johannesburg photographer

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Photog, where I am lucky enough to get to know my favourite photographers from around the world a little bit better! These artists inspire me and hold my deepest respect. Like what you see about today’s Featured Photog? Head on over to their social networking sites at the end of this post and show them some love!

Illinois based photographer Natalie McKee is well known not only for her beautiful newborn portraiture, but also for her newborn photography prop shop. Her favourite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavour is red apple and she a sweet tea addict (a woman after my own heart!)

If we had to look in her fridge right now, it’s stocked with a lot of deli meat, string cheese, leftovers and LOADS of milk!Natalie is partial to all things pastel, but loves nudey peachy pink.

Could you give us some background in your journey in photography? How did your love for imagery start?

It all started after our wedding when our photographer talked about digital scrapbooking! I had a little sony point and shoot camera and dove into the world of digi-scrapping! I was a part of a few creative teams and felt my images could be SO much more. I saw other scrappers talk about light room and adjusting certain things in their camera to get  better light (ISO and Aperture) wondering how the heck I could do that. Disappointed, I realized that I didn’t have those options on my camera. So with a leap of faith and the support of my husband we bought my first camera, the Canon T3. I was like , OMG!!! LOOK – Blurry background!! (Yes, I was that girl) I took on my first clients, took classes, attended workshops and just fell in love with it all! I eventually upgraded to the MKII and I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything <3

What is your favourite genre to photograph? Would you want to specialize in it?

My  absolute favorite genre would have to be newborns!! Everything about them, the props, the squishiness. It’s just magical! I do specialize in maternity and newborn portraiture but still love to photograph seniors and babies too 😉

Tell us about your adorable furbabies. Pet photography is difficult – do you find yourself taking load of photos of your animals?

Oh my babies!!! My first born Spike, is a long haired black and white ball of spunk. We call him Polly Prissy Pants since he has territory issues. You can’t walk in front of him without him hissing or swatting at you 😉
 Our second baby, Carbon is a big ball of Tuxedo goodness who we call Half-Stache because of his little half mustache. He is just a beefcake, strong, playful and a huge cuddlebug.
Last but not least there is my little TATER BEAN!!! Miss tater is the queen of this house, Always gets her way and is spoiled rotten! She has her own bed in the house, and is a treat stealer 😉 She is the only one out of these 3 that will pose for photos with bribery. 

photographer interview

Do you find having family support you is vital to running your own business?

I know I would not be doing this without the HUGE support of my husband who made me feel like I can do this! I quit my job in retail and he supported us for a white  as I was starting out. I’m proud to say that I make more than I ever did at any of my other jobs and its just amazing to have a job where you ABSOLUTELY LOVE what you do!

Do you edit each of your images individually, or do you have a preferred action vendor whose actions/presets you are in love with?

I edit everything in Lightroom adjusting WB and Exposure and add my own touched with the Clickin Moms Film art Presets. I use a few actions in Photoshop mostly all by hand though – OH and Portraiture!!

What concept/idea would you LOVE to put into place to photograph if finances were no issue?

I would LOVE to be able to do underwater Maternity – with a case and being able to just do it!

What equipment is on your wish list?

Oh geez – well I would love to have all L series lenses
35mm 1.4 * 50mm 1.2 * 15mm 4.0L Fisheye * 100mm Macro

Whats in your camera bag?

johannesburg photographer

You also run Oh Love Props – what made you decide to run that as well?

From the beginning before I even photographed a newborn I was in love with all the props associated with them, the hats, the headbands etc! Then I saw what vendors were charging. I’ve always been pretty crafty and decided to make my own props. Then I had other people wanting what I was making and it took off! I do craft more than I photograph which I don’t mind since they’re both things I love doing! One thing I do love most is how excited people get for new items and can’t stop talking about how much they love their stuff! I love seeing my creations in action!!

Who would you say is your favourite/most inspirational photographer? What moves you about their work?

This is a tough one since I have a LOT of favorites. For newborn work I would have to say Keri Myers. She was one of the very first photographers I started following before I even started my business! Her work is so clean, simple and focus’ on baby. I was lucky to meet her this past year at Foto-Chaos in St Louis. Erin Tole is another inspiration. How she can create those poses her angles etc. Just awe- inspiring.

What is your own favourite image you have ever photographed? What is the story behind it?

I love this image. I rarely get babies to smile and I went into this session telling my friend, Andrea – of AB Photography
that all I want out of this session is a smile. Just 1 and it will make my day. First set up of the session, she smiled. Still one of my all time favorite newborn images of mine!

johannesburg photographer

Any pearls of wisdom you can impart to photographers starting out in the industry?

Have a business set mind. Always stay optimistic and light hearted. Not everyone will love what you do and its hard not to take it personally. Take classes, never stop learning. Just love what you do & take time for yourself.

I absolutely adore this image of Natalie’s – I love maternity photos, and this one is just perfect to me. I love the tones, the secretive smile and the hat. What a stunning mom to be as well!

photographer interview

Head on over to Oh Love Photography and Oh Love Props and show her some love!

 Oh Love Photography website

 Oh Love Photography Facebook

 Oh Love Props Facebook

 Oh Love Props Store


Thanks for looking – chat soon!


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  1. I love Natalie, love her photography, her props and especially love her Tater (as I also have a Tater). She’s not only immensely talented, she is also extremely funny and kind!

  2. Just love Natalie. She is a friend of mine but I have never met her. A fellow photographer that I met and I have had the opportunity of purchasing some of her beautiful products. Loved reading and finding out more about this gorgeous and talented lady. Not just a pretty face :)

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