Rock31 Member Spotlight: Maddie Reiners, Maddie Nichole Photographer

Meet Rock31 Member – Maddie Reiners!

Maddie is the creative mastermind behind her brand and business Maddie Nichole Photographer: a creative & adventurous (but most important, not boring) portrait photographer for creative entrepreneurs, adventurous high school seniors, and just really anyone who wants some rad photos!

Before starting her photography business, Maddie was a full-time student pursuing a marketing degree, a nanny, and an assistant. She was gifted a camera at the end of 2018 and spent the first year taking photos here and there of families she was nannying for, friends, her roommate, and some for her job as an assistant. “After shooting quite a bit, I realized how much I loved creative portrait photography, and I knew how hyped up and confident I felt after getting a good photo of myself so I really just wanted to make others feel confident about themselves and I felt that I could do that thorough photography.”

From there, Maddie invested in photography/business coaching and continued learning and expanding her portfolio by shooting photos for friends, families, and second shooting for weddings. 2021 was her first year as a full-time photographer shooting creative entrepreneurs and high school seniors. In 2022 she expanded form there and traveled for entrepreneur and senior portraits, retreats, and even added video to her business offerings to help provide additional content to creative entrepreneurs.

When starting her photography venture, Maddie faced the hurdle every entrepreneur is familiar with: others’ opinions. Being a young entrepreneur “I was listening A LOT (too much) to everyone else’s opinions and getting overwhelmed instead of just sitting with what I really wanted to do.” Maddie was also going to school full time and working, which makes starting a business even more overwhelming at times. Additionally, photography is a very saturated market, so Maddie invested a lot into coaching in the beginning and within the last year has felt that she is finally stepping into her own groove and “finding my vibe.”

We asked Maddie how she overcame some of these hurdles and the “nitty gritty” of starting her business and she thinks you don’t ever really just brush it off. There were things that deeply affected her, and other days she would pretend some of those stressful or overwhelming things just didn’t exist. Most importantly, Maddie just kept with photography because it is what she really enjoys doing. “There are tough moments, overwhelming and stressful times in every job so this is no different, and if you want it you just keep pushing through those moments, learning form them, and keep going and growing. Everything is a lesson and at the end of the day we get to choose how we react to any and everything that’s happening for us.”

Maddie had worked with the Big Sky Economic Development team doing headshots and branding photoshoots for Better Off in Billings, but she officially joined the Rock31 Community in September of 2022 when the coworking space opened. “I love having a community, I think being a solo entrepreneur can be REALLY hard and lonely sometimes and having a community of people to support you, bounce ideas off of, and feel like coworkers is incredible. I also love having a space to leave and go to work that isn’t home because having a separation is also important.” Maddie has brought her photography skills and expertise to our center in a variety of ways including providing one-on-one advising during the Small Business Development Center’s Expert Week and doing mini headshot sessions for Rock31 Members and the Billings community!

We wanted to ask Maddie our favorite questions to help us get to know her outside of the work that she does, and here are her responses:

What are some of your hobbies/interests (outside of work)?

“I love cooking, reading, being in and by the water and sunshine (hence winters by the ocean), writing, learning, anything creative, spending quality time with my people, traveling– I love seeing new spaces, and really just adventuring big and small it could be a new restaurant or a new country I really love finding the adventure in everything.”

What is the best book you have ever read?

“Not a fair question but a few of my most recent faves have been Happy Pocket Full of Money, Money and the Law of Attraction, Atomic Habits, I fell into the Colleen Hoover trap and didn’t think I would love her books but any book from her.”

A genie grants you the ability to have an infinite amount of one item. What is it?

“Do plane tickets count??? I travel a lot and have a VERY long list of places I want to go and would love an infinite number of plane tickets to different places HA!”

If you’d like to learn more about Maddie Nichole Photographer, check out her website or find her on social media: