We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Letona and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that everything worth it, needs to have a little risk. Almost everything I have done in my life had a glimpse of risk, you need to be able to take the situation and weigh the options of either outcome. If the outcome to take the risk outweighs the safe zone, it’s best to jump head first. I took a big risk in moving out to Seattle and starting all over. Going to a new city not knowing anyone except my roommate made me grow as a person, my professional career, and my photography business. It was because of my move I had the opportunity to be a part of a creative showcase where I displayed my photography for the first time, as well as displaying my work at a local cafe for two months. I was able to concentrate on my photos during my free time which lead me to find my niche in photography. The move was also a great outcome for my professional career, I was able to take a step back and focus on life goals and accomplished those goals in the short time living in Seattle. Risk is a scary word, but sometimes it’s all we need to take to get to our desired paths.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe what makes me unique is that I’m not only a creative, a writer, or an advertising/marketing professional, I’m all of these things. I feel that everything has fallen into place and continues to fall into place as I continue to grow. When people look at my work, either it’d be my photography or my professional portfolio, I want them to see the dynamics I am capable of. I don’t want to check one box, I want to be able to check them all. That’s the beauty of being in a creative career, there’s no straight line, it’s a bunch of dips, curves, and different ideas that can lead to inspiration. I think once I realized what type of path I wanted to be on, I zoned in and created steps to reach my goals, which I have changed throughout the years. Things happen that are unpredictable and we need to change our strategy, take a look back and see what works, what doesn’t or how we can improve. That’s just a part of life. Nothing is easy, but if I work hard, and keep my goal in the horizon, I know I will reach it, the hardest part is staying patient.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Day one would consist of all the best beach spots in town, especially the ones only locals know about. I would start in IB, take the strand to Coronado Beach and walk the hotel grounds. Cross the bridge and head out to Mission Beach to walk the boardwalk and get some fish tacos and a beer or two in Pacific beach, make out way to La Jolla Shores to watch the sea lions and top off the day at my most favorite spot in the city, Sunset Cliffs. Day two- morning walk in Torrey Pines, then breakfast in North Park at Breakfast Republic, and walk off the food throughout the local shops. Day three and four- some relaxing beach days and sun bathing along with some dinner and desert in Little Italy, or some of San Diego’s famous breweries and wineries. Day five- take a trip to TJ for some delicious tacos, and exploring the beaches out in Rosarito or Ensenada. Days six and seven- shopping, who doesn’t like to shop? Fashion Valley, the outlets in San Ysidro and PB for the best shops with souvenirs.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost I have to thank my mother, for always supporting my dreams and embedding the idea that I can do anything I want in life. School wasn’t always my strong suit, but after deferring for almost two years she sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I didn’t want to be stuck in retail my whole life, but I knew I wanted to be a writer, I loved to take pictures, and I wanted my work to make a difference, or at least reach people in some way. Thus, I fell into a career of advertising where I am able to do all these things. My mother is my number one, and continues to be my biggest supporter.
For my single photo, it was taken by another local photographer, d0peclick. The 8 are all mine.