What do Terrell Owens, 50 Cent, Gloria Velez, Wendy Williams and Shaquille O’Neil all have in common? They’ve all been photographed by one of the most sought after and entrepreneurial photographers working today, Felix Natal Jr.
A native of Harlem, New York, Felix Natal didn’t always have the same drive and determination he possesses today. As a teenager who jumped between five different high schools throughout New Jersey, Natal was faced with a great deal of adversity. However, while attending a night class at Passaic Community College, Felix met who would become one of his greatest mentors, Jerry Weiss. He encouraged Felix to apply to the prestigious School of Visual Arts in order to hone his photography talent and skills. After being accepted, Felix turned to his mother, his biggest fan, not only for encouragement but for financial assistance. “What motivates me to work so hard is the fact that my mom worked so hard,” Felix says in reference to his mother’s tireless effort to help provide him an education which has led him to the success he’s gained today.
Natal’s exotic photographic style is the product of a relaxed and unpretentious method. His sharp eye and desire for perfection bring about the vibrant photos that are proudly displayed on the walls of his studio. It is his humble approach toward life that is what offers him such great opportunities. According to Felix, building relationships is the “most important key because it’s like a family. I hold a lot of trust and respect for the people I work with.” It’s no wonder most of the models, actors, DJ’s, recording artists, and athletes he’s photographed go on to work with him a second, third, and even fourth time. What makes Felix so unique is not only his artistic photography but the fact that he has worked for everything he has achieved.
“There’s never been a middle man,” he says. “I’ve always done all my work; no assistants, no publicists. Even though I am not a publicist, I will try to help you as best as I can in your career. I truthfully want to build a friendship with my clients.” Felix’s relatable quality allowed him the opportunity to photograph Shaquille O’Neil, which ended up being one of his favorite shoots. “Shaq was one of my favorite shoots because it was drama-free and smooth. He only had 30 minutes but ended up staying 3 hours.”
The busy photographer’s biggest fear in life is that all of his success will quickly come to an end, but Natal’s “experience over finance” outlook on life never permits him to take anything for granted. “I’ve been blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given, even if this is my last shoot,” Felix says modestly. “I can honestly say that photography saved my life.”
Sure, Natal possesses the extraordinary ability to capture the true essence of a person, but also remains a humble individual, a quality that, in the past ten years, has appealed to the countless number of well-known faces who have placed their faith (and images) in the unparalleled hands of Felix Natal Jr.
For bookings, contact Felix Natal Jr.