10 Things About Me

Image of Nataliya Lalor, Portrait Photographer in Greenwich, CT with her two sons.

1. I go to bed super early

My bedtime is usually right around 9pm. Mostly because by the time the evening rolls around, I’m completely exhausted. My children are non-stop balls of energy and being a parent seems to suck everything out of me on a daily basis. So I go to bed early. I wake up early (6:15am, to be exact).. and I apparently need 9 hours of sleep to feel refreshed.

2. I am always on time

This one might seem like a super useful trait, but it’s often anxiety inducing for me, and the people around me. Because I always HAVE. TO. BE. ON. TIME. I leave on time or often early, and get really upset when the schedule isn’t followed to the minute. And if you’re a client of mine, you know that if I say that I will be there at 11, I will be at your door exactly at that time. I have gotten more relaxed with this over the years since I really don’t want to drive my family crazy every time we have to do something, but only for things where timing doesn’t matter (so leaving 5 minutes late is no big deal). This is all part of needing things to be planned out, which is another useful, albeit somewhat annoying trait of mine.

Image of Nataliya Lalor, Portrait Photographer in Greenwich, CT in her Studio.

3. I went to art school

My parents wanted me to go to a “smart-person school”.. study math or something equally useful. But I always hated the stress of taking tests and liked being creative, so I applied to art school instead. I went to Fashion Industries High School in NYC (fun fact, fashion design isn’t as glamorous as it sounds). After that, I went to F.I.T. to study graphic design, computer animation, and interactive media. You might think that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do professionally, and you would be right. I went through fashion design, graphic design, and 3D animation as potential careers before I settled on web design for a while.. and finally, photography.

4. I hate having my photo taken

Being in front of the camera is one of my least favorite things.. so it’s only natural that I’m the one behind it. I never knew why I always looked so awful in photos (I know I don’t look that horrible in real life!), and while learning photography I discovered that posing and expression has everything to do with how photogenic you are! Some people are naturally relaxed in front of the camera and photograph well, while the rest of us could always use a little help. The key is, it’s not an innate talent, but a learned skill.. and I often wish I had someone telling me exactly what to do in front of the camera the way I do for my clients.

5. I spent almost a decade working in Advertising

I designed websites, online marketing campaigns, and interactive products (as in a digital vending machine!) and was employed by global Advertising Agencies. I worked on huge brands like Kraft, Starburst, Delta, Post Cereals, Cadillac, The Hartford, Enfamil, and IBM. Turns out, this wasn’t the best career for someone who prioritized having a family and had a husband that already worked long hours in the city. It was an exciting and fun time for sure (everyone loves leaving work at 4am!), but I don’t doubt for a minute that I made the right decision moving away from that fast-paced world and starting my own business.. which offers me the flexibility to actually be there for my children. In the end, I know exactly what it’s like to work in the corporate world with two kids in full-time daycare, and I also know what it’s like to be a stay at home Mom.

Image of Nataliya Lalor on a trip to Iceland in 2018.

6. I love my sister, but it wasn’t always that way

My sister is 6 years younger than I am.. and we used to fight. Like, physically fight each other.. ALL the time. We didn’t get along or want to be anywhere near each other until I was out of the house, and we realized how amazing and wonderful having a sister really is. And it is amazing and wonderful! We’re not the same in terms of our personalities, but that’s what makes our relationship so meaningful! And now in our 30’s we are making even more effort to spend time together by going on trips (like that photo from Iceland above) and spending weekends with each other.

7. I am self-taught in Photography

Granted, I had photography classes in College. But aside from being a mediocre introduction to an SLR camera, those classes were essentially useless. Most of my education came from practice, online video resources like CreativeLive, reading books, mentoring by amazing experienced photographers, and did I mention practice? Living and breathing photography, in my opinion, is the only way to get really really good at it.. and that comes from within, from a drive to learn as much as possible and to try things until they become muscle memory. And you will notice that a lot of the best photographers out there are also self-taught, or have gone through a formal education and then never stopped learning and trying to improve.. because that’s the best way to become an expert in their field!

Image of Nataliya Lalor, Portrait Photographer in Greenwich, CT with her son.

8. I am Mom to two “differently wired” boys

My children aren’t easy to deal with. They’re the most challenging aspect of my life and have been from day one. They taught me so much about patience, understanding, and unconditional love.. and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They are also “differently wired”. While my little one is currently receiving special services in his preschool (which will most likely continue in Elementary), my oldest has always struggled with sensitivity and body control. It is incredibly isolating to have children who are so unpredictable, who react in such wild ways to seemingly standard situations, and who demand more.. just more.. in general. This has been a weird and very new journey for us and I’m still at the starting stages of getting up to speed on everything one needs to know when parenting atypical children, but it’s also something I am more than happy to talk about, too. So if you have a differently wired child or simply want to know more, please don’t hesitate to reach out.. either via email (info@nlalorphotography.com) or social media.

9. I’m a homebody

I can probably stay home for a week straight without feeling anything but content and happy. My maternity leave, while not the easiest time overall, was also not something that I found depressing. Spending day after day indoors, in comfortable and familiar surrounding, reading a nice book or simply cleaning out that closet that is getting piled up with things, is a pleasure. My husband seems to assume that I will get depressed staying in all day, but I haven’t experienced it yet. In fact, going outside, into the world causes me more anxiety than being “bored” indoors.

10. I own practically no makeup

I used to wear a lot of makeup when I was in High School and dyed my hair quite a bit too. But now? I hardly own any makeup at all. I own a concealer and a blush that I use. I am also a proud owner of a mascara and a set of eye shadow that I purchased last year for a gala event I was attending. But what I lack in the makeup department, I more than offset with skincare products. I’m a big fan of Tatcha, since their products don’t trouble my sensitive skin or have strong smells. I guess I simply don’t have the time to bother with makeup.. which is why I totally get it when the Moms I photograph go for the natural everyday look. I don’t want to look like someone I’m not in photographs either!