Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Kim.
Natalie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ever since, who knows when, I’ve always categorized myself as an artist and until my senior year of high school, I’ve never really left the realm of fine arts. My sudden curiosity for unexposed creative mediums led me to my first photography class. I know it’s so expected but I quickly fell in love with literally everything about photography. How it demands engagement with others, how it expresses one’s unique viewpoint, and, best of all, how it gives me the excuse to literally do anything. I’ve always grown up making art all by myself but after being exposed to photography, I’ve realized how fun it is to just collaboratively work with other creatives. I can learn, grow, and have fun all at the same time. Still, I didn’t really put much thought into what I was doing with photography until the last day of high school when my teacher told me that what I have is something that can’t be taught.
For an insecure person like me, this validation became a daily encouragement. I then started becoming curious to see how far I can go with this new hobby. Within the first few months of college, I began conducting small photoshoots with both friends and strangers from my campus. That soon led to working with models from several different agencies. Currently, in the midst of this COVID pandemic, I’ve been working with a magazine and print organization for creative outreach and I’ve also been starting personal projects to stimulate creativity. Amidst the chaos, I’ve been finding many opportunities to root my creativity in more authentic content.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’d be too early to say that I’m already experiencing trials and struggles, just cause I’m still pretty new to what I’m doing right now. However, I would say that making the initial step to commit to what I’m doing was the scariest part of this experience. In the nature of expectations, I tend to determine the success of my works through immediate results. I guess part of the process is having patience and establishing confidence regardless of validation- but THAT is hard.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a full-time student doing photography on the side, though as of right now, photography has been invading most of my life. I think it’s quite common to see students doing photography but it’s not really common to see a student really putting themselves out there to do more than what’s expected of a student photographer. Currently, I’ve been using my platform to connect with people across the world – from Italy, London, Australia, Canada, and so forth- working to simulate inspiration and beauty through a virtual connection.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think my hesitation was the biggest regret. I was so caught up in trying to prepare for the right moment but opportunities are so temporary and they always come and go. There’s really no “right time” to start doing what you want to do. That’s why I chose to start sharing my photos during the first week of quarantine. Putting it off felt like another excuse so I just went for it. Part of me knew that this was the perfect time to challenge myself. Crazy thing is, I’ve been doing so many things that I would have never been able to do without being placed in this chaotic situation, this pandemic. So all to say, bless this mess.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @natalienyk