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Meet Natalie Duke Photographer from Southern California

Photography credit of Natalie Drake-Maurer

 

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

Natalie – please share your story with us.
I am a Southern California gal, a professionally trained photographer, and influencer. As an alumn of Brook Institute of Photography, I have had the privilege of working with a variety of social influencers and Girl Bosses in various industries. I have parlayed my talents of photography into helping businesses grow their visibility on social media.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always had a camera in my hands. One of my first photos was of me taking a selfie in my bedroom mirror. I was 4. Tells you what kind of kid I was, that this was the most natural thing for me at 4! I would photograph everything and anything. I was very interested in color, light, movement and of course people.

Fast forward to high school and there I am again with a camera. I was the girl with the camera always documenting the social lives of my high school class and developing film and posting the latest images I shot – anything to get more attention than we deserved – and little did I know that would pay off hugely later in life.

I was lucky enough to be born during the social media revolution and I was like a fish to water, I absorbed all the resources around me and photographed the “usual” and tried to give it a life that was unusual. Those were amazing days of creation for me and it only got better when I was accepted to the Brooks Institute of Photography.

I believe that if you surround yourself with great talent, something is going to transfer to your talents as well. I’ve been privileged to work with people who are recognized leaders in the photography industry and the techniques I’ve learned from them are P*R*I*C*E*L*E*S*S*.

As a young professional, a lot of inspiration for my photos come from the kick-ass GirlBoss culture running through LA right now. Recently, I have been featuring women throughout LA who are making it in the business world on their own terms and giving a new image to the female entrepreneur. I love showcasing their strength and the achievements through my photography.

Naturally, with strong women come strong relationships and a part of my photography commissions are of couples who are reaching for their version of what a traditional couple now looks like in 2018. They have some sort of hidden strength of youth or life experience; and beauty, both traditional and life acquired, that make my photos tell their story.

One success leads to another, and I’m one of the hard-working fortunate ones that has been sought out for social media campaigns that highlight my photography to drive traffic and customers to other businesses. This is a true flashback to my high school days where attention was everything!

After I have launched my company we use photography skills to create buzz for clients. We take influencers and businesses identify their brand message and create unique content to get them the visibility they deserve to make a difference in their businesses.

Today, I have never been busier or more fulfilled. Coming full circle, I’m proud to have a rocking business both on the photography side and the social media development side.

GirlBosses are true superheroes and I hope I can wear the cape proudly each day.

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?
My biggest challenge was the closure of my beloved college Brooks Institute. For those of you who might not know of Brooks Institute, it was one of the most prestigious photography and film schools in the United States. I did not let the

3-day closure of the school stop me. Those around me and I knew that this was not going to be an ending of my photography career. I have learned from that experience that you must be able to adapt to situations in real life and in photography. With regards to lighting and the weather, certain things happen and you must use your ability to make the best and overcome obstacles. After Brooks Institute closed, I believe it only pushed me harder to become a more aware and creative photographer.

Natalie Duke – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The first would be my visual photography company where I am hired by project to create images that fit the client. The second is my Social Media Branding company is interlaced with my photography. As a photographer, I always believe in putting out my best work. I know what sets me apart from others is my knowledge of what visually looks pleasing and the marketing that goes behind it. Everything from the lighting, styling, and post-production on shoots goes into making my images. I do believe I am giving every client a one of a kind product.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of the proudest moments I have had was gaining and confirming my first major client. I was so excited for the new projects to come! It proved to me that my business model was successful. I was proud to be growing this business from the ground up. That first major success got me to where I am now, and I have been forever grateful for this journey.

Contact Info:

  • Website: nataliejduke.com
  • Email: hello@nataliejduke.com
  • Instagram: @capturesbynatalie

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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