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This installment in the lynda.com Creative Inspirations documentary series introduces the diverse talents of one of the world's great award-winning journalistic photographers, Natalie Fobes. Whether on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea facing frigid cold and 40-foot waves, or capturing a bride and groom moments before I do, Natalie uses her innate storytelling abilities to capture a moment forever. Her instinctive ability to compel her lens to speak so eloquently has garnered her over 200 awards, numerous fellowships, and a finalist spot for a Pulitzer.
Natalie is a mother, teacher, and writer, and is constantly seeking her next creative outlet. From her beautiful home overlooking the Puget Sound to a spectacular nature shoot in the Olympic National Forest, Natalie shares her journey with us through memorable stories and unforgettable images. Watch how she has both braved the elements to get the best shot, and reinvented herself to adapt to the shifting sands of her profession.
(Music playing.) Natalie Fobes: I remember when I was in eighth grade, we always had to, in the yearbook back then they asked you to do, you know, what do you want to do with your life? And I put down that I wanted to be an international jetsetter, and I had no idea that I would actually be able to do that, all because I carried to camera, and I was able to get assignments to travel around the world and take pictures of places and people that few people ever get to meet, or see or experience.
Most of the time I spent in Northern country, my brother called me Nat Nook of the North, because I spent so much time in Alaska, Siberia. I camped out with reindeer herders in the winter. You know, so that's the kind of thing that I really miss. I miss those experiences. I love talking about the adventures that I had traveling through the night in Siberia on a visdehot, being on the roof of the visdehot, and looking up at the stars and having stars so brilliant and so amazingly massive that you couldn't see any black, in the cold, 30-below wind on my face, and snuggling up in my furlined parka.
I mean those are wonderful, wonderful memories, but then I can tell you about traveling that way for 24 hours. I mean that kind of travel, you spent half of your time surviving, getting food, getting water, trying to find a warm place to stay at night. And then the other half of the time you tried to get the energy up to go out and take these photographs. Those are grand adventures, and that kind of travel - I'm so glad I did it at that point. I'm just so thankful I had the opportunity.
But now if you said to me, "Natalie would you like to go and go back to the reindeer herders' camp?" I'd say "Yeah, but I'd like to have a helicopter. Is that okay? Can I do that?" So I'm in a different space in my life. When my husband and I decided that we wanted to have children, we thought long and hard about how that would impact my career. Up until that point, I was traveling extensively. My husband and I actually met each other because I was recuperating from knee surgery, so I was in town for more than a few weeks at a time, a few months at a time, and so we knew that that I would have to dial it back quite a bit.
Then that was when I started shooting high-end weddings and started doing a little bit more portraiture. I love seeing my daughters come home from school. I love going to their soccer games, and yelling for them to throw some more elbows. Get aggressive. It's not - don't be polite Phoebe. Go! And you know so there are adventures here at home now that I am able to enjoy. I am always up for adventure, definitely. I always, I love learning about cultures, and places, and wildlife and ecosystems that few people ever learn about, but I'm enjoying where I am right now, a lot.
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