Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised in London, ON Canada. My family was transferred to the Chicago area in my late teens. I spent my post-college years in Chicago. It was at that time I met my husband. Shortly after our first daughter was born we moved to the Northern Suburbs.
How many children do you have? How old are they?
We have two girls ages 9 & 8
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I have been swimming competitively since I was 8 years old. I started swimming with my club team in London, ON. I swam for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign during my college years. I still compete as a Masters swimmer at the state and national level. Swimming has always been an important part of my life. It has given me some amazing friendships, it keeps me balanced and is a great outlet for the stressors of life – I do some of my best thinking/creating when I am in the pool.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My parents and in-laws are extremely supportive to my husband and I as we raise our children. All four are always eager to spend time with the girls. We are grateful for our family’s support, care and guidance. The girls have close relationships with all their grandparents and they learn something unique from each one.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
I love to travel with the girls. They are at an age where they can really appreciate the new places they are visiting. We have family spread out across Canada and the United States. This gives us an easy excuse to visit so many places where we can explore and experience those locations.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
In 2015 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Just prior to my diagnosis, I had been getting ready to return to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I decided to put this on hold for the year I navigated my treatment for Breast Cancer. It may seem cliche, but going through the treatment of chemotherapy, surgery, reconstruction and radiation, put some aspects of my life into perspective. I felt like I was at a crossroad of returning to work as a speech-language pathologist, something I enjoyed but had lost my passion for, I decided to make a change. I created Nicola Levine Photography. For years I have had a passion for photography. It was an obvious decision to take my love for photography and use it to pursue a new profession and business. It was important to me to do something I loved, something that was my own, something I created.
I am an on-location family photographer. I work with expectant mothers, newborns, families and children. My favorite sessions are outdoors with families who have young children. Being outdoors offers so much variety and space. It gives everyone the room to move, play, run and jump. When working with younger kids I always try to set aside time to take a documentary approach. This can happen organically throughout the session as I see the family unaware of the camera and interacting with each other. This time will often lead to some truly precious images, ones filled fresh and honest connection.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Chicago North Shore Moms have been a valuable influence to me on social media! They are helping to facilitate a connection with moms and families in the North Shore and Chicago! Thank you for supporting me!