Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thank You! | Jackson MI Portrait Photographer

2012 has been a really eventful year for me! I graduated with my second degree, this time in Graphic Design; photographed some really amazing clients; and did a 360 with the direction of my business. There's been ups and downs, but what's life without some bumps?! I am truly thankful for each and everyone of my clients. Every time I get to photograph someone I learn something new and always have a great time. My business wouldn't be anything without my clients, so I am forever indebted to you for allowing me to pursue my dreams.

The new year brings more changes for us first starting with the name change. We were formally known as Natty J Photography, and are starting out 2013 with a fresh look as Natalie Mae Photography. Still, same beautiful portraits and individual customer attention, just with a neater and cleaner looking package. I can't wait to photograph and get to know more of you in the new year! Until then, here's my incredible collection of 2012 clients...and once again...THANKS!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Little Spice on a Cold Night | Jackson, MI Portrait Photographer

When Missy first asked me to do some pin-up portraits for her, I have to admit I was a tad apprehensive because I had never done that style before, but since she's a really good friend of mine I agreed. These were seriously SO much fun to photograph! We tried all kinds of poses and I have to say I loved every single image, it was so hard to narrow it down, so you guys get more images than normal. We had so much fun that even my dog, Piglet, wanted to join in!

After I showed her all the images, she had me design a hardcover book for her husband's Christmas gift. I adored the book on screen, but once I saw it in print...oh my! She has one lucky hubby! That book is enough to keep anyone warm on a chilly night like tonight :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Big News | Jackson, MI Photographer

Last week I announced that there will be some big changes come the New Year, most of them won't necessarily be seen by all of you because they have to do with behind the scenes things like furthering my education with photography by becoming a Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America and learning how to run the business side of things more smoothly. I really appreciate all of you that have stuck with me this long and want to thank you because I'm constantly learning the business side as I go, but I've got a great network of other professionals helping with that part.

Now for the change you will see...Natty J Photography is getting a makeover! If you've been following me this year, you've seen the small visual changes that have occurred and the updated website is in the final stages of being completed. Check it out and let me know what you think so far! However the biggest revision is I'm changing my business name to Natalie Mae Photography. I think it fits more with the direction my photography is going. Below is the new logo to keep an eye out for, I'm so excited for it and the new cohesive look!
Natalie Mae Photography Logo
As far as social networking and other sites go, there's been some changes in the URL's, so I posted the links below to make it easy to find me.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Winter Red Model Call

This outfit would be gorgeous for a winter senior session! The contrast of the red against the white snow (hopefully we'll have some this year), would just be stunning. I would love to do a session in the winter for someone with a dress like this, so if you're a 2013 senior and willing to let me "experiment" this winter with your senior portraits, give Natalie Mae Photography a call. So what's in it for you?! A free senior portrait session ($150 value), three fabulous web images to share with all your friends, and prints would be available for purchase separately.

If you're interested in being a model for this session, call us at 517.499.9380 or email us at

about red. taylor swift

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Holiday Pig | Jackson, MI Pet Photographer

I couldn't resist photographing the Pig again this holiday season. He's just such a good model for me and listens so well. Here's the cuteness that came out of his mini-session.

Piglet's Christmas portrait.Piglet Tangled in Christmas lights.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Mustard & Purple

If you've been following my blog, you know I have a *semi-unhealthy* obsession with the color mustard, so as soon as I saw this collection I was immediately drawn to it. I don't know what it is, I just love that color and burnt orange and charcoal grey and...oh there's too many to name, but mustard is high on the list of awesomeness. But I love the subtle hints of purple in this tied in with the shoe, so cute!

Get The Look : Solange Knowles

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Thanksgiving Day Edition

Okay, I seriously am in love with that "wooden" shoe!! If I had any sort of girly, girl in me I'd buy them, but I'd probably break my neck trying to walk in them. To me, this just screams Thanksgiving with all the rich browns and orange tones. Perfect for any family gathering or portrait.

