The Inspiring Photographers Series

It's time to highlight another inspiring photographer.  I chose the photographers in this series because they are "relatable".  They may be moms, they may have been surprised by photography,  they may have moved to new places and had to start over.  They have lessons to share with us...and they're all good (the lessons and the photographers)!

This interview was first published in the "PhotoStories of the Heart" eCourse.

Introducing Stacey Natal

Stacey Natal aka Total City Girl

Stacey Natal aka Total City Girl

Stacey is best known for capturing kids in a soulful authentic way.  She gravitates toward moody expressions - not the typical smiley colorful ones that you see most often. Her photos show a more serious, pensive expression. She likes how the expression is deeper and makes you think - “what’s in the mind of a child?”

Stacey was kind enough to share her work with us.  All the photos in today's blog post were taken by Stacey.

This photo was part of my first B&H portfolio development series.  My theme was fairy tales.  I didn’t submit it in my final portfolio for technical reasons, but I love it.  

This photo was part of my first B&H portfolio development series.  My theme was fairy tales.  I didn’t submit it in my final portfolio for technical reasons, but I love it.

 

This photo of my daughter was selected for Child Photo Competition’s weekly inspiring Monday segments in December 2014.  

This photo of my daughter was selected for Child Photo Competition’s weekly inspiring Monday segments in December 2014.

 

Stacey, how did you develop as a photographer?

I’ve always loved photography since I wasa kid.  I took a black and white film class in college, as well as a few after I graduated.  I started to be obsessed with photography once I had my girls.  I have tons of photos of them as babies – especially my older daughter.  I just kept photographing them all the time as well as their special events.  When I became more serious I started attending workshops at B&H Photo as well as online classes at CreativeLive and just immersing myself into everything photography related.

Do you have a philosophy of photography/art?  How does that influence your photos?

I don’t know if I have a philosophy but I think you should do what you love and not worry if anyone else will like it.  For me I know people are used to seeing happy smiley colorful photos of kids.  Mine are completely opposite!

Has photography opened you to new/different adventures?  Into what new areas?  How did it happen?

Photography opened me up to the online world – which I love!  I started blogging and “meeting” lots of creative entrepreneurs.  I also participated in a portfolio development series last year with B&H Photo and was chosen to have one of my images to be included in my first gallery show in Soho.  That was really exciting!

 I was always interested in personal development and the topic of money mindset really struck a chord with me.  For a year now, I’ve been doing a Money Mindset post each Monday. And, I’m in the process of starting a new website dedicated to helping moms who are in a transition in their life. I’ll be helping them with money mindset, creativity and online business basics so they can start living their true potential and regain their confidence, personal power and freedom.  

What makes you “feel” a photograph?   How do you translate that “feel” into the picture?

I think it’s more intuitive than technical for me.  I like to observe and when I see an expression that moves me or the way the light is hitting someone, that’s when I want to photograph.  I emphasize that feeling in post processing – usually in black and white

Re: your favorite photos…what makes them special to you?

In general the expression that I captured. That goes for client work as well as personal work.  This photo “Z-Timeless”  (below) is my all-time favorite work photograph.  She has the exact look I am drawn to - serious, timeless.  Just look at those eyes.

"Z-Timeless" by Stacey Natal

"Z-Timeless" by Stacey Natal

This is my other daughter.  This photograph was selected for the gallery show in Soho this past July.  While I do not love her expression in this one, (she was mad at me) I love everything else about it.  It’s the first time I did some purposeful styling for a shoot.  I was inspired by Mother Gothel from the Rapunzel story.  

This is my other daughter.  This photograph was selected for the gallery show in Soho this past July.  While I do not love her expression in this one, (she was mad at me) I love everything else about it.  It’s the first time I did some purposeful styling for a shoot.  I was inspired by Mother Gothel from the Rapunzel story.

 

Are you involved in any projects?  What do you hope to get from the project(s)

I’m involved in another portfolio series with B&H Photo.  This time it’s more about storytelling and photojournalism.  I’m excited about it because it’s something different – you really have to delve deep into a subject. There’s a chance to be selected for another gallery show and possible inclusion in a magazine so that’s really fun and exciting as well.

Back to me...

What is the most valuable piece of information from the Inspiration Series?  It is that art & photography can take you to magical places, whether its travel, new possibilities, or personal growth.  

Be ready to see the magical places; be ready to go to the magical places.

I am so thrilled to present this series.  I LOVE interviewing these photographers.  And, I love to see (and share with you) all the different images, styles, and thoughts they have.

Do I have the best "job" in the world...or what?  Yes, I do!

It is my sincere desire you find these Inspiration Series helpful.

Visit Stacey’s websites:   Total City Girl                                                                                                                                                                            Life Happens Now

Her Facebook page:        https://www.facebook.com/TotalCityGirl
                                           https://facebook.com/lifehappensnow

Her Instagram                   https://www.instagram.com/totalcitygirl/
                                           https://www.instagram.com/life.happens.now

Until next time...

Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.

Rebecca

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