We caught up with Natalie Masli to get an insight into how she escapes, amidst her busy life as a photographer, blogger, medical student and delicious (and beautiful!) food endorser. This fine lady sure is inspiring us to lead a wholesome life.
We love your beautiful images; they really make us feel like we are escaping real life when we look at them! What inspires you to capture these special moments?
Finding beauty in the everyday is always something that I have been interested in, and being able to capture these moments in photographic form and share them with like-minded people was and is what drives me to post these images on a social media platform like Instagram.
Having a busy 8-5 day during the week, I find a lot of comfort in slow living, and having a relaxing weekend every now and then is almost a sacred ritual for me. Real life can be overwhelming and I always need a breather from it from time to time. Styling and photographing is calming, and grounds me during times when I may otherwise be scatterbrained! It is a time that I can keep to myself and be myself - I usually don't like people watching me as I set up a shot, but it's always bound to happen especially when I live in a shared house. I also enjoy transcending these everyday moments into something beautiful and even sometimes something inspiring, and often I look back on photos not only as a source of inspiration but also in fondness and even nostalgia for a time that was well spent, either alone or with close friends.
Having a social media platform like Instagram also provides a constant source of inspiration. The uniqueness of the Instagram community in its passion for photography, engagement with fellow creatives from across the world and general positive vibe also keeps me engaged in the amateur and professional photography world.
Do you have any early morning rituals?
While I do like to think of myself as spontaneous, I have noticed that I also have a penchant for rituality and pattern in everyday life. I always, always have to have breakfast, one form or another. Most of the time it's Weet-Bix during the weekday to maximise sleep time as Weet-Bix takes the least time to consume! On weekends however, I have more time to indulge myself and I often whip up some vegan pancakes or an oats/smoothie bowl.
I also like to have a morning coffee during the week, as I cease to function without it if I have to be awake before 9 a.m.
What are your top tips for a peaceful sleep?
Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before sleep! I can't stress how effectively this works, and in a busy life, it has the added bonus of being able to squeeze in a bit of reading time before bed time. As long as you're not reading anything too horrific and carry the scenes on into your dreams, it will almost guarantee you a full night of restful sleep.
Also strangely, showering just before bed helps with sleep - it's something to do with your blood vessels dilating from the warmth and slowing your heart rate down so that you're calmer before you sleep.
Tell us what sort of projects you are working on at the moment?
In terms of photography, I am currently collaborating with a homeware brand called Royal Doulton, which I have worked with before and enjoyed working with. I think my mother is more excited about it than I am though because she has been a fan of them for longer than I have been alive!
In terms of my medical school life, I am currently helping to organise an annual week-long medical student run conference that's actually the biggest student run event in the world, or so I've heard! I got involved as it tied in my two main passions in life nicely - design (and publications) and medicine. Apart from styling and photography, I also love fiddling around with Adobe software and creating content.
Where is your favourite place to escape?
This will probably sound mundane but my favourite place to escape would be my room, or a book. My room is my sacred space. As an only child I think I was raised to value alone time!
Runner-ups would be somewhere in nature and cliche like the mountains or the beach, but those require time and effort and I'm not able to travel as much as I would like to. But I guess that's what books are for!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Not so much advice but a favourite quote of mine that appeals to the romantic in me:
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” - Oscar Wilde
Almost like a reminder that the root of happiness is often simple and attainable, and to not take these things for granted.