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Godsey brings photography business home

After living abroad for several years, Unicoi County native Nicole Godsey returned to her hometown earlier this year and brought her photography business with her.
During a recent interview with The Erwin Record, Godsey said she loved art from a young age.
“It came easy to me,” she said.
After graduating from Unicoi County High School, she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1993-1996.
She said she became interested in photography after she had children.
“We would take them to photography studios and have pictures made,” Godsey said. “They were just so posey. … I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore, so I decided to buy a camera and start taking pictures of my kids.”
Godsey met her husband, Corey, while living in Spartanburg, S.C. After they married in 2001, Corey decided to enter the armed forces and enlisted in the U.S. Army. In 2010, the couple and their children – Seth, Emma, Carolina and Isabella – moved to Germany where Corey was stationed.
Godsey said she began taking photos a few years before she started her business, but only as a hobby until friends suggested she think about it as a profession.
“I started doing shoots, but wouldn’t charge people,” she recalled. “Then I had people asking me why I wasn’t charging.”
Godsey has since studied at the New York Institute of Photography and the Savannah College of Art and Design.
With the family living in Germany, Godsey began to expand her business. In addition to taking photos of families, couples and events, she took photos of military homecomings.
While training one week before his deployment to Afghanistan, Corey, who served as a medic, was injured and was later labeled a wounded warrior. This led Godsey to begin working with the Wounded Warrior Project.
Since then, she has donated her time and talents to the organization, which according to its website works “to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.” Godsey recently took photos of a “Tough Mudder” race that benefitted the organization. She also shot a cover for a book benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.
“The Wounded Warrior Project has done a lot for our family,” she said. “I can’t say enough about that organization.”
Godsey said she photographs a variety of events, including homecomings, engagements, weddings, birthday parties, family portraits, senior portraits, maternity photos and newborn photos. She describes her photography as a “documentary” style.
“I want to see expression and emotion,” Godsey said. “I go into families’ homes and hang out with them and take pictures. Families miss these things that happen during the day that they don’t even realize – how the kid mimics their parent is really cool. I get pictures of that and then I show the parents and they didn’t even know their kid did that. …
“Because I’m just hanging out with the kids, and eventually the parents, forget I’m there with the camera and they relax. You can get a real version of a day in the life of that family that they will have forever.”
Godsey said the first part of her sessions consist of taking portraits of the family.
“The portraits are laid back, casual,” she described. “I don’t want them looking at me. I don’t want them posing. I just want them talking to each other and hanging out as a group. After I do the portraits, then it’s all documentary.”
For more information about Nicole Godsey Photography, call 999-0188, email [email protected] or visit nicolegodseyphotography.com.