Natalia is not just an analyst passionate about numbers, she also has a creative side and loves art, more specifically photography—a passion she discovered at an early age.
Can you walk us through your career path?
I started my career in Russia after completing a bachelor’s degree in marketing and linguistics. My job search led me to a position in data science for a CRM (customer relationship management) agency in Finland where I learned a lot about database management and CRM strategies. I have always loved mathematics and have always been passionate about numbers, trends, and data models, so I excelled quickly in the field. Two years later, I moved to the marketing department at Nespresso where I managed CRM promotion evaluations and customer analytics. This experience not only helped me grow as a professional, it also encouraged personal growth and development. I have eight years of experience, but my journey working within the fashion retail industry only began when I moved to Canada three years ago.
What is your position at Laura Canada?
My position at Laura is CRM/Marketing analyst. My role is to analyze our clients’ behaviours and segment lists based on insight. I work in the digital marketing department – a new department built only about a year ago. So far, we have seen very good results in personalization, communication and clienteling strategies. It has helped us better understand our customer, which has allowed us to more efficiently respond to our customer’s wants and needs.
Your biggest passion is photography – why do you love it so much?
It started unexpectedly – it always happens that way with the best things, right (chuckle)? Henri Cartier-Bresson (famous photographer) called that the “Decisive Moment”: a moment when something very important happens, and you have one chance to capture it. My starting point was when I bought a camera as a gift for my husband on his birthday. It happened right before moving to Canada, I was thrilled to offer him this gift. After moving to Montreal, I had a lot of free time, so I started exploring this beautiful city. Every day, I found new places and new faces to admire. I took that camera with me everywhere I went! That’s when I started actively posting on Instagram – @mallony_blog (feel free to check it out).
My goal was to share pictures that told stories of this amazingly vibrant city. After a little while, I got better at using the camera, and one day, I decided to take a photography class at Dawson College. Simultaneously, I started practicing by doing family photoshoots, kindergarten photos, Christmas minis etc. My focus eventually changed to product photography and portraits. The most interesting thing to me is being able to tell a story with photography. I recently found out that I also really enjoy studio work. Currently, I am working on a personal project and spend all spare time trying to perfect my craft.
How long have you been doing photography?
Since 2015, but my interest in photography started a long time ago. From a young age, I’ve always loved art. When I was 4 or 5 years old, my father taught me to process film, and I remember it was like magic happening right in front of my eyes! I finished art school when I was 14, where I learned so much about composition, artistic techniques, styles, and graphic tools used to convey ideas to the public.
I’ve always loved traveling as well, taking photographs as I visit different countries. For as long as I can remember, every time I come back from a trip, I put together an album.
I love trying new things and photography came into my life at the right time – I was looking for a new hobby. Three years ago, I bought my very own camera and a year later, I took a class to learn how to harness the true power of photography.
Do you have a specialty – portrait, landscape, animal photos? Why this one in particular?
I started as a street photographer—my blog consisted of short stories about Montreal. Now, I prefer portrait photography and food photography. Food photography is a nice combination of analytical work and photography: you observe, you analyze what is in front of you, and you modify the details, creating beauty as a result. Portrait photography is more about showing a personality and telling a story.
About a year ago, I participated in a fascinating light painting project with Concordia students. The project was presented at the TEDx conference in September of last year. We used drones to produce curves and photographed their movement.
Do you exhibit your work?
I haven’t yet—however, I am working on a big project that will be on display in December. This project is about us, women, and it tells a story about how strong and beautiful we are.
Who is your favourite photographer / your inspiration?
I adore Richard Avedon’s work. I like to discover new photographers, new visions and new trends. In my opinion, in this day and age, being a successful photographer is not just about photography—it’s about combining photography and digital—new trends, names, and techniques appear every day and you have to stay on top of everything to be the best that you can be.
Currently, I’m inspired by Steven Klein’s photography art and Annie Leibovitz’ portraits.