Nicole Noyce has put her formative point and shoot photography years well beyond her.
The veteran Lloydminster area photographer earned a prestigious Master of Photographic Arts (MPA) designation by the Professional Photographers of Canada at this year’s association conference in Calgary.
“This award took me five years to earn and is the biggest achievement of my career,” said Noyce, who specializes in portrait photography.
Noyce also won a best in Figure Study class award for an image titled ‘Sculpted Reach’ presented at the PPOC awards banquet.
Sculpted Reach is a stunning black and while photo Noyce took of Lloydminster dancer Justin Hauber at her Noyce Photography studio north of Sandy Beach.
It has been selected for inclusion in the PPOC’s 2016 Loan Collection, a national exhibition celebrating the best of Canadian professional photography.
“Photographers must show extraordinary talent to win an award among such illustrious company,” said Kent Wong, chair the national exhibition committee in a news release.
The annual competition features entries from across Canada in 21 different classes including press, portrait, architecture and fashion.
Noyce explained the name of the image is Sculpted Reach, because to her eye, Hauber looks very much like a sculpture.
“In the type of lighting I used, I wanted to highlight all of the form and shape of all of his hard work,” said Noyce.
“We worked really well together on that – the pose that he came up with was just very unique and artistic.”
Hauber is a former dancer at Fame Dance Studios Ltd. in Lloydminster who also danced at the Harbour Dance Studio in Vancouver earlier this year.
Noyce is pleased to report Hauber has landed a seven month job on the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship in the Bahamas, thanks in part to his eye catching photogenic pose.
“It was a combination of him being a great model and working well together on the image,” said Noyce about it being an award winner.
That best in class photo earned her enough merit points from annual national competitions to achieve the coveted MPA designation this year.
“You earn your merits towards your master’s by a combination of print merits and service to associations,” explained Noyce.
Noyce has been a board member of the PPOC of Saskatchewan for five years and a director for four.
Noyce said her awards are a message to her clients that she is dedicated to continually learning and improving her skills to provide a better product.
“From a business standpoint, it shows that I am definitely engaged in the craft that I am practicing and that I want to do the best that I can for my clients,” she said.
“In turn, that should be a benefit to anyone that hires me.”
She recalled her first camera was a Polaroid when she was about 12.
“I didn’t know that I would be doing it as a business until my second daughter was born about 12 years ago, but I always took a lot of photos with my family,” she said.
Noyce’s studio is located on her 40-acre property at Killarney Lake and it can fit up to 30 people at a time for inside group photos.
She said most of her clients are local, but she’s not adverse to frequent flying as a sought after professional.
Her reputation as a skilled photographer has landed her some plum destination wedding shots, most recently in Jamaica and also in Hawaii and Mexico.
“Tofino B.C. is absolutely beautiful, so I am willing to travel and people are willing to invest in that,” said Noyce.
Her advice to newbies is to improve on their craft every day that they shoot and run it as a business.
“I believe a lot of photographers need to do their research in the business aspects of it so they are charging an amount that is reasonable for the industry,” she said.
Noyce is also thinking about putting on a summer workshop and will post the details on her Facebook page when the time and location are set up.