Tim Walker: My Soulmate
If Miami were a book, you would find Natalie Melissa shining on the pages of creativity. Photographer and dear friend, she captivates emotion and dream like imagery unlike any other photographer around town. Inspired by the likes of Tim Walker and musical fantasy, this lady knows how to make magic out of a photograph. Below is an interview I conducted with her which exposes all that influences her work.
Name: Natalie Melissa
Age: I am like fine wine, I age with grace.
How long has the world of photography captivated you:
Funny story, it was because of a bad breakup that introduced me to photography. I didn't know how to express what I was feeling and something in me said "pick up that camera and show it" and so I did and because of that it not only got me involved but it got me my first recognition.
When did you first start shooting:
My first actual shoot was with some friends from college. I would ask my actor friends and we would do some really conceptual shoots.
Worldly inspirations that moved you to pursue this art form:
The aesthetic beauty of human interactions and how you can capture that moment and keep it forever.
What were you like as a little girl:
Omg, I was this little ball of energy. My mom says I would always love to tell my sister theses imaginative stories of fairytales which has helped me create the photo shoots today.
As much as I wish I would travel more.. I have been all over Colombia, Los Angeles, and almost all of New York. Each place has their own beauty but I am mostly attracted to their mountainous areas. That always rejuvenates and enlightens me.
Too many to name.
Music, film, human interactions
Gabriel Garcia Marquez " A hundred years of Solitude" and Isabel Allende " House of Spirits" are my favorites.
Your style of photography:
Conceptual/Storytelling with a a hint of Fashion
Fashion editorial inspiration:
Eugenio Recuenco's editorial set in India
"Narnia" for //Slang Magazine
Dreams, fantasy, and larger than life imagery clearly inspire you. Why so?:
Because they are a different world that I sometimes wish I lived in. Its a sort of an outlet to the stresses of life.
Romanticism appears in your work. Would you consider yourself a romantic?:
Hahaha I want to say NO but who am I kidding I am. I love "Love". I love seeing how love makes people shine and bring out their beauty and I don't necessarily mean in a romantic way but more of just love to everyone. Between a mom and her child, between siblings, friends, or to complete strangers. Loving others is such an empowering thing that can truly change a person for the better.
What the opposite sex has taught you that has influenced your
Well, it has taught me in a more personal level that seeps into my work, that I have to learn to love myself and love my work no matter what others will think. Not to let others try to bring me down with their hatred. Because at the end of the day it is a reflection of what they are feeling about themselves. It has nothing to do with you its about them and them trying to take it out on you then them facing their own demons. So with that being said, it gives me the strength and empowerment to continue doing what I love no matter what.
What the same sex has taught you that has influenced your work: Same as the above response.
Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, recently Lana Del Rey, a lot of Film Composers, Bob Marley, and Bebe
Fashion photography defined:
Tim Walker said it best " Everything is contrived from the start. Nothing is R E A L. So what you are trying to do in this fake world is to make a real moment happen by installing genuineness into the artifice"
I recently did an amazing shoot for //Slang Magazine called "NARNIA". I have a couple big shoots coming up that I am really excited about, that for me are more personal and just a different kind of element that I haven't necessarily delved into yet. Its pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Which is great because I am evolving which I truly believe is the only ways to not only allow your art grow but you as well.
Travel and photograph all sorts of people. I am really into journalism photography. So I would really like to delve into that but also adding fashion into it.
"Love and give passion to everything you do and people that surround you. Because that will inspire not only you but also inspire your work. "
*All photos are Natalie Melissa Photography unless otherwise stated