Monday, June 25, 2012

Natty J Photography Who? | Jackson, MI Portrait Photographer

Natty J Photography
Howdy! I'm Natalie and I will be your photographer. A couple days ago I asked my Facebook fans to submit questions they'd like to ask me and I would write a blog post with the answers. I received some really awesome questions! You guys totally rock! So here's a little more insight to myself, the one behind the camera. Photo of me by Amber Hills

What was your very first camera?
I had a Polaroid iZone camera for kids, I LOVED that thing! If you don't know what that is, click here. However, my first SLR was a 35mm film camera, the Canon Rebel G2.  I used to take that everywhere and take pictures of the most random things; frogs, trees, grass, fences, even a toilet once...literally photos of everything. I remember before I had my own camera I'd always want to take pictures with my dad's Canon SLR (I think his was the Rebel X), but could never get the thing to focus. I didn't understand the concept of pushing the shutter button halfway down to focus, then the rest of the way to take the image. Needless-to-say I wasted a lot of my dad's film on blurry photos!!

How did you first get interested in photography?
I know it sounds cliche, but have always be interested in photography. My dad has had an SLR since I can remember and I was always playing with it. In high school I took a journalism class, there was a section on photography. We learned how to wind our own film, develop it in the darkroom, print photos from the enlarger, and we shot on Canon AE-1's, so we had to use manual. That was the best class I ever took. I absolutely loved the smell of the darkroom and watching the "magic" of taking a blank piece of paper and seeing the image develop on it right before your eyes. I entered one of the photos I took from the class in the school's annual art show and it took 2nd place. I knew from there that photography would always hold a special place in my heart.

Why did you choose photography over something else?
When I first started college, I was majoring in Forensic Psychiatry. After a couple semesters of that, I decided it wasn't for me. I wanted to guarantee that I would wake up every day and absolutely love my job. I transferred schools and changed majors to Photographic Technology and now that's what I have a degree in, along with Graphic Design.

What's the best photography advice you ever received?
The best photography advice I was ever given, was to keep shooting, learn manual, and don't be afraid to mess up. Despite shooting in manual with the film cameras in high school, I forgot how to by the time I picked up photography again. So for the majority of my college career I shot in P. I know that's horrible!! I'm sure a few of my teachers would be so upset, but if it wasn't for Jennifer Baker at WCC, I'd probably still be doing it to this day. She really helped me to relearn manual, I am so grateful for that because my knowledge has grown so much and the work I do has improved greatly just from knowing that simple skill.

What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
This one is really hard for me because it truly is a toss up between newborns, seniors, or brides & grooms. But if I absolutely have to pick one, I would have to say newborns. They're just so cute!!

What's your favorite thing to shoot?
I love to shoot the details whether it be baby toes or wedding rings! Personally, I feel like it's the little things that make up the bigger picture, so capturing those are just as important as the pulled back view. Plus, not everyone notices the little details; and when you put something together like a wedding album, friends and family will get to see them when they were probably just focusing on the bride and groom during the wedding.

How often do you or your family get photographed?
I actually just had my "family" photos done this past winter. I contacted a friend of mine, and owner of Shawna Gerry Photography, because I really wanted them done with pine trees covered in snow as the background. Since we had a VERY mild winter, I jumped on the first chance I had to get them done. I couldn't be happier with them!!! Shawna did an amazing job. Click here to see the blog post I did with the photos of my family and both sides of my parents family. I put up a wall display with a 16x20 of the image with my dogs and I, then on either side I added 8x10's of each of my parents family.

What inspires you?
Seeing the joy on my clients face when they look at their photos. I love that they will have something that they can treasure for years and look back to remember all the good memories. That's the power of photography to stop a moment in time and hold on to it. You will always be that age in that photograph, even after other in the pictures have gone, you will always have that to remember them by.

What are your passions and what keeps you going?
Having the gift to capture memories for someone keeps me going.

What feature of a photograph makes it a keeper?
I'm a huge sucker for shallow depth of field! It just draws your eye in and lets it wander around without being too busy. A sharp, simple image without a lot of distractions is also very appealing to me.

What's one thing people might not know about you?
In high school I played the Euphonium in Symphony Band and I was first chair. Most people don't really know what a Euphonium is, but it's kind of like a miniature tuba. Here's a picture of one; when you play it, the Euphonium sits on your lap, you use your right hand to press the valves and your left to hold it up.
image source

Name one fun fact about you?
I've recently picked up running in an effort to have a healthier lifestyle and I will be running/walking in my first ever 5k this coming August. A co-worker of mine told me about The Color Run, so after watching numerous videos and reading everything I could about it, I signed up! The Color Run is a fun, non-competitive run that happens all across the US. You start off wearing a white shirt (the more white the better in my opinion) and for every kilometer you run volunteers throw colored powder on you, it's 100% natural (basically corn starch). By the time you're done running the race you're covered in one giant rainbow of colors. Afterward they have a color party, music, and food. The videos made it look like SO much fun!!! Watch the video from the Las Vegas run to see how cool it is!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


It's been a minute since I posted a Featured Vendor and I've been wanting to add the wonderful woman of Ink & Iron for awhile now. I try to buy local as much as I can and while I was in school, we had to have business cards for our final portfolio. From the moment our teacher showed us a letterpressed wedding invite, I KNEW that, that's what I was going to do for my business cards. They were elegant, caught everyone's attention, and were just downright stunning. What's letterpress you ask? It's a type of press printing. Plates are made and pressed into the paper, then another plate goes over with the ink. It's not like a photo, so there aren't very many colors that you get printed at once. Most letterpress projects are one to two colors because the process is really expensive. So on my search I went to find a local and affordable letterpress.

I actually came across Ink & Iron on Etsy where she had letterpressed cards for sale. I saw that she was out of Port Huron, MI and her cards were reasonably priced, so I e-mailed her for a quote. She was very fast to respond and WELL below the other quotes I was receiving of $400+ for 50 business cards. I already had my card designed out so all I had to do was e-mail over the design and the specific colors. She had them plated, printed, and shipped to me within a week! Talk about excellent service! Her cards would be great for any occasion, I highly recommend checking out her store and if you don't see what you're looking for, shoot her an e-mail.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Children | Jackson, MI Pet Photographer

I'm completely in love with big wall art and always encourage my clients to go big, for those that have, not one has been disappointed yet! When you hear 20x30, you think that's huge, but hang it up on your wall and it fits right in! So I've decided that I wanted some new wall art to hang above my bed kind of like a mock headboard. I'm always taking photos of my fur kids (Piglet and Niko), but didn't have anything recent that I just loved. What a conundrum! Of course we went to the dog park and I took each one for a mini-session in the field across the street. I couldn't be more happy with the way these turned out, both boys behaved just like gentlemen and posed perfectly. They know the minute the camera comes out what they have to do!! I love the way the field looks in the background and how it contrasts/compliments their fur. Soon, these two images will be on order, I'm thinking 30x40 for them :) The top image is Piglet and the bottom is Niko.


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