In the world of photographer Natasha Wilson, the imagery is vivid. She captures women with composure and strength, while creating bold images using colors (and lack thereof) in interesting ways. Natasha openly discusses the editing process on Instagram and shows before and after photos to show how much can be accomplished from a creative perspective, such as ways to get creative with smaller shooting budgets. I spoke to the photographer about her work and where she’s headed.
Tell me about your background, at what point did photography become a career?
I have always loved art but wasn’t spectacular at painting or anything like that. Once photography fell into my hands, I fell in love. I could finally tell the stories that I wanted to through imagery. I graduated from photography school, traveled around lost for 5 years and finally landed in Los Angeles. I started my photography career on a whim and was able to keep it with the help of social media. (Mostly Instagram). I have been freelancing for 3.5 years now. It’s been a wild ride and I love it.
How about directing?
I’ve recently got into creative direction and directing for music videos. I really love being able to create a vision in my head and then see it come out on film. I hope to do more creative direction this year and years to come.
How would you describe your image style? What about your shooting style?
I would describe my image style as whimsical, quirky, odd. Like eye candy! My shooting style is within the same realm, I would consider most of my work creative portraits.
Is there a general feeling that you try to evoke or does it depend on the project?
I always want to bring the viewer in, and make them look at the photo like they would a painting. See the different colors and how they were chosen, and create a storyline of what’s happening in the image. The longer I can get a viewer to see the image, the more enchanting it becomes.
There are a lot of bold color choices in your work. Even when the images are mostly white the vividness is there. How much of that is planned in advance vs inspired during the editing process?
It depends on the series. Some are thoughtfully planned out, like the images in White Sands, NM when the queen in her red gown boldly struck the landscape behind her. Others are created by whim, when I bring the photo into photoshop and decide how I want to color it.
Does your older work ever feel foreign to you or does it all feel like one big collection?
I think it feels like a collection of progress to me. I am still proud of the first images I captured, because I gave all I could at that time. I love seeing my work progress more and more each month.
Any interesting learning curves you’ve experienced?
So many! Being freelance, being your own boss. Those are huge learning curves. I am still learning confidence and the will to sell myself and my work. I’ve also learned to create imagery and art based on what I love, not for the reaction of social media.
Any dream photoshoots you haven’t done yet?
Tons! There are thousands of landscapes I still want to explore. Each one will require a different story to tell. I am hoping to reach the pink lakes in Mexico this year and create a color story based in pastels.
What’s next for you?
One of my biggest goals this year is to create more projects with impact and be a part of more projects that will bring people together. That’s what I am working on at the moment.
Kate Ferguson is an L.A. based writer, producer, actress, and media storyteller in ventures spanning entertainment to tech. She is the founder of arts & lifestyle site Divvy Magazine, a lover of analog photography, and is captivated by most aspects of filmmaking. For more info visit thekateferg.com and follow her on social media @KateFerg