We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie O’Connell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I lost my younger brother Steven in March of 2020, a few weeks after the pandemic started to unfold, I felt completely lost on how to cope with life without him. While was desperately trying to catch sight of the light at the end of a dark tunnel that is grief, I decided to re-evaluate my life, and make efforts to do more of what truly makes me happy.
Photography for me had always been a side passion, but it became more than that in those tough months after we lost Steven. It turned into a very therapeutic release, and I found myself feeling so much happier and more at peace when I was behind the lens. I’m so grateful that over the last 17 years I’ve had a sustainable career as a model based here in Los Angeles, but now more than ever I was needing balance on both sides of the camera. So I started asking friends and family if I could shoot portraits of them over the weekends, and their reactions were very encouraging. They would share their photos on social media, and soon their friends and family were requesting to book me, and everything started to organically fall into place. Thus, Mid August Photography was born: a tribute to my late brother born August 14th, 1991.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Having the experience of my modeling career has allowed me to gain a unique perspective as a photographer. I truly understand that being in front of the camera can feel awkward or intimidating, so sharing what I’ve learned over the years has helped my families and couples open up and feel comfortable being themselves. I live for the little moments and movements that make the image feel authentic, not contrived or out of character.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I want to show somebody a really good time here in the South Bay (an area encasing the southern LA beach cities), I would take them to one of my favorite restaurants like Manhattan Beach Post or Tin Roof Bistro, take in the sunset on the strand by beach cruisers, and stay a night at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to dedicate my shoutout to my husband Aaron, who woke me up one morning with my first professional camera, and has been there to support me in this new endeavor every step of the way since.
Instagram: @natalieoconnell & @midaugustphoto
Mid August Photography By Natalie O’Connell