April is “inspirational women month” in Srsck country. Today we are interviewing a really nice Dutch fashion photographer. Her work is wild and on the move in a happy way. Knock knock Miss Nathalie Odette.
What is indispensable for you as a photography accessory, other than your camera? What type of cameras do you shoot with?
With the risk of sounding utterly tacky; dedication gets you places and that’s my tool of the trade. But other than that, I use my Canon 5D and in some cases analog cameras from my collection, including my Olympus Trip 35, Canonet 28, Rolleiflex, Minolta Dynax 7000i and polaroid cameras.
Is editing an important part of your work? What do you think of the Photoshop society we live in?
Being digitally schooled I definitely make use of Photoshop while post-processing and enjoy what I’m able to achieve with it. Nonetheless I more often make use of it for color hues and digital additions than for alterations to the model; my mantra is that good models need little work.
People seem to forget that women in fact are born with pores or freckles and blur out their skin entirely rather than to embrace what a human being actually looks like. Although I as a woman suffer no consequences from the often discussed unrealistic ideals we see in advertising, I as a photographer wouldn’t mind if the industry would rely more on what is actually there.
Are you a Mac or PC kind of woman?
Although I appreciate Macs and can’t deny some of their advantages for the graphic business, my more technical background makes me pick a PC for a main station.
What did you want to become when you were a kid? Why did you become a photographer?
My first memory of what I wanted to become when I’d grow up, was being the owner of a cat-hotel. Then I wanted to become a biologist, an oceanologist, a doctor, a physiotherapist, and eventually my first serious goal was to become a graphic designer.
When I applied at the art academy with fully digital school newspaper lay-outs in Indesign and album covers made in Illustrator and Photoshop, my pragmatic approach was recognized and I was advised to pick the more commercial study Communication and Multimedia Design.
Although I obtained my bachelor’s degree I knew before I graduated I wanted to perceive photography instead and make the hobby I developed in my teens to a profession; with the support of my family, the artists around me and with the cooperation of a modeling agency for which I did regular castings and testshoots I graduated Photographic Design and never looked back.
What advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
Do what you like to do, and shoot what you’d like to shoot rather than try to live up to styles and standards that aren’t your own.
What I love in your work is that you tell stories with your pictures and most of your work is joyful and colorful. Are you such a happy person?
Everyone has their hardships but I can say I consider myself a very happy and fortunate person! When I started out photography when I was in my late teens my work was definitely less colorful and sometimes even a little dark, although I still recognize the little winks to spontaneity and sexuality in my earliest work.
At some point I simply felt my style didn’t match my personality; why would I want to reel models back into looking serious and serene while we were having tons of fun on set? If you take that into consideration, my work definitely reflects my personality.
Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
Fun, direct, driven, artistic and a little crazy.
What or who inspires you in your work? Who is in your eyes the best photographer all times and why?
I get inspired by tons of things; movies, photos, art, particular scenery or places, fabric, materials and of course by a healthy dose of daydreaming. I also appreciate the work of other photographers and the general vibe you get from their work.
I’ve never been one to idolize anyone, and I simply couldn’t name one artist as my favorite, but I do really appreciate photographers like Ellen von Unwerth for making work that strikes me as very genuine; they seem to bring the models to showing a side of themselves the public doesn’t always see, without taking a traditional portrait approach.
What will you be doing in ten years? Why?
I will be working with a fabulous clientele, doing the work I love. Maybe work abroad more often and see and work at amazing locations!
If you could photograph two people tomorrow, who ever, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
First and foremost Marilyn Monroe, because her last photographs show a fragile side I would have loved to explore myself. The second place is shared by all those beautiful girls I need to photograph before I’m too old to hold a camera!
Thank you for your time and honest replies. We wish you lots of luck and fun in your photography work.
Isn’t this young photographer an inspiration? You can see more work by Nathalie Odette on her website!