Natalye Anne St. Lucia
Natalye kept popping up in the “Explore” tab of my Instagram for the longest time, and after I kept stumbling onto her incredible work over and over, I thought it was fate and got in touch with her for an interview. She’s also the sweetest, most patient human ever, who waited for me while I got lost for half an hour two streets away in the scorching mid-June heat. Keep reading to find out about ghost haunting the Beatles, first cameras from Walmart, and cowboys in California.
where are you from?
how do you think growing up there shaped you as a person?
I found myself always looking for different kinds of people. I grew up in a city that was such a melting pot, and there were so many different types of people - culturally and personality-wise - and I feel more comfortable in an environment where there’s a lot of diversity.
how did you end up in New York?
Adventure drew me me out here.
what’s the first thing you did when you came here?
I came here, to Brooklyn Bridge Park. I just stared at this skyline.
I saw that you have done a roadtrip recently on your way here. how was that experience for you?
I love roadtrips. I love roadtrips more than flying, because you get to see everything along the way. It was a really long journey. We left Portland in the beginning of April, and we went down to California for two weeks to stay with some family and explore around the coast ares. The trip was a lot faster than we thought it would be, and we took a 4-5-day trip out here.
to someone who’s never seen a single photograph of yours, how would you describe your work?
I think right now I am in such an experimental phase with my photography. I personally love working with people and taking portraits. I think most recently dabbling into studio work I’ve tried to bring nature into the studio with a lot of colour and florals - plants, flowers, things like that. Gosh, describing it in one word though… Colourful. Experimental.
it seems that you’re gravitating towards very distinct, yummy colours.
Yeah, I’ve always gravitated towards pastel natural colours. Natural pinks, yellows. Green is my favourite.
when did you first start getting into photography?
I was very little. My godmother was the one who introduced me to it. She wasn’t a professional photographer, but it was a really strong hobby of hers that she pursued. I got my first camera when I was 10, it was a little film camera from Walmart. And I just started taking pictures of everything. As I got into high school, I started pursuing it more as a career, and began shooting friends, and I did a wedding once when I was seventeen, and I realized that I would never shoot a wedding again.
everyone I talk to says that, everyone apparently hates shooting weddings!
It’s just not my thing, I don’t know what it is. I should never say never, but for now, it’s not it.
Digital or film?
I shoot a little bit of both, mostly digital, because it’s just cheaper, to be honest. But I do film on the side.
how do you feel about concept in art?
I think sometimes I do have a concept in art. A lot of times I find myself really inspired by music and colour. And I kind of like to let things happen naturally, develop a relationship with the person I’m shooting - then it’s more of a collaborative effort and seeing where it goes, rather than having a solid thing that I am looking for. I feel that this is how your best images come out, at least for myself.
what else inspires you?
Travel. People. Music. I’m really inspired by music. Most of my shoots I have music playing. I get inspired by certain songs I’m listening to, certain bands. And then I find myself starting from there.
what music are you listening to?
Right now I’m listening to Cat Stevens. He’s really good to listen to on the subway. Nurses, they’re a band from Portland and they’re great.
have you had any crazy experiences happen to you here yet?
No! Wait, no, actually that’s a lie, I had a run-in with the cops the other day. They’re getting the loft out next to mine. I heard the workers start to fight, and it sounded like someone was dying, so I called the cops. Everyone was fine though, and it wasn’t a big deal. Citizens looking out for other citizens.
was there ever a photograph you never took? something you wished you had taken, but didn’t, for any reason at all?
Not any in particular that I feel really strongly about, but I do remember driving to Santa Cruz in California one time, and there was a cowboy outside his truck. It was the cutest thing, he was painting the mountains. I wish I had that photo, but more for my personal archive, not so much to share with people.
do you have any interest in filmmaking?
I do, actually, I wouldn’t day that I have any work that I would show professionally, but it is something that I would like to dabble into in the future, definitely,
what is your favourite thing about being a photographer?
Being able to explore and meet new people.
how about least favourite?
The business part of it. It makes me so uncomfortable.
what has been the most surreal moment of your life so far?
Being able to live freely in terms of pursuing my dreams, and not being shaped by others, not feeling trapped by what others think I should do, and just going for what I want.
if you were a ghost, who would you haunt?
Probably The Beatles, that would be amazing. I think I would just follow them around on tour, and watch them grow as artists.
what do you like to do outside of photography?
I don’t know, my life is so absorbed with it. Walking around, hanging out with friends, talking, travelling - which kind of goes hand in hand with photography, I guess.
website // tumblr // instagram