UTC Student and local photographer Nathalie Lopez on what starting her photography business has been like.
Nathalie Lopez is an up-and-coming photographer cultivating her photography business here in Chattanooga. While studying at UTC, she has begun utilizing her talents as a freelance photographer and has found a love for being behind the lens.
Nathalie has always been interested in photography. The way cameras could capture a story-telling image pulled at her creativity and fascinated her. To Nathalie, camera work was a wholly subjective art form where there was no need to “follow any rules and creative opportunities are endless” to tell whatever story she liked through image.
She always gravitated toward photography as a hobby, but she finally turned her creative outlet into a business after some friends asked her to photograph them for their anniversary. Even though Nathalie had no previous experience with professional photography, she found that orchestrating a photoshoot and setting the stage for the perfect shot was an exciting new way that she could capture a story in image.
“It was the first shoot I had done that required a little bit of planning,” Nathalie said, “so after going through the process and capturing images that sparked so much joy, I realized how much fulfillment photography gave me.”
Nathalie considers the photography industry to be “saturated” with a multitude of talented photographers working their craft, but she believes that her unique way of integrating image and story into her photography will allow her to stand out. Her desire to tap into the world of emotions and breathe life into a still image drives her to continue working on her photography.
Nathalie had only just begun to expand her freelance photography when the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to slow down her business. While this did hamper her ability to continue growing her business, Nathalie saw the downtime as a chance to “find inspiration, learn the craft even more, and continue establishing my creative style.”
“I am, in a way, grateful for the halt,” Nathalie said, “because I feel as though the spare time allowed me to slow down and become much more meticulous in my work.”
Looking forward, Nathalie hopes to continue cultivating her business and honing her craft as a freelance photographer in town. However, her goal is to find a permanent position with a magazine or publication where she can collaborate “with other creatives and build something together.”