ABOUT NINA OTTOLINO
Nina Ottolino knew she wanted to be a part of the fashion industry since she was 5 years old. She was signed with multiple Chicago agencies and attended numerous casting calls and auditions around her school schedule. As she grew older she became interested in make-up and graphic design; studying both passions every chance she could get. Nina attended Columbia College Chicago to pursue a graphic design career until her second school year. By this time, she had developed a love like no other for one of her prerequisites: her first photography class. A classic love story.
She switched her major to photography and started her own business within months of her first class Sophomore year. At 19 years old, she grew her photography business photographing her clients as fashion models prior to working with local modeling agencies a couple years later. After she graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography, Nina continued to study make-up to offer make-up services to her photography clients. She began having visions of a new concept salon and photo studio in one where her clients can be photographed after their beauty services or have their hair and make-up done before their shoot.
When she was 22, one year after graduating, Nina opened Shear Conviction Salon & Photo Studio in Chicago's West Town neighborhood. The studio was featured in InStyle Magazine's Black Book of the Best Places Across the Country. Shear Conviction was a full service salon & photo studio that gave her the ability to work with all of her clients in one place and offer a variety of hair services with her talented team of hair stylists. After 4 amazing years, Nina made the decision to direct all her focus to her photography career.
Today, Nina photographs for modeling agencies as well as for brands and designers. Aside from photographing people, she is also skilled in retouching and product photography. Nina uses her experience in modeling, make-up, and as a former salon owner to connect with her clients and team on another level. She is able to communicate direction in a language they can understand and she knows the importance of keeping a consistent brand identity. She is inspired by light, simplicity, natural beauty, and emotion when creating her images. Her passion can be seen throughout her work.
For More on Nina: Interview with Nina Ottolino for Voyage Chicago