While Natalie Finney dabbled in media and photography in high school, she studied for a degree in science and psychology at university. Her appetite for photography was further satiated during her twenties travelling extensively and documenting her experiences photographically.
However, it wasn’t until she was pregnant with her first child that she delved deeper into the medium. “A work colleague suggested, with wise foresight, that I invest in a half-decent DSLR, insisting I should develop my keen affection for photography beyond simple holiday pictures,” Finney says. And so, from 2012, Finney first seriously considered shifting her hobby into more of a professional endeavour.
Not formally trained, Finney says that much of her learning and growth developed as a result of her determination and fascination with the craft, where she learned much by trial and error, as well as undertaking various workshops. She does nevertheless credit a significant part of her technical development from a mentorship program run by lifestyle celebrity photographer Gina Milicia, which she enrolled in 2016, continuing for almost three years. “Under Gina’s guidance and teachings, I was able to hone in on my craft and truly understand the technicalities of the camera and lighting,” Finney says.
Working as a child and family portrait photographer, Finney considers herself fortunate to be able to capture portraits of children, and all the honesty and authenticity they bring – two aspects she feels often become clouded or masked as we grow into adulthood.
Some of Finney’s recently accolades include being a finalist in the 2020 National Photographic Portrait Prize, placing third in the Portrait category of Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2020, and coming in the Top 20 of The Mono Awards 2020. Down the track, she has her sights set first on being included in a group exhibition, and then having a solo exhibition.