Get to know some of the industry’s top photographers and learn what it takes to capture that perfect shot!
How did you get your start as a photographer?
My first introduction was taking a photography class in grade nine. I was introduced to the darkroom, developing my own film and working with film photography. Although that was intriguing to me, I never thought that I would be continuing with photography.
How would you describe your style of photography?
People have told me that my work is very ethereal, but I don’t know if I would say that’s my style. Anything that I do is all a part of me, regardless of the output. I think I go through different phases and my style always changes.
Can you tell me about the “doodling” and glitch type images you produce? What effect does it have?
Sometimes when I’m working on a file, there’s a glitch that happens in the system, so I take a screenshot of that. Other times I’m just playing around with different filters and with the actual image digitally. There’s no specific process, it’s just me trying to understand what certain tools do.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I feel like inspiration doesn’t necessarily come from one place. It’s all about finding something that makes me feel something. It could be some sort of movement that makes me feel good, seeing a colour that makes me feel a certain way or touching something that reminds me of a memory. As long as this thing brings out a reaction in me, I can find inspiration and plant a seed into an idea.
Your website says you’re “inspired by humans, their characteristics and their behaviours.” Can you tell me more about what you mean by that?
I’ve always loved shooting people and felt very intrigued about how they came to be, who they are and their behaviours. I used to work in hospitality so I was always surrounded by people which led me to understand and read people in certain ways so that I can interact with them. We’re all human and we’re all a complex species but I feel like in a way, we’re all very similar and different at the same time.
How did working with Revlon Professionals help you get to where you are now?
Revlon was a huge motivator in getting me into the beauty industry. I was in college for photography and I remember not knowing what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to shoot hair so working with them was an introduction to hair competitions and it was just an insane world that I was (and still am) inspired by.
Tell me about how you first started shooting for the Contessas (who was your first Contessa client? When did you start?)
My first client was a good friend of mine, Amanda Rendell and Tarran Chesney. I was involved in the pre-production of how everything was going to look and building a mood for the shoot. We were entering Avant Garde and they trusted me completely. I was actually surprised when we made it to the finals.
What do you like most about shooting for the Contessas?
It’s the process of putting very similar efforts into making my shoots special. When I see other artists and hairstylists that put so much thought, work and endless hours of perfecting their craft to the best of their ability I feel inspired. I’m always so intrigued to work with passionate people because they’re pushing themselves to another level that they’ve never reached before.
Tell me about how you work with your clients on a Contessa shoot. Can you walk me through the process? How hands-on are you throughout the process?
As soon as clients call me, I give them a whole layout of how I work. I want to know what they’re thinking, what their inspiration is, where it’s coming from, if they’re thinking of any specific colours, shapes or lines. I want to be as involved as possible because I want to get in the hairstylist’s head since I’m shooting their masterpiece. At the end of the day, this is their vision and I want to make sure that I’m in their head as much as possible even when they’re changing their minds during the process because that helps me understand where their vision is moving towards.
How do you deal with any differences in opinions that you may have with a hairstylist when it comes to shooting the collection?
It’s always a conversation, never a conflict. I think there’s always an understanding that we all want the best out of the experience. I’m usually very verbal about what I think will be best for the collection but ultimately, it’s whatever the hairstylist decides.
How do you feel when a collection you work on wins a Contessa? What does it mean to you?
I always tell the people I work with that they have to make sure they’re happy with what they’ve created regardless of whether they win or not. But when we win, there’s an immense gratitude with the entire team. You feel seen and like all your efforts are rewarded at once.
We spoke to you in 2019 about photographing four Contessa-winning collections and tips you have for selecting the perfect shots. Do you have any new or additional tips you can share with us?
- Trust your gut as a photographer and when working with your team, especially when selecting the images.
- Do it for you. When we get into the competition, we start thinking a lot about what the judges are going to like and what has been done in previous years. But when we do that, we lose that special touch which is our own creativity.
How does entering competitions like the Contessas help your clients when it comes to building and promoting their brand? How does it help get their name out there if they’re new to the industry?
I’ve had clients who went from no one knowing who they were to being globally known and then becoming ambassadors for different brands. So, I think it’s all about how you use it to your advantage within the industry.
To check out Natasha’s work, click here.