Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meet Natalia Dotto . . .

Natalia Dotto

Whatever you are be a good one. ~Abraham Lincoln

“I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" -- Piglet.

It's better to fight for something than against something. ~Author Unknown

Location: Seattle, WA

Birthday: October 4th

Children: I have three. Two teenage girls and a sweet, rambunctious red-headed 3 year old.

Husband: an amazing architect, Steve

Animals: Scout, a tri-colored Australian Shepherd, who is much bigger than he should be. And apparently we also have a mouse.

Contact Info:

Name of Business: Natalia Dotto Photography

Website: working on it.

Blog: I started one … but haven’t updated it much. I’m not a great blogger apparently.

Twitter: nataliadotto … but I’m not sure I quite understand twitter yet.


What's in your bag? (if you are building your bag, what do you desire for your bag?)

I am still building my bag. I am updating soon… really soon, but currently I shoot with a Nikon D70, 50mm 1.8, a couple of crap kit lenses, Nikon Speedlight SB600, various flash cards, battery charger, tripod. I am fortunate to have a generous friend who allows me to use his Nikkor 17-55mm 2.8 and Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 –sweet.

What's your favorite editing software?

I love Lightroom right now. I would really like to find a relatively inexpensive workshop to learn all the ins and outs.

Favorite Food? Indian, Thai, and Cornish Pasties … chocolate and red wine

Favorite Color? Blues/greens … but nothing too light.

A few of your favorite things?

Give me some good bread, cheese, a nice bottle of red wine and good conversation with someone who has a wicked sense of humor.

What or who inspires you?

It sounds cheesy but my husband and my children inspire me. My children inspire me to be a better person, a more patient person (it doesn’t always work out that way though).

I met my husband when we were 21 at the University of Florida (go GATORS). He really is a forward thinker when it comes to sustainable architecture and green building. Sometimes he has these wacky ideas and, despite my better judgment, I often find myself standing right beside him as we blunder forth. We are constantly in a housing renovation or project… and I’m waiting for the day when he decides he wants to live off the land and completely off the grid. I, however, am waiting for the day we can move to a villa in Tuscany. A fixer upper of course.

Name something you just have to have everyday:

Several cups of coffee, smiles, hugs and kisses from my children. Afternoon cups of tea and a good laugh are also daily requirements.

Tell us all about your journey into the world of photography. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do and why.

I fell in love with photography in high school. Processing film and spending time in the dark room was magical. I truly wanted to work for National Geographic. After going through the “J” school at the University of Florida I ended up going into television news instead as a news producer. But I have never lost my love of photography and I’ve always, always been the one behind the camera. I never even thought I could have my own photography business until I got laid off and different things started falling into place. Friends kept encouraging me. Then I heard Me Ra Koh speak last year at a Mama’s with Cameras meeting here in Seattle. And then came SOAR. I still have so much to learn, but that’s what’s making it exciting.

Who is your favorite photographer that you follow and why?
I can’t say I have a favorite. There are so many I admire. So many different styles.

Phil Borges is a Seattle area photographer  who has taken stunning photographs of indigenous peoples. His books are beautiful and he has a nonprofit organization that works uses digital storytelling to connect school children around the world.

Lynette Huffman Johnson took my maternity photographs when I was pregnant with Owen and I admire what she has done with her Soulumination organization.
And of course Me Ra … who has been so generous with her time, knowledge, talent and her heart. I’m always following her work… along with many of our talented SOAR sisters.

Besides photography, what else do you do , i.e. work, domestic engineer, volunteer?

I was a television news producer up until about two and a half years ago. I worked as a line producer, which meant I produced daily newscasts, but then I had the awesome job of a special projects producer and was able to tell human interest and community interest stories. I loved doing that. I also did a short stint in media relations at a public affairs firm for about a year. But for the last year and a half I have been a stay at home mum. Now I’m seriously looking for more freelance projects in order to finance this biz.

I volunteer with and I am on the communications board of an organization called Teens In Public Service… an orgnization that gives teenagers a paid internship with other nonprofits in the greater Puget Sound area over the summers. The organization teaches kids to be leaders in their community … and teaches the importance of community service.

What are some of your other hobbies and/or things that you like to do besides photography?

I spend quite a bit of time driving to soccer practices and soccer games every week since my girls play a lot of soccer. So even though I do not drive a minivan I guess I have become a typical soccer mum.

The three year old and I hang out at the park, library, zoo or where ever we can go to run off some of his energy.

I love to read, drink wine and I watch LOST.

If there is one thing in the world that you would like to change, what would that be and why?

Goodness that’s a tough one. There are so many issues out there that people struggle with on a daily basis… hunger, poverty, homelessness to fighting awful diseases. But I would love to see an end to discrimination of all types and a world that is more tolerant of others.

Name three things you would like to do before you die?

1.  Make sure that my children grow up to become responsible, caring, considerate citizens of the world who will make a contribution. That they appreciate all that they have and the responsibility that comes with it and that they learn to speak out.

2.  I would love to travel extensively on every continent with camera in hand (okay, maybe just a short stay in Antarctica)

3.  Get photographs published in National Geographic … or dinner with George Clooney … I can’t decide.

List three goals you would like to accomplish in 2010:

1.  Get a paying photography client.
2.  Get back on my bicycle and ride, ride, ride.
3.  Start writing that children’s book that is rattling around in my head.

Please tell us about the photos you are submitting and why they are your favorites.

I have a really hard time choosing favorites of anything if you haven’t noticed…but here goes…

 This is a photo I took is of my second daughter when she is 9 holding our son when he is only a few days old. It’s not the best photograph, but I think it shows such a tender moment.

 This is our house almost three years ago. I love how it’s tilting to get
around light poles and branches.

 My nephews. They were awfully hard to photograph … they didn’t stop moving and
I didn’t have a very good lens when I took this, but its a sweet few seconds between
the two of them when they did slow down.

This is a recent photograph of my oldest daughter.
I hadn’t planned on taking her photograph that afternoon,
but we happened to walk past these beautiful old trees and the light was lovely.

Thank you Nataila for participating in the spotlight!  I wish you well in your photography adventure this year!  I love your photos and know you are going to do well!


  1. can so relate to you! would love to chat some time , your goals were better than mine, loved the first one so true

  2. Natalia,

    So interesting to read this. I LOVE the images you submitted. That first one makes the hair on my arms rise. You can just feel the tenderness in it. Beautiful!! Woo!!!

    Keep blogging love. Even if you just post once a week! It would be great to see more of your work and hear about how you're going.

  3. Natalia,
    I too loved reading this.
    Your daughter is beautiful!!!
    Oh and I LOVE Lost too.