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Acne Shining crepe shirt

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paint Fight! | Jackson, MI Engagement Photographer

Meet Katie, Doug (THE Doug), and their fur child Louise; they're our first official 2013 wedding! I've known Katie for a few years now, we used to work together and then we played roller derby together and now I'm photographing her wedding and engagement photos. When Katie told me she wanted to have a paint fight for her engagement photos I was so excited. She's always been really creative and I could just tell that this was going to be an awesome session. The paint colors her and Doug used in the fight are their wedding colors.

And I couldn't leave out this little cutie, while her parents were cleaning up, I took the chance to grab this quick shot of Louise in all her adorable glory.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Fellow Photogs | Jackson, MI Photographer

I was trying to come up with an idea of what to blog about for today and was thinking of all the photographers I have met because of social media and networking sites. Photographers that I would have NEVER known about without the magic of the internet, so I want to introduce you to five of those people, in alphabetical order just to be fair because they're each very awesome! All of these photographers I have met on a Facebook group for professional photographers.

David Grupa Portrait - Maplewood, MN

There are a few frequent posters on the Facebook group and David is one of them. He is a master with words and is great at helping you say something in a professional manner! On more than one occasion he has helped me with writers block and other behind the scenes things with Natty J Photography. David was even gracious enough to give me a call and talk shop for a good hour or so. He's always there to help out and give expert advice from someone who has been in the industry a number of years. He is a Certified Professional Photographer from the Professional Photographers of America and gave me some really great resources to start studying for my own certification!

In addition to being a photographer, he runs Camp David which is and EXCELLENT resource to any photographer. There's everything from photographer etiquette to the business end of the industry on his site, one of the best learning tools that I go back to time and time again.

WebsiteFacebook | Blog | Twitter | Instagram: DavidGrupaPortrait

Dog Patch Pix - Middletown, OH

I was instantly drawn to Susan's work because it was mostly pet portraits or pets and their families. Who doesn't love looking at adorable photos of cute pets?! The very first image I ever saw of hers was this white pit bull on a vibrant blue backdrop and I fell in love immediately. She captures each pets personality perfectly in these beautifully, stunning portraits. When the time is right, I have been dying to take the boys down and book a portrait session with her. It'll definitely be worth the couple hour road trip to have some incredible portraits of them!

Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Instagram: Gertzse

GSquared Photographics - Snohomish, WA

Kate has been the most influencial person on my business and it all started back in July when I found out I had won a free month of mentoring with her. I had no idea what that entailed at the time, but it was THE best thing that could have come into my life when I was just about to give up everything. She helped me restructure the way my business runs and helped me solidify the Natty J Photography brand to what it is today. While there are still some things that are a work in progress, Kate has given me a ginormous platform to jump off of, and for that I will always be grateful!

Kate is like Wonder Woman, she runs so many things and is the mother to some really cute children (check out her Instagram for photos of the little people!), I don't know how she does it. I swear she has super powers!

Website & Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram: Kgansneder

Huong Forrest Photography - Reno, NV

Huong is just adorable, she's just as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind it and she's the mommy to two boys who are equally adorable! I actually had the pleasure of meeting her when she came to Detroit for business back in October. Rhonda (Rhonda Morse Photography) on the left, drove down with me to pick her up from the hotel and we had a lovely adventure driving around the D in search of the restaurant...always fun! We finally arrived at Fishbones, when I looked at the menu I was so excited to see they had alligator and crawfish etouffee, so I ordered both and had them try it, seriously SO good. 

Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Instagram: HuongForrest

Motormouth Studios - Portland, OR

Last, but certainly not least, is Macey from Motormouth Studios. Just from our interactions online, she's one of those people who I know we'd be instant friends if we ever met. Her design style and photographic work is just so cute and playful. She's always posting fun happenings on her Instagram page, plus her blog is full of really cute "get to know her" type posts along with client stuff. Macey loves mustaches and is currently working on a project for Movember, which helps raise awareness for men's health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer, through the growing of facial hair. Seriously, check out the links to her work, she's great!

Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Instagram: MotorMouthMacey

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Spooktacular Halloween Edition

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! It's my favorite holiday of the year! I'm like a big kid at heart; I adore carving pumpkins, decorating, and dressing up. So...I went a little crazy with this weeks What to Wear Wednesday and used some festive Halloween colors. I think you really could pull an awesome look out of the items I've compiled. Don't you think?!

Since you know mine, I want to know what's your favorite part about Halloween?

Spooktackular Halloween

Spooktackular Halloween by nattyjphotography featuring hollister co

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The D Family | Jackson, MI Family Photographer

Meet Tina and her awesome family! I had the pleasure of connecting with Tina through a Craigslist ad I posted looking for a web coder. We got together and talked for a few hours about what I wanted to do with my website and how she wanted updated family portraits, in the end we worked out a pretty sweet trade. Her children attend school at Michigan State University and we decided somewhere on or near campus would be a great place to do the photos. These were at Cooley Gardens, which I had never been to before, and was pleasantly surprised when the place was gorgeous!! I love the little hidden treasures that are nestled around the city; Cooley Gardens is located right off of I-496 and I would have never thought there would be an awesome garden there. Michigan threatened rain, but once again it turned out to be a gorgeous day and the rain held off until later in the afternoon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday | Jackson, MI Photographer

I borrowed this idea from an amazing photographer in Portland, Motormouth Studios (seriously check out her blog, I love her design style and her photography work. I have this feeling that if we ever met in person we'd be great friends!) Anywho, she posts a series of random questions and answers them as a little deeper insight to who she is, so I thought it would be fun to do that as well.

What makes you happy?
My two dogs, a good cup of coffee, and a cozy bed.

What's one piece of clothing you can't live without?
I'd definitely have to say either my flats or a great pair of jeans.

What's right with the world?
That there are people who still care about others and will go out of their way to help their fellow man/animal.

Are you a morning or night person?
I am 100% a night person (I think most photographers agree), I get most of my work done at night when things have calmed down and I can really focus.

Name one quirk about yourself.
I have to put everything in order. CD's/DVD's/Books are all in alphabetical order in my house and my closet is organized in order of the rainbow. Things are just easier to find that way :)

What is your favorite food your parents make?
Okay this one is hard because I LOVE to eat and my mom makes such good food, but my top three are her homemade pizza, vegetable beef soup, and mush (I've heard mush called other things, but it's just fried cornbread that you eat like a pancake with butter and syrup). My favorite food that my dad makes is crawfish  etouffee...seriously the best thing ever! Think a creole dish with rice, garlic, butter, lots of herbs, and crawfish, NOM!

And I can't leave without a photo, this is me (left) and my little sister when we were young. I'm probably 10 years old and she's most likely 2 years old.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Robins Egg & Mustard

With these last few days being so nice out, I could help but think of spring when I was searching for outfit ideas.  Mauriciofredes did an awesome job of balancing pops of color with subtle neutral tones. Great for any portrait session.

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

YURI PARK Sara sweater

Monday, October 22, 2012

N + J | Jackson, MI Family Photographer

I went to college with N and have known her for awhile now, so of course I was thrilled when she asked me to take photos of her and her boyfriend. Aren't they just the cutest?! Plus, her hair is gorgeous! I've always loved the color of it. The Michigan weather threatened to rain all day long, but in true Michigan tradition it did just the opposite, which was PERFECT for this session.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Maize & Blue vs. Sparty

As soon as I saw this collection from Mariciofredes, I immediately thought of college football here in Michigan and the rivalry between the University of Michigan and Michigan State, but more feminine. Especially with this weekends game coming up, this would be an AWESOME way to show your school pride in a stylish, subtle way.

La Garçonne Moderne / Cotton Pullover Sweater

La Garçonne Moderne / Cotton Pullover Sweater by mauriciofredes featuring guerlain


Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Me & The Boys | Jackson, MI Photographer

Over the last few months I've been working really hard to lose weight, which if you've ever tried you know is no easy task. I have fallen off the wagon a few times here and there (darn sour cream and onion chips!), but I have always dusted myself off and got back on. When I first started eating right and working out I emailed a photographer friend of mine, Shawna Gerry Photography, and asked if she wanted to trade family photos this fall. It was a great motivation to keep going and my goal was to lose 25lbs by the time the session rolled around. I didn't quite make it, but I'm down 21.5lbs and see those pants in the images? They are a size smaller than when I started, so I really can't complain!

