Natalya DeSena Photography: My Interview with Boston Voyager
Natalya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Photography has been my biggest passion since I was a little girl. From a young age I was obsessed with creative imagery, visual storytelling, and the power of freezing a memory with a photograph.
My father was a hobby photographer so I grew up with a darkroom in my basement. I watched him develop film for hours every week. My Grandmother was also a photographer and she never went anywhere without a camera. I watched her obsessively capture every moment of life. I remember being so annoyed with her because she was constantly posing me and my siblings for pictures, telling us to smile, and snapping candids. After she passed away I inherited her photo albums and it was at that moment that I realized how valuable her photos were. I was able to relive my childhood, experience a piece of my history, and feel all the feelings I felt in that exact moment when the photo was captured. My biggest goal, and why I started this business, is to pass the same feelings and experience onto my clients.
In high school I felt strong pressures to pursue a path that would lead to a steady career, so I got a degree in Management and Marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I spent 10 years in various corporate positions – financial sales, advertising, management, executive administration, and global operations, but I never felt like I was in the right place. After some life changing events and the loss of some close friends, I decided that life’s too short to be doing something I’m not passionate about. In 2017, I took a leap of faith and left a steady paycheck and health benefits to start my company, Natalya DeSena Photography. Although it’s scary at times it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to do what I love. At 31 years old I finally feel like I’m in the right place.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are two emotions that tend to dictate how things go in our lives; fear + love, and I think most of us tend to live our lives with fear.
Growing up I was a bit anxious. I was always second guessing myself in terms of my career and accomplishments. When I turned 30 I felt fed up. I felt like I was missing out on my life’s potential. So instead of overanalyzing and questioning EVERYTHING that could go wrong, I jumped all in, heart first. I started saying no to things I didn’t believe in and yes to things that supported my growth. I started to believe that I could create the life of my dreams if I changed my internal dialog and surrounded myself with positive people.
What should we know about Natalya DeSena Photography? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a wedding, family and lifestyle photographer based in Portland, Maine but I shoot all over New England and in New York. I capture all my images with style, heart, and soul.
I’m passionate about fine art wedding photography and film, so you’ll see that most of my wedding work has both a fine art perspective and a film aesthetic. I aim to capture genuine, un-posed emotion and moments as well as timeless editorial portraits.
My photographic style is captivating, soft, and natural . I use the word captivating because I aim to capture moments that are emotionally raw – these are the pictures that will make you feel something, the ones that will move your soul.
I get to know my clients and learn about their story so I can tell it in the best way possible.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
Jewel (yes the singer) was my biggest inspiration growing up. She has a soft demeanor and her poetry and music are extremely powerful. When I was younger, she influenced me to pick up a guitar and write my own songs and poetry. She embodies grace and is highly talented at her craft.
My younger brother is another person I look up to. He’s a director, DP, and editor based in New York, but he works around the globe. Watching him work is fascinating. He’s extremely maniacal and passionate about what he does and it shows in his work.
Another woman who has influenced me over the years is Annie Leibovitz, a portrait photographer. She’s a master at her craft and is committed to her work. Watching her behind the lens and listening to her interviews is very inspirational and motivates me to be the best I can be as an artist and a photographer.
Weddings Collections begin at $3,500
Elopement packages start at $1,500
Family Portraits start at $450