Name: Natasha Wilson
Current City: Los Angeles
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Desert born and raised, fashion photographer Natasha Wilson has had a mutual passion for art & travel her entire life. Inspired by culture and each location’s color palette, she hopes her unique perspective flows vicariously through her photographs and transports the viewer into a dream-like world. Her process usually includes painting her own hues over her images and reducing the color palette to a cohesive blend of hues.
For starters, you're a remarkable photographer. What attracted you to the world of photography and how would you define your style?
When I was in high school I wanted to express myself through art. To be honest, I wasn't good at painting or drawing, definitely not good at math or science. When I was allowed to take film photography as a course, I finally felt like I was good at something. I could express myself the way I wanted to. I didn't take it seriously as a career, just something I liked to do. My mom was the one who opened the idea of photography school to me.
I think my style of photography is fine art and portraiture blended together. I really strive to make each photograph resemble a painting – a color palette, story and the feeling you get from looking at art pieces in a gallery.
Where/how do you seek inspiration for your projects?
I'm inspired by people who speak their truth and shine through individuality. I find a lot of faces, creatives and designers on Instagram that inspire me daily. I also gain a lot of inspiration from color theory and art mathematics (rule of thirds, etc). Tim Walker is one of my favorite portrait photographers and Sally Mann is a huge inspiration for capturing feeling and emotion through imagery. Lately, I've really been into photographers Jimmy Marble, Nadia Lee Cohen and Diane Villadsen. If I am starting with a project from scratch, it usually blooms from feeling or music I am listening to.
Out of all your breathtaking shoots, which has been your favorite and why?
I have tons of favorites, but the one that I thought of right away was my series titled 'The Rise of a Woman". The way our team came together (models, make up artists, and vintage clothing company) was so fluent. The timing of the shoot and the way everything happened (there were some hurdles to cross) seemed to be divine. I was so excited to share these images, and the feedback I got from them was incredible. I even heard a story of a girl being so inspired by the shoot, she went straight to Goodwill to try and find a similar suitcase to shoot with. The reaction and impact that comes with the photoshoot is my favorite part of any project.
What are your goals for photography moving forward?
One of my goals this year is to start creating more personal projects with impact and feeling. I want to inspire and uplift the community through art. I also want to print more of my work, whether that's through a store or billboards, seeing your photographs in print makes them so much more real!
Do you have any other projects/collaborations on the books you'd like the readers to know about?
I have an incredible project I am super excited about releasing February 14th, Valentine's Day! I directed a music video for Ecstatic Union's song Desert Queen. We shot at White Sands, and the whole video is otherworldly!
Walk us through how you balance your personal and professional life.
That one's tough! I think I work longer days and hours than the average 9-5 person. But I love every minute of what I do. I think it balances out in the end because I get to be my own boss, and make my own schedule, but that also means I am usually working on my vacations. I wouldn't have it any other way though. If I'm not shooting, I start to feel uneasy and want to create more. My boyfriend and friends see that passion fueling me and their support is what keeps me going.
Where is your favorite place to escape and clear your head?
I think my favorite place to escape is in books. I love reading motivational and spiritual books. Lately, I've been reading Be Here Now, Do It Yourself Guide To Beating the Motherfucking Sad, How To Be Alive, and anything by Eckhart Tolle! I also escape by listening to these on audiobooks in the car!
Discuss the importance of female friendships in your life.
I have truly been feeling so thankful for the female friends in my life as of late. Every month my closest girlfriends and I get together for the full moon (Moon Goddess Night) and we write down aspirations and goals for the month, draw tarot cards and talk about things we have been struggling with, drink wine and eat cheese! I feel so refreshed after those nights. The trust between women and how we can uplift each other is so special.
Who are some of your greatest influences?
I think this goes hand in hand with the previous question, 'How do you find inspiration for your projects'. I am influenced by people trying to make a difference and speaking their truth to the world. Another example: Hailey Wait (@pigss) on Instagram is an incredibly inspirational advocate for being comfortable in your own skin. She is a brilliant artist and is changing the beauty standards through activism! Check her out!
If you could have dinner with any woman in history, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Frida Khalo!! I've always been so inspired by her words, her paintings and her determination to change the way people think.
What are you grateful for?
Everything in my life! No really, I can't believe how lucky I am to be able to do what I love for a living. I have an amazing support system, and I am my own boss! I've learned from my past and my history is what brought me here. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Quote to live by?
A tiny excerpt from Invictus by William Ernest Henley: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.