Noelle Neff is a photographer and entrepreneur. She currently works and lives in Florida, and her business, Noelle Neff Photography, is based in downtown Miami. Neff is a graduate of the University of Miami.
Noelle’s business began out of a love for her art form. She has been taking photographs for over ten years, due to her love for capturing visual images. It was only two years ago that Noelle Neff Photography became an official business, but Noelle was building the business for years before it officially came into being.
Her client base originally came from word-of-of mouth relationships, but quickly grew to include the greater Miami area. As Noelle branched into digital marketing, her customer base continued to grown and expand. She focuses on wedding photography, but also works at speaking events and athletic events.
Her award-winning photography also includes portraits and photos of fine art. She is known for pushing the boundaries of the genre she decides to photograph, and her work has a distinct style. Neff credits this originality to the creative process that she has developed over the years.
In addition to honing her creative skill set, running her business, and taking photographs every day, Noelle also enjoys spending time at the beach, eating Japanese food, reading, supporting fellow entrepreneurs, and singing.
Neff has won several awards in the past years, since starting her business. Of these, she is most proud of the photography accolades she has received from her Alma mater, University of Miami.
What is your hobby?
Singing. I sing with an informal choral group, as well as on my own as a daily practice.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
I got started with this hobby when I was in my early twenties. A friend of mine asked me to go to a “yoga class” with her, at a local Miami studio. I thought we were going to be stretching, and getting a work-out in! I was very surprised when we got to the class and it was all about sound. Mostly we listened to sounds, and then repeated them back. We were asked to see where the sounds vibrated within the body. This had a major impact on me because I could feel for myself what the sounds were doing within me — in my actual cells. This inspired me to start singing, mostly for the effect it had on my personal well-being.
Tell us what you love about it?
I love using my voice in an authentic way. One of the biggest challenges, I feel, for creative types is that we tend to get caught up in our own worlds. I’ll just speak for myself and say that when I am really in the zone at a photography shoot, I am completely living an inner experience. Voice is unique because it comes from inside the body but projects out into the world. I find that when I sing, I break the barrier between my inner world and my outer world.
Are there any groups that you’re apart of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
I am a part of an informal group of women who get together to sing. We try to meet once a week, but sometimes it turns into once every two weeks. My good friend, who introduced me to yogic chanting in my early twenties, facilitates the group.
Have you had to invest in any equipment, and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?
This is interesting, because with singing, your body is the instrument. Yes, I have had to invest in my body! I keep my posture aligned, my cells hydrated and healthy, and my system fueled on high quality foods. One thing that I invested in recently was nutritional enzymes by Rainbow Light. I also buy music which inspires me, that I can sing along to.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
I often shop at Whole Foods Market because I like knowing that they screen for toxic ingredients. I want my body to be happy! I shop for my music online, through my Apple account.
Are there any good books for beginners?
Yes, I recommend “Soul Vows”, by Janet Conner. Singing is about using your voice in an authentic way. There are some technical aspects of it, but mostly your voice comes from your heart. You have to feel at home in your body, and this book can help you do this.
How has this changed your life?
When I sing, I put myself into a creator state. There are different ways of being in the world: creator or victim. When you project your inner experience onto the outer world, you become a creator.
What advice do you have for others starting out with your hobby?
My advice is that you don’t let embarrassment or shame stop you. Some people are naturally gifted singers, but let me tell you, that wasn’t me. But it doesn’t matter what your natural ability is. Keep searching for those true tones. Let the notes waiver or be off a bit, but feel into it, and work to correct it. You can do this on your own for a while, but eventually try to sing with others. Moving into a public arena gives your practice new depth.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
Of course! I am curious about all sorts of things, so I find that I get into all kinds of hobbies. One of them that I’ve been diving into pretty deeply lately is cooking! I find combining different flavors to be an art of its own.