Natalie by Mina Raeisi

Mina Raeisi is a writer mostly, but from time to time “I’m not a very good one,“ she claims, so she takes pictures to help her tell a story.

How did the shoot with Natalie go and how do you approach these intimate shoots?

This was my first time meeting Natalie. She was so easy to talk to; I can’t remember where our conversations started or ended that day. Every picture we took was in between conversation. I usually try to make people feel comfortable through conversation when I take pictures of them, but easily, she made me feel comfortable. This quickly became one of my favorite shoots because of who she is and what we represented forming this art together.

“This was my first time meeting Natalie. She was so easy to talk to; I can’t remember where our conversations started or ended that day.“

Can we photograph the female body in a more powerful way?

The female body is exponentially beautiful. It’s precious and vulnerable and resilient and strong and changing and growing. I don’t know how to capture it myself, honestly, I only try. I think photographing the female body in a powerful way starts with the photographer— does this angle make my subject look weak? Do I have a vision and purpose that promotes strength in women?

Your ideal morning?

My ideal morning starts at 11:59 a.m. the last possible minute. I’ll wake up and my sweet Erik will be in bed next to me, planning, drafting or designing something— typing excruciatingly loud on his computer. It has to be cold out, that always makes my blankets feel crisper.

What makes you happy?

For me, there are two mines of happiness. Intrinsically: helping, developing and encouraging others, and time to myself (including sleeping, obviously). Extrinsically: family, the holiday season, skincare, and shopping. Both of which probably just make me sound like the worst, ever.

What’s next for you?

I don’t claim to be a photographer, I really just can’t label myself as one. I have omnipotent, growing passions for education and writing that are too strong to every give up or compromise. When I shot these pictures, it was because I felt I needed them to compliment a book I am writing. I did a whole series of shoots and had the most amazing experience with the most kind-hearted, spiritual, and wise women I had ever met. When I shoot again, its for my experience and purpose as well as their’s.