Photographer Nicola Brander.
Photographer Nicola Brander. Nicola Brander

Why getting fired was the best thing for this photographer

FIVE years ago, Nicola Brander was fired from her first job in her dream career of being a photographer.

The then 22-year-old had only just finished a two year photography course when she landed a job with a wedding photographer that paid $20 an hour.

But one day her employers called her in and showed her the door.

It crushed Ms Brander and she walked away from the profession she had believed since a child she would be good at.

"I was in tears when I got fired, I thought maybe this was not the job for me. I went off and did a different job for a while".

The photographers she'd been working for criticised her techniques and fired her because she had been doing her own work.

"They didn't like the fact I was still doing some of my own work.

"It was a huge kick in the guts. It was my first real job learning with another photographer doing weddings."

Ms Brander went to drive delivery trucks for supermarket giant Coles.

Thankfully, the story does not end here.

Encouraged by family and friends, Ms Brander decided to have a go at pursuing photography again.

She began doing contract work with the Sunshine Coast Daily and also did private work for cost price to build up her profile.

"I got my camera back out and started photographing friends and families," she said.

"It gave me the encouragement to get back into it and not let those people stop me from doing what I wanted."


Photographer Nicola Brander has found her passion in taking photos of babies.
Photographer Nicola Brander has found her passion in taking photos of babies. Nicola Brander

This decision to not let go of her dream has more than paid off.

Ms Brander's photographer business has blossomed and not only is she earning a lot more than $20 an hour, she is looking to take on new staff.

"It takes awhile. For a few years I was doing a lot of free shoots or cheap shoots to get my name out there.

"Working at the Daily gave me confidence. Three-and-a-half years ago I started my own business.

"Initially it was very slow and I almost gave up, but I kept persevering."

Her advice to others who get fired from a job they love is to not give up.


Nicola Brander's stunning hinterland photograph.
Nicola Brander's stunning hinterland photograph. Nicola Brander

"Keep persevering, don't let other people try and crush your dreams and passions," she said.

Ms Brander doesn't only take wedding photographs, she has begun specialising in maternity and baby shoots.

One of her favourites is birth photography.

She would never have imagined five years ago, working for someone else, that she would be where she was today.

"Anyone can get there with a little bit patience and a lot of hard work."