Meet Naomi Masina! She is an incredibly successful woman – beautiful children, healthy marriage, talented photographer, and an inspiration to all who meet her! We are thrilled that she agreed to be
Pearls: How long have you been in the Photography industry?
Naomi: Since I can remember I have been drawn to art and photography. About 3 years ago, I finally got the nerve to seriously try to make a go of photography. It went from an enjoyable interest to an intense obsession. Making the decision to take that first step was the hardest part. Once you know what you want in life, everything else seems to fall into place. Not that it hasn't been a ton of work. I've just enjoyed every moment of it.
Pearls: What do you love most about being a photographer?
Naomi: Everything. Anything. The people are truly the best part of being a photographer. I love people watching, and photography is just another form of people watching for me...a more personal and involved method. I photograph many people I know, but many more that I have never laid eyes on before the day of the shoot. Within a few minutes I get to be apart of their lives, relationships, and talents. Photography for me is very personal, and the best experiences are always with someone who can open up and relax. I love authenticity. I love faces and expressions. I love stories, and connections. I pay close attention to relationships and interactions and try to photograph people as they really are. If you can strip away all the things that can get in the way of real expressions, like our shyness, awkwardness, nervousness, you really start seeing a persons true self and that is always beautiful.
Pearls: What suggestions do you have for those getting their photos taken? What can they do to look nice and natural in their photos?
Naomi: Ignore the camera! I know that's next to impossible, but think of the person behind the camera and not just the large black square pointed at you. If you can find a way to connect with something: a thought, a person, a conversation while you are being photographed it will show in the image. Life and energy come through the interactions we are making. If you aren't thinking anything it will show on your face. If you are thinking....OH..this is awful, and I can't wait for it to be over....it's going to show on your face. If you are thinking...I'm fabulous. My fiance is HOT. I love glazed donuts. The energy will show in your eyes...and that's always more interesting and you're guaranteed to like those pictures 100% better.
Pearls: How do you balance your professional life and your home life as a mother and wife?
Naomi: It's not always been easy to balance my work. It is my single biggest challenge. I'm sure it's like this for most of us. We love our children and we love our husbands. We try to find something to define our individuality and yet there isn't a part of us that isn't tied to our families. I stopped trying to separate my professional life and my personal life. I am a wife and a mother first. I've learned it's the job that I love the most, and makes me the happiest. Photography is such a gift in my life, and I make sacrifices to continue to develop and grow. I do all that I can to make sure those sacrifices are not at the expense of my kids and my husband. There is always give and take. I used to get very little sleep, and I've stopped doing that. I out source some of my work flow. I have wonderful assistants, and I do not keep a perfect house. It's a personal thing for all of us, and the best advice I can give is to follow your heart. You know when things are out of balance. It's always going to happen. If you feel unhappy, you can make adjustments. Trust yourself and listen.
Pearls: What do you feel is the most important thing to teach your children in this world of chaos?
Naomi: Children need to know they have a loving Heavenly Father who knows and cares about them as an individual, that they are capable of great things and we all make mistakes. When they are young and we are in control of most of of the things that go on in their lives, we can and should teach them the great power of natural consequences. If they can learn to feel the results of their own choices for good or for bad then the biggest lesson in life has already hit home.
Pearls: Do you have any tips for a healthy marriage?
Naomi: I'm married to my best friend. Respect each other. Support one another. Laugh a lot. Go on dates. Say sorry. Forgive quickly. Hold hands. Let them always know how lucky you feel to have them. It's not like you have to be gushing love all the time, but everyone likes to feel appreciated.
Pearls: How do you maintain a relationship with Heavenly Father?
Naomi: I have to work at it. I know that when there is a distance felt between me and Heavenly Father....it's my fault. I guess that never makes me feel better in the beginning, but I try to remember that he is waiting for me, not begrudging my weakness. Prayer is essential and nothing makes me feel more connected than quiet scripture study. This year I've tried to make it to the temple at least twice a month and it's been such a great experience for me.
Pearls: Do you have a ward calling? What is it? What is one suggestion you have for anyone else who may ever get that calling?
Naomi: I don't have a ward calling right now, but I do serve on the Stake Primary Presidency Board. I oversee all of the Nurseries in our Stake. It is the best calling I have had in years. I know how challenging and sometimes overwhelming nursery can be. I have learned so much from the wonderful teachers who work with us. We are building the foundation to a child's church education. It's not daycare. It's so much more than play time. Understanding that your setting the stage for their primary experience is a really special thing. Love the kids, get to know each of them individually, and I promise you will find joy in your calling. Nursery Teachers ROCK! I love you ALL!!
Pearls: You are obviously a successful photographer, you’ve done shoots with celebrities, and have had your work in various magazines like DanceSPIRIT and LatterDay Bride, what are a few suggestions you have for those who may be aspiring to be a photographer by profession?
Naomi: Learn your craft. If you want to be called a professional then approach it with pride and always strive to do your best. Improve in any way you can. It may seem overwhelming, but day by day your skill will improve and your knowledge will grow. Don't be afraid to ask for help and don't let fear stop you from trying. Treat each client like they are your only client and provide the best service possible. Strive to develop and give your own unique view on life. Everyone's path is different and you're experience is going to be custom fit for you and your dreams. Try not to look too much at other peoples paths to define your own! Yours will be so much better, because it is yours.
You can find more stunning work by Naomi at omiphoto.com and naomimasinaphotography.blogspot.com