What is a sussy?
A "sussy" (suh-see) is an unexpected gift or present.

How do you say your new last name?
Gehr-uh-lot (rhymes with care-a-lot)

What is your training/background?
I graduated with a BA in Commercial/Advertising Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. My emphasis was in food.
I graduated in Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute in New York.
After school, I interned with photographer Matthew Jordan Smith in NYC and was a kitchen intern at America's Test Kitchen in Boston and Saveur magazine in New York. Following that, I was Photo Editor for Rubberball Productions and eventually became a lead photographer there. Currently, I shoot freelance in SF, NYC and UT.

What is Rubberball?
Rubberball is a stock photography company I worked for. You can see more of my work with them by visiting their site and searching my name under photographer in Advanced Search.

Are you available for hire?
Yes, but only commercially. Commercial jobs are quoted upon request.

Do you shoot weddings?
Yes, although I only do a select few every year. A one-day wedding coverage begins at $6000 and includes a cd of all the high-res images from the day. Rates for second photographers and travel are available upon request. Please visit this link to see more wedding images.

Can I hire you to take my family's pictures?
No, I'm sorry, but I only shoot commercial assignments.

What's in your camera bag?
Please click here.

How do you get your background completely white?
This involves a large studio and strobes on the white background as well as the subject. Sometimes, a little dodging of the highlights in Photoshop eliminate any soft grays.

What would you recommend to a photography hobbyist?
A good starting camera is the Canon Rebel series.. When financially able, I suggest you invest in more expensive lenses, rather than upgrading your camera. Also, shooting with film is the best way to learn.

Do you use actions?

Do you have your photography book finished? Or the online class?
Yes! Click here for links to our books and online classes.

Whatever happened to the cooking blog?
Nothing happened.. it's still there. And as soon as I'm able, i'll be devoting lots of time to get it going.

Will you be doing more cooking classes?
Not at the moment.

When are your next photography classes?
Please click here for class descriptions.

add to sk*rt


Nate and Emily said...

Thanks for the info Nicole. That was helpful!

Kristin Cook said...

do you use canons 'L' lenses?

nicole hill said...

yes i do.

Anonymous said...

could you do a post about some ideas for easy to make backgrounds
for studio style photography?

Jesse said...

Hi Nicole!

I am getting married August 8th and am still looking for a photographer. I need coverage from around 2:30 pm - 7:30 pm and would only want the negatives (no albums etc). Can you give me a price quote?


Wendy said...

Hi Nicole,
I am an avid reader of your blog and an admirer of your work. I love photography and am getting ready to purchase the Canon 40D and some lenses. I cannot decide between the 24-105mm f/4 or the 24-70mm f/2.8 and I can only afford one! I will be shooting a little bit of everything, but no studio shots yet as I am just beginning. Could you please give me your suggestion? I really appreciate your input. I live in Austria, but I were in the U.S. I would take your classes! Thanks so much!

amy said...

Hi Nichole, I came across your website/blog today and am an instant stalker..I mean admirer. I am a children's photographer and would love to do some editorial/commercial work. What is your recommendation for that? Getting into stock photography?
I appreciate your talents.
Thank you,

Collins said...

Hi Nicole - do you know anything about pop art? I want to do something with some pics of my pets and am not sure what kind of software I should check out. I am in NO way an expert and don't even know how to use photoshop!

El said...

Hi Nicole,

Any chance you'll be offering beginner photo and food photography classes in New England this year?

nicole hill gerulat said...


Sort of! We're coming to DC and New York in a couple months.. Hang tight!


Brazil's Girl said...

Hi your friend made a purse/camera bag, and earlier this year you posted it. Where do I find it?

Allie S. said...

Hi Nicole! I'm always looking into getting a new dslr. Right now I have a Nikon D40 (which, as I saw in your most recent post, is a camera you suggest people not to get!) well I don't like it, it has never really proved to be anything special. I was just wondering if you have any advice or recommendations for Nikons? And also, do you shoot your amazing photoshoots with the Canon rebel T1i because that would be the one out of your recommendations that i would be most interested in getting??

Thank you!

nicole hill gerulat said...

