Nathalie Martens, a 34 years old mother of two children, lives in Belgium. She is not a professional photographer but she got intrigued by photography after seeing the family pictures of Sally Mann a few years ago. And she have been playing around with her camera ever since, hoping that one day she would be able to create a little magic of her own.
Her two daughters, Fee and Nanou, are her favorite subjects. Nathalie loves following them around and try to capture the innocence that they stand for. She is fascinated by their purity and realness.
Nathalie’s favourite time of day is just before sunset when the sun goes to sleep after dancing all day. She can spend hours sitting at the window of a small café observing people. She is happy when she’s in the right spot at the right time, when the perfect atmosphere, colours, light and expressions come together in a picture.
But breaking routines, having rambling conversations with people that she loves, the smell of rain on a summer day, the feeling of sand running true her fingers and the sound of her giggling daughters also put a big smile on her face.
Nathalie uses a Nikon D750, with several lenses: 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.8, but her favourite one is her 85mm f/1.8.
For commercial work she often shoots in studio but for her personal work Nathalie rather shoots with natural light because she feels like it gives it more intimacy
Nathalie don’t really know much about post production . So she does a little tweaking here and there but she keeps her images natural. (although she is amazed of what other photographers can do in post-production. She finds it pretty impressive)
Nathalie goes for Black and White for sure. It brings her back to the essence. No colors to distract from the emotion shown in the eyes.
Sally Mann’s family portraits are Nathalie’s all-time favourites but she also likes the work of Jock Sturges or the beautiful family pictures of Alain Laboile. Nathalie love’s the way they tell a real story while keeping it pure.
If you ask Nathalie if she would give an advice to a young photographer, she says: “Keep your eyes open. Always. There is so much beauty surrounding us. And keep on trying. The best way to learn is to shoot.”