Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Cosky.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In February 2016 I was working at a full time job at a public access TV station while shooting weddings, events and landscapes on the side. Doing anything I could to build a photography business and name for myself. I was out of shape, eating poorly, and sitting behind a desk for 8 hours or more per day. I was kind of miserable. On a Friday I texted my wife from work and said “I have got to quit this job and focus on NCP full time”. Imagine you’re splitting bills with someone and you get that text. It was worrisome to say the least. I got home that night and we talked it out deciding it was the right time. I gave my two weeks’ notice on Monday starting my full time self-employed life in March of 2016.
The first six months of being solely self-employed were easily some of the toughest months of my life. I can’t even count the amount of times I second guessed that decision to leave a steady paycheck to build a business. I was making progress and slowly building the client list but it wasn’t easy. I just kept my head down and continued to try to make it work, pushing all aspects of my photography: weddings, real estate, events, and landscapes.
Fitness photography wasn’t on my radar until one of my favorite real estate clients asked me to do headshots of the company’s agents. The only examples I could show at that time were from weddings. I started reaching out to Boston bloggers offering a shoot in exchange for some headshots I could use in my portfolio. I met some great people in that process and one of those shoots ended up being with a fitness blogger. From there, I started doing more fitness shoots and it quickly spiraled into the type of photography I shoot the most.
Surrounding myself with people who make fitness and health a priority was a never ending reminder that I wasn’t taking care of my body. I decided it was time to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. I’m all about keeping it simple so I made three changes: started working out twice a week with one of my photo clients, stopped eating fast food/greasy foods and started walking more(Boston is a very walkable city). I also have all of my fitness photo shoots to thank for my active lifestyle. Walking all over the city with a camera bag on my back has also been great exercise. After a year of changing my lifestyle, I’ve gone from XXL to L shirts and 4 inches slimmer on my waist.
The physical changes feel great but nothing compared to the mental changes. I went from miserably working 40 hours per week at a job I didn’t like to happily working 40+ doing something that makes me truly happy. Back when I told my wife I wanted to quit my full time job we agreed that we would talk 3 months from then to assess if I needed to look for a full time job again. After 1 month when it still wasn’t quite working yet she told me that we didn’t need to discuss anything. She said could see how much happier I was already and that she knew I was going to make it work. Just typing that gives me the chills, having someone in your corner to support you like that is amazing.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
During my last two weeks at my full time job I had a co-worker tell me that he knew a freelance photographer who was doing it full time and that he’d ask her for some advice for me. I thought that was great, I figured I’d need some advice while making this huge transition. He came back on Monday and told me her advice was “don’t, it’s hard out here”. She wasn’t wrong. There were definitely times where I had to choose between making rent or eating lunch during those first few months. I was working 12 hour days, locking myself in a small office while constantly throwing spaghetti against a non-stick wall. I set small goals for myself each week that were all focused on getting new photo shoots. When I changed my focus to getting more photo shoots instead of more money, the money followed. I knew I made the right decision when those 12 hour days were more satisfying than a 4 hour shift at my full time job. So I guess looking back the biggest obstacle was finding a niche and making it work. I truly don’t think I’d be where I’m at if I didn’t pick focus on one aspect of photography. I still do work outside of the fitness world but the fitness work is what opens up those other opportunities.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nick Cosky Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a photographer who is willing to shoot anything but I specialize in fitness. In my first two years of shooting fitness I have had 430 photo shoots with different fitness bloggers, group fitness instructors, personal trainers, athletes, dancers, bodybuilding competitors, fitness studios and fitness brands. I can’t describe how grateful I am to have met so many amazing people along the way. I deliver all of the edited images from a photo shoot within 24 hours of the shoot. I don’t know if that sets me apart but it is what gets me the most positive feedback.
One thing I guess I have become known for is my Instagram captions. I don’t know if this sets me apart in a good way or a bad way but when it comes to my Instagram posts (@ncoskyphoto) the caption never matches the photo. I’m someone who is laid back and has an eccentric sense of humor so I enjoy using my captions to share things that I think others might enjoy or something that just came to my head. It comes very naturally to me to make a dry joke so if I do it in the captions I think people get to know my personality a bit before shooting with me.
I think the thing I’m most proud of as a company is my policy on photoshopping people’s bodies. I don’t do it. Lighting and angles are everything. I’m also proud of delivering the photos within 24 hours. I have sometimes had 3-5 shoots in one day and it takes long days for that turnaround to happen. It might take a long day but it still doesn’t feel like work to me.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
One of my goals for 2018 has been to add a new city to my fitness portfolio every month. In 2017 I was hired to go to Chicago and work a non-fitness trade show for 3 days. While I was there I ended up adding 8 fitness shoots to my portfolio. That gave me the confidence that I could go to other major cities and line up photo shoots. So in 2018, I’ve been able to shoot in cities like New York City, Denver, Seattle, Charlotte and Nashville. Some of these I had never been to and some I was able to visit family at the same time. Can’t beat that. I’m looking forward to some TBD monthly trips to finish up 2018.
- Website: www.NickCosky.com
- Phone: 617-334-5017
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/ncoskyphoto
All photos by Nick Cosky