We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Naso and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Barbara, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
I haven’t always been a great reader. When I was in school, I thought reading was such a boring thing to do. As I grew older, I became more aware of what I genuinely enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. Reading became something I chose to do. Now, I recognize the power of a good book. I love reading inspirational texts. One book that I’ve recently enjoyed is Playing Big by Tara Mohr. It was an eye-opening book. The author gives you an interesting perspective about the co-presence in ourselves of two voices: the inner critic and the inner mentor, and she guides the reader through recognizing these voices. She teaches on how to listen more to the inner mentor, leading eventually to Playing Big and realizing your dreams!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a documentary photographer means that you capture life as it occurs with no filters! This is what I do. I want to freeze not just moments in life but emotions, too. The main method I use to achieve my goal of capturing emotions is to bond with the family I’m photographing before, during and after our photo session. People often say I’m an empathetic person. I truly believe photographers don’t just need a good eye, but they need good ears. Being able to tune and listen to my clients is just as valuable (if not more so!) as being able to see them. Venturing down the photography path hasn’t always been easy…for me or my family. When you find yourself working in a field that also happens to be your passion, you likely will end up working far more than an 8-hour workday! That’s been my experience, at least. In the beginning, when you’re figuring out the administrative part and how to juggle that with the creative aspect…it’s a lot. Thankfully, my family has been extremely supportive of my long hours and time away on the weekends. Over time, I’ve gradually learned to live in balance. Balanced life has required me to learn to say no more often. I now have time for work, family and myself. What I’d like to do with my photos is to evoke emotions, not just for the people involved in the picture but for anyone who takes a look at them. If I can capture the attention of the general viewer for more than 5 seconds, I feel like I’ve done my job well.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m an Italian living in Atlanta, so you can imagine that it’s quite common that you host family and friends from Italy. So, what do I show them? First of all, my neighborhood. I love where I live! I’m surrounded by parks. I love walking my dogs there, so the first thing I do is take my people for a walk. Then I’d probably show them the most iconic places here in town: The World of Coca Cola, The Aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr Center, and The Ponce City Market Roof! SO many things! But really, what I’d like to show them is the kindness and the generosity of the people from Atlanta. I’d go with them to my favorite place to have breakfast! It’s a great place with a “retro” decor and atmosphere. The staff is so friendly and they have a very creative and nice mix of offerings in the menu, typical from the south! If you want to give a taste of Atlanta you should go to Java Jive Restaurant in Ponce de Leon.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many people to thank and give credit to! When I started pursuing my dream to become a professional photographer my main concern was that I would fail or have to quit. I was afraid I wouldn’t be enough – for myself or for the recipient. I was unknown in Atlanta. I’m not from Georgia…or even this country! I spoke very poor English, but regardless I wanted to invest in myself and the people in my new city. When you start doing something you believe in, you will find so many people willing to help you! Right at the start I met a special person who saw my dreams and wanted them to come alive. She spoke far better English than I do and offered to help me out with my website – she wanted nothing in return. Now, she is one of my dearest friends, her name is Gypsy Savage. Another important person I want to recognize is my mentor, she is one of the greatest documentary photographers in the world, her name is Kristen Lewis. And what can I say about my beloved husband, Massimo? He was and is my main supporter and sponsor. None of this would be possible without him.

Website: https://www.barbaranasophotography.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barbaranaso/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbaranasophotography/

Image Credits
The image with myself and my family in it are from a local photographer: Chanda Williams.