Photography Studio Start-up

I’m calling on my community to raise funds that will support my newly acquired artist space. The funds will help with the operational cost, upgrade to photography equipment, editing software, and technology.

Hey all,

The moment has FINALLY come! I have moved into my first artist space. – “YAY for me!!!" – For many of you reading this, you know that this moment has been a long time coming (5 years to be exact). For those who don’t know much about my journey: it has been five years since I first stepped out on faith and spent my last dollars  (at the time) to purchase a professional DSLR camera in hopes of pursuing a career as an event and portrait photographer. Since purchasing my camera, I have had the opportunity to be a part of many phenomenal spaces working for CSRPC at the University of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and Kalamazoo College, just to list a few. I have had the opportunity to photograph Angela Davis, Cornel West, Kathleen Cleaver and lots of other artists, activist/organizers, scholars, and musicians. In addition, I have spent much of my personal time documenting artist spaces and communities with a particular focus on the Westside of Chicago and exhibiting and lecturing on my work(s).

About me:

My name is Nicole Harrison. I am a photographer, intellectual, artist and youth advocate. I have spent the last 10 years of my career studying youth, hip hop and visual culture and the last 5 years photographing cultural events and intimate communal spaces on the west and south side of Chicago.   Additionally, I mentor and support younger artists in the making of media arts projects.  Currently, I am an instructional assistant at a charter school in the Garfield Park community on the Westside of Chicago. I have a BA in arts management from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in Africana Studies from New York University.

My Resume and Website:
Here is a direct link to my CV/Resume & website to learn more about my work.

Why do I need your help?

Given all of the work that I do, the reason I created this gofundme is to help raise funds to launch my photography studio. The goal of $10,000 will be used as start up funds for the space. The purpose will be to:

- Launch the beginning stages of my media arts/photography studio.
- Facilitate workshops and mentor young media artists.
- Work on previously developed projects and exhibitions.
- Enhance my skills and explore other forms of photography.
- Cultivate an art space that supports community arts and collaboration with others.

Your donation will go to support the following cost:

 Operational Cost:
The original plan was for the studio to function as a shared artist space.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, the artist (who I planned to share space with) could not pursue this opportunity. Thus, I have taken on the task to cover the entire monthly cost of renting the space, to avoid losing it. Your donation will help offset the deficit for the first year.  Additional funds raised beyond the goal of $10,000 will further contribute to the cost of renting.

Upgrade Photography Equipment:
The major step in launching a photography studio means an upgrade to my lighting kit/equipment. Your donation will help in the purchasing of industry standard lighting and accessories.

Purchase Computer & Editing Software.
Currently, I have access to a 7-year-old MacBook Pro that has just been outdated in terms of upgrades and compatible software. With the purchase of a brand new 27” iMac, I will be able to process and edit images at a much faster rate and upgrade software. This will help in faster turnaround for projects and maintain digital files.

The protection and backup for my digital files are vital towards archiving my digital files.  Your donation will assist in the purchasing of external hard drives.

Funds raised after reaching the set goal will be further invested into the studio with the purchase of accessories, high-end equipment, furniture and to support additional operational cost.

Also, donors for this campaign will be added to an exclusive email list where they will receive future deals and discounts as a THANK YOU for the support.

Lastly, the time frame to reach my goal is ASAP!  The sooner I am able to raise the funds, the sooner I can have the studio fully functional to be working with clients, developing and expanding projects, and collaborating with other artists.

Please see below a selection of images I wish to share with you. 


  • Dara Cooper 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
  • Kevin Mccleton  
    • $20 
    • 57 mos
  • Gloria Harrison 
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 57 mos
  • Mariame Kaba 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
  • Isabelle Nozieres 
    • $20 
    • 57 mos
See all


Nicole Harrison 
Chicago, IL