An unearthly aura and quiet mystery exude from the fairytale photos of Natalie Kucken. Each story she shoots appears like a dream, separated from the waking world by a thin, misty haze. Despite this delicacy, her work has lasting impact on her audience; she creates a world of frozen time, in which you feel you could simply drift into. She hails from Michigan, with plans to move to our very own Brooklyn soon! In our interview, Natalie touches on the role of dreams in her work, her personal style, and her future.
You have such a beautiful, lo-fi look to your photographs, how did your vision come about?
Thank you, I think it came about because of what I want to convey through and use photographs for, which is to make another world and tell a story though them. The style I shoot in is my world and the story that I want to tell.
Are there any books that you wish you could live in? If so, why?
I of course would want to be a student at Hogwarts from Harry Potter, it would be a bit like living in my childhood and because I would be able to learn magic.
What's your favorite sight, sound, scent, taste, and texture?
There are too many things to see and that I have seen to have a favorite, and I wouldn't be able to explain it right anyway, sight has so much to do with other things. I like the sound of birds in the morning at the very beginning of spring. The smell of bleach, the taste of coffee, the texture of velvet.
Do remember your dreams? What was your most influential dream?
I remember most of my dreams, at least for the morning. They're never nightmares but always very pretty adventures in far away places with familiar little details throughout the story. I don't have a most influential dream that stands out to me, I think I try to suppress my really beautiful dreams to an extent because if I dwelled on them too much I think that I would have trouble staying in reality even more than I do now. Most of my photostories are based directly or loosely from my dreams though.
If you had to choose one place in the world to live where would it be? Why?
I have no idea! I have been no where compared to how much there is to have been, there is the whole world to experience and explore. Right now I want to live in Brooklyn more than anything, and I plan to very soon. I want to go everywhere and see every place I possibly can though, maybe after that I will be able to answer this how I want to.
What are your near future goals for your photography career?
Right now I want to be represented by an agency and start shooting campaigns and such. I want to develop my vision too, which I think happens every day and I will never be happy with it or finished developing.
What is your star sign? Do you believe that it fits your personality?
I am a Pisces, I'm not so educated on my sign or linked traits but with a little research found this description of Pisces which I think fits me very well: You are most happy when you can follow your dreams, while intimately linking with other people’s dreams. As the dreamer your key phrase is: “I imagine”
You shoot a lot in digital, but do you have any film preferences when you use it? Favorite type of filter?
I shoot with primarily Kodak 35mm that expired in the 80's because I bought a ridiculous amount of it in bulk and am in love with it. I also use Illford black and white which I develop and print myself very often.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Then think further and where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Anything past a year for me is scary- I can't imagine myself over the age of 22 or so, no matter how hard I try to. I don't mind at all, why would I want to have my life planned out that far? I change and morph so much, especially lately, and most of my actions are based on my youth so my functioning as a non-youth is impossible to imagine. Anyway, in five years I hope that I am happy and travelling and experiencing and still exploring- I don't want to have any expected and wanted factors in my life past a certain point because what's the point other than to hold yourself back by them? In twenty years I want the same.
How would you describe your own personal fashion sense? Does it show up in your photos?
My clothes are very light and airy- fairy colors and endless florals. I never wear pants and it's usually simple layers and a high-waisted skirt or pretty dress with little boots. The colors that I like to dress in are the colors in my photos and in everything I do I feel, and I style most of my own photographs which I love to do and I think my fashion sense shows up very much.