Before being a photographer, I have always been an artist. I’ve fought this for years, but as I’m getting older I feel there is no time to waste and to deny yourself. If you know who and what you are, you’re better off to embrace it. Being an artist isn’t an easy road though, so that’s probably why many ignore their talent or choose another path.
I’ve always been obsessed with fashion, make up and films that have a very strong aesthetic.
I strive to bring my imagination to life through the lens of the camera. I’m fascinated with vintage clothing, films, fantasy, the occult, mythology and high fashion.
Possessing a background in Fine Arts, Makeup Artistry and sales. Mostly self taught photographer and retoucher, but recently I have had some help from two of my mentors, Nina Pak and Kyle Cong. I am
passionate about creating new worlds and celebrating the beautiful and bizarre.
In addition to my own projects, I am also the Media Correspondent for Miroir Magazine, a fashion and fine art publication in print form as well as on their website.
Obscurena: When you started your career as Photographer and why ?
Natasha: I started shooting about 3 years ago, so around 2015. I’ve always wanted to get into photography but my desire to be an artist wasn’t always looked at in a positive light by my mother and her parents. I studied Fine Arts at Vancouver Island University, where I grew up in 1998, right out of high school, I wasn’t ready for Art School though, and don’t know
if I ever would be. I dropped out after first year, I would have studied photography in the second year if I had stayed. This was all before digital cameras of course so it was much harder to learn since you’d waste many rolls of film experimenting.
Fast forward to 2015. I had moved to Vancouver and had been here since 2006, My life was in a slump and I wasn’t living my life in the way I had envisioned when I thought of moving to a bigger city. I always dreamed of being an artist. Somewhere along the lines I lost touch with this dream. It was time to stop listening to what people had been telling me for years, to stop trying to make everyone else happy. It was time to make myself happy. So, I got a digital camera from my dad for Christmas and started shooting myself and my friends. Slowly, but surely, I was encouraged by my friends, acquaintances and then my family warmed up to the idea and realized that I wasn’t going to give up on this. Now they are proud of me and understand my need to make art. It’s something that was always there, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
When I was in my darkest hours, it was my desire to make art that gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and want to make my life better. Photography has truly saved my life.
Obscurena: What type of Photography do you like most?
Natasha: I love fashion that leans towards fantasy, especially dark fantasy. I love gothic culture, mythology, and vintage films and fashion. I also love shooting live bands, djs and burlesque and other dance and live performances. Fashion runway is another area that I really enjoy.
There is something about shooting other artists, live, in motion that is raw and uninhibited. If you get a shot at the right time, you can really feel the authenticity in the image while capturing it for
others to enjoy.
Obscurena: What are your greatest accomplishments so far?
Natasha: Even before I started shooting, I was a fan of Nina Pak, an amazing digital artist and photographer. I really related to her style and subject matter and dreamed of creating images with a similar aesthetic, and perhaps even work with her. A couple of years ago I got involved with a local fashion show called VALT: Vancouver Alternative Fashion Weekend. This time is was my third year shooting the event. I was asked to step in as the official runway photographer for the final night. Nina like my images and asked if I’d like to have them featured in the Magazine she is the Artist director for; Miroir Magazine. I was ecstatic about the idea and work on preparing them for the feature.
Shortly after this I was asked by Nina to be the Media Correspondent for the magazine which involves contributing to the magazine as well as interviewing other artists to showcase on the website and in the print edition.
Recently I was a featured artist in the magazine which included an 8 page spread with some amazing local models; Tristan Risk and Pickles LaVey with magical fine art edits by Nina Pak herself.
Obscurena: What is your greatest strength?
Natasha: I would say my passion to keep creating and to find ways to make art without having much money. I’m still working on building up my studio but when I first started I didn’t let not having all the fancy gear stop me. I think being good a networking and working with others is another strength that has served me well and helped me to build
lasting relationships with fellow artists and clients over the years.
I look forward to what is coming next!
Obscurena: In prior performance reviews, what were your opportunities for improvement?
Natasha: I’m a very excitable person, and also very sensitive, which I think goes hand in hand with being an artist. I have also battled anxiety most of my life so that can be an obstacle at times, however, I have really learned how to control it better and function fairly normally over the years. This has taught me patience and the importance of self
care so that I can perform better under stress and make better decisions. Anxiety can be very scary when you haven’t figured out proper coping skills. I am always learning and striving to improve myself and by doing so, to grow as an artist.
Obscurena: What are your plans for the future?
Natasha: Wow, there are so many. I would love to travel around Europe and document my trip and connect with different models while there. I’m also working on making prints of my work and having an art show in the next year! A book is another venture that I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I will most likely be shooting more concerts and hopefully
doing more photography stills for music videos as I just recently shots stills for Charlie Monroe for her upcoming music video and had such an amazing time. Our team was complete with Videography by Byron Gouette and guitar by Troy Zackowski who were all so creative and fun.
I will also continue to shoot fine art and fantasy fashion shoots and be published in more magazines as well as continue my work with Miroir Magazine. It’s a great platform for me to meet other artists and contribute to a world class publication.
Obscurena: Have you ever performed as model ?
Natasha: Yes, I have done some modelling in the past and more recently I sat for Maria Gruschzak, an amazing photographer here in Vancouver, BC who specializes in the tin type style. Her work has a vintage feel to it and is very cinematic and dramatic as well as timeless. I was honoured when she asked me to be her model. It’s fun to be on the other side of the lens once in awhile, and she helped me realize one of my past lives as an Ancient Egyptian which I have always related to ever since I was a young child. It was a magical experience that has been inspiring to be. I feel it’s important for photographers to have portraits of themselves to further explore other artistic aspects of
their personality and to share with their peers and clients. I will be working on some self portraits in the near future as well.
Photo by Maria Gruschzak
Photo by Sara Santos
Photo by Andre Kaufman