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Life & Work with Natalie Derks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Derks.

Hi Natalie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve loved photography ever since I was gifted my first camera on my 13th birthday. When I got to high school, I took all the photo classes, joined yearbook and newspaper, and even did an independent art study my senior year. When I was a junior and planning for college, I was hesitant to follow my passion because I wasn’t confident I could make it into a successful career; however I knew it was the only job I could picture myself doing every day for the rest of my life without getting bored. I applied to Missouri State University and began taking the foundation courses that I needed to apply to the BFA program. I was accepted into the Photography Fine Arts program with a handful of other photography students.

While I continued to balance school, I was also starting to build my business. I photographed my friends, family, sorority sisters, and graduates to build my portfolio. I spent my free time reaching out to professional photographers in Kansas City and Springfield, looking to make connections. A lot of those photographers I met became my mentors. They gave me great advice and let me tag along with them to weddings and even had me second shoot with them, which gave me more experience. I continued second shooting for other photographers, attending workshops, and creating social media content. My senior year of college, I booked my first wedding as a lead photographer. Throughout my first few weddings, I quickly learned that weddings are my passion! The feeling of getting to be a part of someone’s special day is unlike anything else!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Like all entrepreneurs, the road to success wasn’t always smooth. I had many ups and downs building my business since I had to learn on my own how to even start my business! I had mentors that would answer my questions and lots of resources to learn from but creating a successful business is all about putting in the work.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Throughout school, I gained a lot of experience in various types of photography, like portraiture, product, sports, and lifestyle. All in different styles; documentary, journalistic, studio, editorial, etc.

I bring that diverse background to your wedding day! What really sets me apart from other wedding photographers is my strong passion for capturing weddings the way they truly, authentically appear. My editing style is very true to life and natural. When my couples view their gallery, I want them to feel like they’re right back in the moment!

When I shoot weddings my goal isn’t to capture the perfect Instagram-worthy photo. It’s to capture the little moments between the couple that they don’t even realize they do!

I love weddings so much because it’s a celebration of two people committing their lives to each other. That’s a huge deal! As their photographer, I want to see beyond the wedding day. I know these photos will be passed down for generations to come! I apply that outlook into every picture I take.

What does success mean to you?
Success can be measured in so many ways but for me; success is a feeling! It’s the feeling I get when I know I am serving my clients the best I can. My listening to their vision, standing by them on their big day, and of course documenting their day in an authentic and truthful way. There are many things that would be defined as “successful” but nothing beats seeing my clients react to their galleries with so much joy! Their happiness and appreciation constantly reminds me why I love what I do so much.


  • Weddings $1900-3600
  • Sessions starting at $200

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Natalie Nichole Photography

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