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Conversations with Natalie Lopez

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Lopez. 

Hi Natalie, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was gifted a camera years ago to capture images to use as reference for my illustrations, not knowing how to use a camera outside of ‘Program’ mode. Eventually I started exploring the settings of a camera and took an intro class at my local community college. My professor was (is) amazing (Dianne Burdick, ) and I learned so much from that one semester. I’m still learning! While studying journalism in St. Louis in 2016, I covered LouFest, a three-day outdoor concert in the heart of Forest Park, and fell in love with the experience. I was hooked! I am where I am today because I haven’t given up and I have had some amazing role models that have helped inspire me to this day (as mentioned, my professor, and also Robyn Porteen – Google her; she is a rockstar!). I built my website, built my portfolio, all a little at a time, and continue to grow and learn. There have been times where I have been rejected and denied – artists that I was really looking forward to working with and covering that simply said no – but I didn’t let those times break me and I kept going.

Alright, 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?
Lord, no! And to this day it’s still not a smooth road, nor do I ever anticipate it to be. Struggles have come and gone, motivation and creativity have been nonexistent at times, and there have been some very dark days. The blessings that I have been given and that continue to come far outweigh those seasons of struggle. I am truly thankful.

There are plenty of times that I have to remind myself to hang tight, hold on and march on, and patience is huge.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a photojournalist, specifically concert photography and I shoot lifestyle photography (weddings and families). My dream job is to work for a professional sports team and/or sports photojournalist. We’ll see where God takes me.

I am most proud of my son Elijah. He is a few years away from making his own life path and I couldn’t be more excited to see what he accomplishes.

I believe my individuality and my ‘go the extra mile’ mindset for those that I work with has helped set myself apart from others.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Some of the greatest things in life happen when risk is involved. I have taken both personal and professional risks that have been in my favor, and also have not been in my favor. That’s just the way it goes. I have put myself out there and allowed myself to be vulnerable by being true to myself, not following someone else’s path, and have made decisions based on my happiness. Sometimes that in itself is risky.

Risk takers are my kind of people. They have great stories of victory and triumph, as well as devastation and heartache that has only helped them grow stronger. This all sounds so cliche but it’s true.

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