working girl

Working as a photographer isn’t a career path I’ve considered very seriously. To begin with, I don’t think I’m all that. I only use natural light which can be really limiting and I have no more equipment than my D5000 and my 35mm lens (my kit lens doesn’t exist ok). Also, the problem with charging…it’s complicated. It boils down to how much I think I’m worth and how much my time is worth. I know I was underpaid for this assignment, but as it was a favor for a school mate and it was the first time I’ve ever been paid, I don’t really mind much. It’s definitely been a learning experience.

First thing I learned: shooting a at an entirely new location is very daunting. The house we were at was absolutely beautiful, and it had a glorious sea view. However, I had very little time to get used to the lighting and we spent half the time looking for places that would look good on camera. Personally, I prefer to have a little bit of knowledge before-hand just so I feel better prepared. On that note, I need to scout more locations around my city.

Lesson numero dos: keeping the client happy. I have my aesthetic. The client knows what he/she wants. These two don’t always mesh together. I never really do colorful shots and over saturated photos. The de-saturate tool and I are in a committed relationship. The client was a fabric store though, so the fabric had to look it’s best. I’ve actually re-edited the photos on this post to be less sharp and clear. The client got photos that weren’t over-edited, just fixed the color and exposure on some and the white balance on others. I used Aperture for the first time and it was a lot of fun to use. It’s really easy and feels natural. Lightroom has the presets but Aperture has the brush feature to edit only certain parts of the photo and it was mad useful. I need a computer better suited for all this software, I’ll probably end up using both as well as Photoshop. Yes, my editing is a mess.

The client told me straight away they would be doing their own editing of the photos which is also why I didn’t bother to edit too much. Still, it took me hours to get through all the photos and I know I should have charged more for editing time and for giving up the photos to be editing by someone else. Photography Business 101 is requiered, clearly.

Overall, it was a really enjoyable experience, I got to hang out in a lovely place, model was easy to direct, and I got paid. Not to mention the learning curve.

This might be my longest post yet! Hoorah!

all images ©Nathalie Donado for Jorge Arabia Telas



Just some outtakes from a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I had my first paid photo-shoot! T’was very exciting. I might upload photos from that later.

All Images ©Nathalie Donado


After a good week trying to get these two together before sundown, I was finally able to harass them enough and got a few good photos in the process. We were still a bit late though. Guys, we must hustle next time!

They wanted to jump. I swear.

This is what we get from sitting on those benches. Red asses.

University publicity shot. Don’t they look just ecstatic to be there?

All images © Nathalie Donado


Some snapshots from a recent trip to Bogota:

something fried that looked rather gross. did not try it.

controversial yum. love blood sausages, morcilla in spanish.

spices and the national soda.

strangers. i love getting candid shots of strangers. i miss having a good zoom, am going to have to invest in one…

live, local music


more strangers.

my mom’s date.

what happens when others try to take photos of me. AWKWARD forever.

my 35 mm isn’t the best choice for landscapes. doesn’t help Bogota has cloud cover pretty much all the time. and i suck at landscapes, no way around it.

© nathalie donado

nature of man

yesterday’s photoshoot took a naked turn when model/friend (P) told me he wanted to be shot outside in the nude. i couldn’t say no since normally i shoot under-aged girls and it would land me in prison. he was game for walking around naked in a field close to my house which is quite brave considering all the creepy crawlies that are know to frequent said field. also we were still relatively close to people and one house in particular got one hell of a show if they were looking out the window. since i wasn’t prepared for it, P basically just pranced around and tried to channel the spirit of Ryan Mcginley. i tried to keep a straight face which was not always possible, he’s ridiculously expressive and hilarious. i think i managed to get a few decent shots. while i didn’t have a clear idea of what i wanted with the photos, i knew i wanted to keep it classy and not pornish in any way. i think the human body is incredible and love photos that are able to capture that without making it something sexual and distracting from the intent. hopefully i did it.

check them out after the jump

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Today was the last day of my 365 project. This was huge. What had to be said has been said on flickr. I’m just posting outttakes here.

© nathalie donado

Local flavor

Photo spam from today’s adventure. Not much else to say, enjoy.

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