Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Natasha J Bella

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing West Yorkshire based photographic model, Natasha J Bella.

Hi Natasha. Thanks for taking time out to answer some questions for me. How did you come to find yourself in the crazy world that is modelling?

'Many, many, (and I mean many) years ago, I was approached to enter a beauty pageant Miss Jamaica UK, I was 19 at the time. This sparked an interest in the world of modelling but I got on with a different career, marriage and starting a family. Years later, when my forth child started primary school I took the opportunity to rekindle that spark and haven't looked back since.'

How did you fair in the pageant?

'On the podium in second place, £500 prize money and lots of invites to special events and parties, fun times'

A substantial portion of your portfolio is nude and lingerie/swim wear. Is this something you set out to do or did you initially intend to do say fashion?

'Interesting question. I actually had no intention of shooting fashion, I was immediately drawn to lingerie and art nude. My first ever shoot was lingerie, nude and latex. I have always been happy with the variety of work that I do. I love shooting portraits and glamour done well, but overall it's about all different styles (within my levels), the people, the locations, the spontaneity, mixing and matching outfits and adjusting to everyone's shooting style and creativity. It keeps it interesting.'

Photographer - John Gardner

What was it that drew you to lingerie and art nude modelling?

'I love lingerie, always have and still do. As for nude, it was more about the scenes I had available on my first shoot at home and that was the sauna and the boudoir and also daring to do something I'd never done before, it just felt right at the time.'

Photographer - Mike Croshaw,  Taken At - Scarlet Door

Let's move away from modelling for a couple of questions if we may...

If you were to win the lottery...other than obviously buying your extremely lovely interviewer some camera gear, what would be your first purchase?

'Haha, I'd buy Purpleport and award all my images with FPIs. LOL

I love travelling, so I would book fabulous holidays and experiences with my family and friends. I'm also very tempted by latest gadgets and technology so I'd buy all sorts of gizmos to play around with.

But first things first, a Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible...or maybe a Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible...or Audi R8 Spyder. I can't decide'

Photographer - Rob Golding

If you were to find yourself under the spotlight on a karaoke stage, either through choice or being strong armed by others, what song would you belt out?

'I'm ashamed to admit it but with a few drinks down me I voluntarily take part in karaoke to rap an Eminem track much to everyone's surprise and horror!! After that's gone horribly wrong I'll try sing something more manageable.

My advice... just don't let anyone film it.'

If this interview was in person instead of via email, I'd be demanding demonstrations right now... What's your go to Eminem song?

'I like all of his popular tracks, but for karaoke I've gone with Love The Way You Lie.  But not anymore, I've learnt my lesson.'

Photographer - KJT Images,  Taken At - Studio 2

Back to modelling-ish related questions...

I believe you also work the other side of the camera. Is it something you have always done/wanted to do, or did a kind of curiosity about it develop while modelling?

'I have always enjoyed taking photographs at family parties. I didn't really think anything of it until last year when I opened my own studio at home. I've certainly got the bug for photography now. I decided to develop a Boudoir business doing makeovers and photoshoots for women. And now I've had a few people at my studio for 1 to 1 tutorials covering portraits, boudoir, fashion and art nude, it's been a good portfolio builder for some photographers.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

Is there any magazines, websites, or people who's work you look at on a regular basis for inspiration?

'I quite like posters adverts and album covers . I collect images on Pinterest as and when I see them but I don't specifically go looking for them anywhere in particular. There are many models that I've met or worked with and so many others who I admire, they consistently produce amazing and inspirational work.'

Photographer - Fotodet (Düsseldorf)

If you could model a campaign for any company, be it something 'conventional' like Dior or Cartier, or something not so much, who would you pick and why?

'Through my agency work it has been very satisfying to have modelled for global brands and appeared in tv commercials and magazine adverts, what I'd really love is to see myself on a giant poster campaign for say, Max Factor, or such-like.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

Whilst preparing for this interview I was looking over your portfolio and saw your comment about your age. Firstly, I have to say, I'd never have guessed. Secondly, there is often discussions about the adverse effect age has on a models employability, have you found this to be an issue?

'Yes I have, but not how you might think.

I have no issues with age as a freelance model, I don't know about the people that wouldn't work with me because of my age, I'm busy enough with those that do want to book me. But in the commercial/agency world it's a different matter. I get put forward for over 40's jobs and get turned away for looking to young, that's frustrating. I had a client ask me to send a no makeup selfie to see what I really look like and the response from the agency was, "in this picture you look 25 can you try and look older please."'

Photographer - Nigel Hillier

I've always had the opposite issue. I've always looked older, depressingly so at times. What's the largest difference between your age and your perceived age that you've received? Was it that agency?

'I think sometimes it depends on the circumstance someone meets me, people have guessed between 25 to 35. More often around 30.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

What does the future hold for you? Any exciting projects planned? Any ideas you want to try make happen? Any blogs you want to appear on again at some point to talk about your newest work?

'Going forward, with regards to modelling, every year I wonder if this will be the last. I love modelling and fortunately the bookings keep rolling in so I'll keep it up indefinitely.

Since opening The Photo House Studio last year, it's received great reviews so I will schedule more photoshoots, I hope to do more tutorials and grow my photography business.

And finally, continue my sales role with Photofinca the No.1 company for photography holidays in Spain shooting the best models.'

Photographer - Natasha J Bella (it's a self portrait, she didn't work with someone with the same name!)

If people want to see more of your work, where can they find you?

'Although I'm on Instagram and Twitter, I mainly use Purpleport and Facebook, that's where you can see what I'm up to and my latest images.'

As seems to be becoming a thing for final question, what's your favourite joke?

'Haven't got one, sorry. I love banter, not jokes. I have so much fun at home, my family make me laugh everyday. It's all about those moments when you had to be there.'

I'd like to thank Natasha again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of her work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.


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