We had the good fortune of connecting with Nataly Quintero and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nataly, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that risk is something that society shy’s us away from. Many of us were taught at a very young age that taking a risk is something we should fear and avoid at all costs. Why? Possibly because society as a whole connects risk with instability. This is a huge reason a lot of people stay comfortable and don’t believe things are possible for them.

I, on the other hand, believe that staying in your comfort zone and avoiding risks is one of the most damaging things us as human beings can do to ourselves. Taking risks and making mistakes throughout my career as a photographer and business owner is what’s allowed me to learn, grow, and be successful.

I owe my career to all the risks I’ve taken and continue to take. And if there’s one thing about risks I’ve learned is to just take them. Embrace them. Work that ‘risk muscle’ continuously to the point that you know when the discomfort shows up something beautiful is about to come to light and if not light then a much needed lesson.

Risks have and continue to help me grow as a person and business owner. I owe my success to them.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Photography is something that has ignited my soul for many years. I don’t just take pictures I make sure to create photography that tells the story of a brand. I capture photography that entices clients to connect with the brand.

One thing I’m very excited about in my career right now is that I was able to pick up my first international clients based out of London. Being able to photograph for brand’s worldwide has always been a goal of mine and I’m proud and excited to say that I was able to do that.

This journey of creativity and being a business owner has not been easy. I remember when I first started doing photography I had no idea what I was doing. I barely understood a camera and all its settings. I was scared and judged my work a lot because I knew nothing. My best friends were YouTube, Skillshare, and making mistakes! I actually gave up a few times but somehow, someway, photography always came back into my soul as a calling.

These challenges that I’ve had to face have not been easy. Some of them being rejection, judgement from others, self-criticism, and imposter syndrome. I’ve gotten through these challenges by reading about other people’s success stories. By empowering myself through words of affirmation and staying grounded through meditation. I’ve been able to get through these difficult moments by continuously doing the inner work. I believe that continuously working on ourselves is the key to overcoming challenges.

Some lessons I’ve had to learn along the way are:

1. Without risk there is no reward.
2. Be careful with who you share your dreams and ambitions with. Not everyone has your best interest at heart and sometimes those very people can be those closest to you.
3. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at a certain art. If it’s calling your soul learn it, live it, breathe it until you’ve mastered it.
4. Always remember to be a student even when you’ve mastered your art.

What I’d love the world to know about my brand and its story is that when love and dedication are poured into your calling magical things can truly happen. My brand began with just a dream and barely any cash. When I first picked up a camera I knew nothing and it was from pure curiosity and love that I’ve been able to build my brand. I just want people to know that things are possible and my brand is proof of that. I want people to see my brand and its story as inspiration that anything is possible if you just dream, take risks, and do. I hope my story inspires people to go after what sets their soul on fire because doing otherwise is a disservice to yourself and to the world.

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?
If my best friend was visiting Northern NJ here are some of the things we’d do:

Paint at the park, visit cafes, visit The Hackensack Brewing Company in NJ, visit The Brooklyn Brewery, go to a record store, bike ride all over the city and visit a pop up art show, go to an intimate rooftop party with views of NYC, go to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn of Jersey City to try delicious food from different vendors, go to St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club in Brooklyn and listen to a live jazz band while having a cocktail, go to the Botanical Garden in NYC, go hiking, go to a barcade, have cocktails at Apotheke in Chinatown NYC, visit bookstores, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, have street tacos, visit Dullboy and Orale in Jersey City for my favorite cocktails and food.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate The Shoutout series to my beautiful friends Alejandra Martinez, Marcela Tapiero, Bryan Badia, and Jordams Cespedes. These four human beings have displayed nothing but support, love, encouragement, and mentorship in ways that I could never repay. They were there when all I had was an idea. They were there when I changed career paths. They encouraged me to pursue what ignites my soul. When I was broken and defeated they brought me back to life. I owe them more than this shoutout. I owe them my life. Thank you to each of you for the unconditional support and love. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and mentors.

Website: www.natalyqphotography.com

Instagram: itsnatalyq

Image Credits
All images were taken by me personally.

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