Seeing Life Through a Lens
By Daniel Casciato
Local photographer, Natalie Bolea, feels as if she is always looking at life through the lens of a camera, whether or not she has a camera in her hands.
“The world just looks completely different to you,” says the Pittsburgh native and first generation Italian. “Once you start getting into photography, you are always thinking about it.”
Natalie’s passion for photography began by sheer serendipity when she was working in Washington, D.C. several years ago. A former co-worker was selling his dSLR camera and on an impulse, she purchased it knowing someone else would snatch it up quickly. Around the same time, a friend of hers from Baltimore received a dSLR camera as a gift from her husband and asked Natalie if she would like to take an Introduction to Photography class together at the Washington School of Photography.
From that first class, Natalie was hooked. “I just loved it,” she says.
As she began taking the class, she realized other students were gravitating to their specialty such as food, events, sports, family photography, etc. It was a bit more difficult for Natalie to find the type of photography she was drawn to. She took a second class at the Arlington Arts Center and for one of her class assignments, she went to Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. where she saw two teenagers talking. Because it was night time and she did not have her tripod, she rested the camera on a ledge and shot photos as the teenagers talked.
“Granted, looking back at the photos now, they look somewhat amateurish, but at the time, the setting was amazing with the lights around Dupont Circle. I was in love with how they came out,” she recalls. “It was then that I realized that I love to photograph people.”