8: Turning Passion into a Successful Side Hustle: Nicole Dennis’s Inspiring Journey

Nicole Dennis
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In a recent episode of the Accidental CEO podcast, host Nata Salvatori had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Dennis, a seasoned wedding photographer with a decade of experience under her belt. Based in Prince Edward Island, Canada, Nicole juggles her time between being a devoted wife, a mother to three young children, and managing dual careers as a full-time radiation therapist and a passionate photographer. Her story offers a treasure trove of insights and encouragement for anyone contemplating stepping into the world of entrepreneurship alongside their day job.

The Accidental CEO Podcast is more than just a podcast; it’s a community of creative minds eager to transform their accidental titles into intentional successes. So, if you’re passionate about what you do but unsure how to fall in love with the business side of things, let Nata guide you. Subscribe to the Accidental CEO Podcast and join a vibrant community of creative entrepreneurs ready to make their mark on the business world. Together, let’s turn your passion project into your success story.


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Today’s episode of the podcast is sponsored by the Accidental CEO. Creative entrepreneurship is truly a freedom industry – you can sail around the globe or photograph straight in your hometown. But so many wedding photographers struggle to make a full-time income. (Sound familiar?) You’ve got the talent and passion, but running a business is a whole other skill most of us didn’t go to school for. That’s where I come in. Let’s make your vision profitable! Check out our coaching services at accidentalceo.co

The Genesis of a Passion

Nicole’s journey into photography began somewhat serendipitously. While waiting for job opportunities in her field of radiation therapy, Nicole decided to travel and bought her first DSLR camera for the trip. This purchase, intended to document her travels across Africa and Europe, became the cornerstone of her photography career. With no immediate job prospects upon her return and encouragement from a friend, she delved into learning photography, and practicing with friends and family, which eventually led to her taking on professional work.

The Leap from Hobby to Profession

Nicole’s transition from hobbyist to professional was marked by a pivotal moment: assisting a local wedding photographer. This experience, though initially daunting, opened the door to her first solo wedding bookings. Without having photographed a wedding on her own, Nicole secured ten weddings in a single summer, a testament to her determination and the trust her community placed in her. This leap was not just about taking opportunities as they came but about actively seeking them out, a mindset that she encourages in others looking to start their own business.

Balancing Act: Juggling Careers and Personal Life

One of the most compelling aspects of Nicole’s story is her commitment to maintaining her photography business as a side hustle. Despite the potential for financial independence through photography alone, Nicole finds fulfillment in her dual careers, drawing parallels between the joy of capturing someone’s best day and the gratification of aiding patients through their worst. Her story is a powerful reminder that success does not necessitate a singular focus but can be found in the balance between multiple passions.

Encouragement for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Nicole’s journey is rife with lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs. She emphasizes the importance of starting before you’re ready, learning on the go, and embracing the imperfections of the entrepreneurial journey. Her approach to overcoming fear and self-doubt, particularly regarding skill and experience, is grounded in the belief that action begets improvement and confidence.


Nicole Dennis’s story is a beacon for anyone feeling trapped between the stability of a 9-to-5 job and the uncertain allure of entrepreneurship. Her journey underscores the value of pursuing one’s passions, the importance of community support, and the transformative power of taking that first, uncertain step toward your dreams. If you’re on the fence about starting your own venture, let Nicole’s story remind you that with determination, a willingness to learn, and a bit of courage, you too can turn your passion into a successful side hustle.

Mentioned in this Episode

Connect with Nicole Denis
IG: @nicoleannephoto

FB: @nicoleannephotog

Pinterest: @nicoleannephoto

TikTok: @nicoleannephoto

Website: www.nicoleanne.ca

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