Brazil's Girl: I think you're talking about the *Emera bags?

Alli S: I use the Canon 5d Mark II -but the Canon Rebel digital is a GREAT starting camera.

Ms McGarves said...

Hi Nicole,

Really love your site, blog and all of your links!!

Just a quick one - The photo that you took of Lindsey Kaufman, was that 'look' (i.e. quite grainy and almost 70s) achieved with a special technique when you took the photo - or was it post production?


nicole hill gerulat said...

HI Tracey,

I actually didn't take the picture of LIndsey --she just submitted it.


Em said...


If you had to recommend one relatively low cost piece of lighting equipment for someone who wanted to play around with tabletop & food photography a bit, but something that also doubled as a nice extra light source when photographing indoors, say, a newborn baby, what would it be? And is there one you've used that you prefer (brand, size, etc.) ? Thank you!

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hmm... Kind of hard to say but look at kits similar to the Calumet Travelite... I'm sure you can find something cheaper, but it's an easy lower-cost way to go.

Chris said...

Dear Nicole, i'm currently pursuing film and photography side by side. i'm debating whether i should get the 85mm f/1.8 or the 24mm f/2.8 prime.

Which would be most efficient for me? (note i'm trading in a 50mm f/1.4 since i'm limited to it's range. so my price limit is no more than 400$.)

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hi Chris,

Wow... those are two VERY different lenses. The 24mm is more landscape/wide angle and the 85mm is a portrait lens. It really depends on what you'll be doing and how much space you'll have between you and your subject, but the 85mm is definitely a more flattering portrait lens.


The Phillips Fam said...

I remember that you posted something about a smaller pockets sized camera you bought. I have looked through the blog to see if I could find it again, but I can't. Would you mind telling me what camera it was. I am going to Barcelona in May and don't want to take my huge 1D with me!

kate. said...

Hi Nicole! I clicked on the link to see more wedding images on the "do you shoot weddings?" question, and it took me to a weird website that definitely isn't for your pictures. I just thought I'd let you know! I hope you are doing well!

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hey Kate! Whoopsie! Thanks for letting me know. I let go of that url and guess they picked it up. :)

new link: nicolephoto.com/weddings/

Heather said...


I'm expecting my baby boy in October and mentally preparing for taking photos of his newborn cuteness. What should I use for the close-up and detail photos that won't cause distortion? Do I need a macro lens?

nicole hill gerulat said...

Anything 50mm or higher. Congratulations!

Stephanie said...

I have really learned a lot from your Photo 101 book - it has made a huge difference in my photography. I hope to take one of your online classes soon. I have a question about external flashes. I have two kids and thus use my camera a lot indoors. I try to use as much natural lighting as possible, but it's not always feasible. What external flash would you recommend? I use a Canon Rebel. My budget doesn't allow me to get anything super high-end, but is it worth it to save up for at least the Canon Speedlite 430 or can I use an off brand? Also, is there a huge difference between an auto and manual flash? Thanks so much.

Erika said...

Hi Nicole! Any way you can share with us your favorite fonts? I have a heck of a time finding scripty ones that aren't hard to read. Also - do you think it's worth the $$?

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hi Erika,

I don't really have a lot of fonts, but you can find free ones on fontsquirrel and dafont --but I love searching Veer.


Stephanie said...

Hi Nicole. What paper do you use for your tabletop/still life photography? Is it wrapping paper? Thanks.

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hi Stephanie! I use a variety of surfaces from painted tabletops, wrapping paper, wallpaper, boards and more.

T said...

Hello Nicole,
What advice would you give for a beginner photographer who is looking to intern/assist.

Thank you.

Anna said...

Hi Nicole,
What do you suggest I to do for college. Photography is rapidly getting popular now. I've always been deeply into photography, but I can tell I wont get a job later. What should I go for? I was thinking graphic design.

nicole hill gerulat said...

Hi Anna!

If you believe you won't get a job in photography, you probably won't. It's all about hard work and networking... so you can do it if it REALLY is your passion. Graphic design is a GREAT field to be in as well and allows for a little crossover.


Shannon said...

I'm in love with the heart teacup in your picture with the ranunculus. Can you tell me where to get one?