Getting the right equipment for specific tasks is hard enough. From purchasing software to acquiring different lenses and upgrading periodically, she faced a struggle with acquiring more tools and accessories necessary for growth and sustenance. Nothing happens overnight. She needed to be disciplined and save towards the goal. “So I tried promoting myself and my work through social media, and did some overtime to save up for these things. I still am trying to attain more of these items, because there’s always upgrade, wear and tear of gears, and more.”
But she remains inspired by the fact that she is making a positive social impact. And although her clients are satisfied and give positive feedback, this consummate professional always sees room for growth and improvement. “My most memorable shoot to date was snapping shots for a health and wellness cookbook, and it stood out to me because I am proud to say those images were published. Me get a likkle buss!” she shared with a laugh.
With a preference of getting shutter action in the great outdoors, she confessed that her reason stems from the variety of elements to play with; this ultimately enhances any photo, once you know how to use them.
So what’s next for Diabo?
“I want to improve my drone photography skills and become a celebrity photographer travelling the world covering weddings.”
Outside of photography, she enjoys being a make-up artist, while returning to her roots of beverage and dabbling with mixology.
“Being a make-up artist is actually my second job, and I keep mixology close to my heart, uploading videos on YouTube.”
Her advice to someone who wants to navigate through the lens of photography but don’t know where to start, is to first ensure that you have some type of camera.
“Try to make friends with all the photographers you can find, and the ones with experience you may learn from them as I did. Try to expose yourself to the different categories of photography and see which ones you enjoy the most, and try to perfect that craft. If that’s not possible, there is always the university of YouTube!”
You can see more of this ‘flashing beauty’ and her work via social media pages Instagram and Facebook: @diabophotography. You can also reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.