I am absolutely in love with these and I can't wait to hang them up. It's my favorite time of year, so what better time to get family photos done?! Hurry, book your family portraits with your favorite Jackson family photographer before the colors disappear!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kennedy | Jackson, MI Senior Photographer

Kennedy booked one of the Senior Style Collections complete with hair and makeup done by ToughLove MPD. She was dazzling before, but the makeover just gives her that extra wow-factor for her senior portraits. There's nothing better than having the day dedicated to looking beautiful and feeling confident; then getting stunning portraits done by your favorite Jackson senior photographer. Anyone can do their hair and makeup, but having a profession hair and makeup artist makes all the difference in the world. They know how to help you look your absolute best. Just check out these before and after images from Kennedy's session.

Seriously?! How gorge is Kennedy? From the moment she mentioned wanting a calf in her senior portraits, I knew that her session was going to rock. We started out at her grandparents dairy farm where she had pre-screened which calf would work best. This little month old guy had some spunk, he fit right in with the cowgirl boots, flannel shirt, and daisy dukes.

From there we moved on to Hidden Lake Gardens. I had never been there before, but had heard that the grounds were breath-taking. The fall colors were a perfect compliment to Kennedy's eyes, she's definitely got the Tyra Banks "smize" down!

If you're interested in booking a Senior Style Collection, give Natty J Photography a call 517.499.9380.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: Sunshine in Winter

I really hate to say it, but winter's right around the corner. It was 48F a few days ago! However, you do get to wear some really cute coats in the winter like the one below. I am completely in love with it, I need to find a knock off one at TJ Maxx or something because the one in the image is $2,200!! Yikes! It's still really cute though and would be absolutely darling for winter engagement portraits, especially with that dress to add a pop of color.

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Staying Creative | Jackson, MI Photographer

Just like in fashion, there are trends in photography; so how do you stay trendy but fresh at the same time? Easy, draw inspiration from everything around you and add a little of you in there! Anything that catches your eye, it could be something in nature, the way a building is designed, or even in something abstract. Look at other images, find what you like, and put your own spin on it. Sometimes, I will go on Pinterest to get some new posing ideas, or just Google the type of session I'm about to shoot. I make a mental note of what I like and go from there. Or I just practice in front of the mirror, what poses will look good, what kind of light I think should it be, what angle the camera should be at; all of these can effect the outcome of an image. Another good source of inspiration is magazines, from fashion to parenting they're filled with images of all kinds. Definitely a good place to draw new ideas from.

Try things from a different angle, most people get stuck taking photos from their standing height. Be brave! Jump on a chair or get dirty on the ground, just find a new angle and shoot from a different perspective. I got a piece of good advice the other day from a fellow photographer and they said, "Once you compose your image and take the shot, take one step back and look again. It'll be a completely different image." This is so very true. I can't even tell you how many times I've done that and they will both be beautiful images, but will have a different feel to each one. Also, try switching the camera from landscape to portrait and vice versa once you have the pose down. A perfect example of this below, he didn't move his body, just shifted his hat a little.

The last piece of advice I have for you is to get out there and keep shooting. Plan "just for fun" photo shoots where there's no pressure to please anyone. You can play around with different ideas and if they don't work they way you wanted, who cares! They could lead you to something entirely different than what you set out for. That's half the fun of being creative, not knowing where you're going to end up.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mother Nature Pt. 2 | Jackson, MI Photographer

Some of you might remember the first half of these photos I posted a few weeks ago (click here to see them), well I finally had enough free time to finish editing them. They were inspired by Sue Bryce posing episode on Creative Live. We even did some images on a trampoline, but those will have to be used for another project, so keep checking back for those. We had so much fun doing these, hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Models: Amber & Jena

Right: A little behind-the-scenes, of how we got the shot below.


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