My earliest memories in the mid-80s include ascending the stairs of my grandparents house– looking around the corner of the staircase as I reached the top–and seeing shelves full of National Geographic magazines. A large portion of them printed many decades earlier. My Dad has been generous enough over the years to keep me subscribed to the publication. The magazine started on Septemeber 22, 1888. It has undergone many changes since then…obviously! But the longevity, incredible photographs and stories, environmental and humanitarian work makes them a household name world-wide. Some change in ownership in recent years left some questioning where the magazine might go–but their editors and staff remain committed to the arts and doing good around the world.
Wow, so well who would have thought lil’ old me could ever be associated with this institution!?? A friend told me yesterday that I am the featured photographer at Nat Geo Your Shot this week! I was completely shocked…and am extremely grateful and humbled for this recognition. For several years now, I have poured my entire heart and soul (all of me) into my self-portraiture. I believe it is the lucky ones who find an outlet for their pain–the “light” that helps lift up the parts that weigh us down so we can feel more whole, loved, and make that love available to others. And I am certainly very grateful to have found passion in creating a body of personal work that sustains my being. That being said, I am even more excited about this honor because for National Geographic to recognize the work of a self-portrait photography artist, as a smaller, albeit growing field in the arts in comparison to many other genres of photography, is wonderful recognition for ALL self-portrait photography artists. For all of you creating and supporting the arts, and for all of you who have supported and encouraged me over the years, I am forever and completely–beyond thankful.
Natalie resides in Peoria, Arizona, with family. Her artistic journey has taken many twists and turns but photography and writing have become the primary outlets for her artistic expression. She is an artist at Offset.com, Lensdrop and Adobe. Her work/photography has been published by National Geographic Your Shot, Lensbaby, Beyond the Wanderlust, and has been licensed for ads by Samsung and other companies for advertisements. Her best days are filled with loving and guiding her offspring and pups, music, reading, creating photographs and writings, hiking, yoga, cooking, and sky-gazing. In the social media world, she can be found on Instagram @natalie_a_wheeler, and as a moderator for @theechoesinside, a hub for self-portraiture.