It started off gazing in awe of her best friend’s newborn baby girl called Eden. Having spent a high amount of money for a newborn photo shoot for her own son she was then contemplating the idea of trialling professional photography at home for herself. Her friend asked if she would like to begin with taking pictures of little Eden. And today she is known as Natalie Ahmet, photographer/owner of Garden of Eden Photography.
I am thrilled and extremely proud to be including this story about my high school best friend in my blog. Natalie has always been a dreamer, a get goer, and an achiever! She was also a larrikin, dubbed as the class clown at times, and her quick wit had everyone’s attention in the classroom.
After high school I lost contact with Natalie and when we finally found each other on Facebook. I was ecstatic and mesmerised in the position she had achieved for herself in life. In the year 2000 she attained the Bachelor of Education and became a Primary School Teacher. This was her job for the next 15 years.
But there were struggles that made this diamond shine brighter. Natalie moved out of home at the age of 21. She made this choice because she didn’t want to continue living with the constant clashing with her father’s authority and wanted more freedom. Although this distance was much needed for Natalie at the same time it was hard for her to be away from her Mother and Brother.
When Natalie met her husband both of their families felt very fearful of how the relationship would pan out. They thought two religions would get in the way of a future as husband and wife. And so the relationship was opposed but Natalie and Aksel didn’t let anything get in their way. They showed everyone the true love and respect that they had for each other and that against all odds they would make it work. They stuck together, married and started their own little family.
And now, Natalie says family is everything. “I am forever grateful for all that I have my two gorgeous boys, Kaya 5, Jenk 2, and my husband Aksel. Aksel is my lover and best friend, a man who truly loves and respects me. I have my two angels Ayla & Elis in heaven protecting and sending their love to us every day…I couldn’t ask for more…”
As Natalie was embarking on the motherhood journey she became inspired to learn and train herself with different skills that she could use as a stay home mum. In addition to her photography business Natalie is a qualified interior designer for Homes by Inspire and tying in with all of this she is also a Social Media Co-ordinator. Let’s stick with the photography for this story for now…Natalie is a busy mummy and I could be writing forever about her!
Back to Natalie’s first attempt at professional photography, a photo shoot of the beautiful baby Eden, the daughter of her best friend Rebekah. After the friends were happy with the shots that they got on the camera they decided to upload some of the images onto Facebook. To their surprise the requests for photography started pouring in. “Rebekah and I even laughed about my now business name ‘Garden of Eden Photography’ and joked about me becoming a photographer! And now look at me…” (Chuckles)
So Natalie set up an inviting studio in a 3×3 bedroom in her own home. Her plans to be a stay home working mum were becoming a reality. For 3 years her business kept growing and Natalie dreamed of having her own larger space to evolve Garden of Eden Photography. She was seeking more access to natural light to maintain her images as an art of real life. It took a long time but she found the right space that was close to home and affordable for her business. The future of Natalie’s business includes plans to start mentoring students and sharing her passion and love for photography. Something I myself would be keen on being part of! Garden of Eden Photography’s Open Day is on this Saturday, 24th June, 2017. Follow this link for further details.
To succeed in your job I believe it is fundamental that you enjoy what you do. A bonus would be to be able to describe why you enjoy it. Natalie explained to me that she loved how she gets to work with people and turn their moments into art. She loves working for herself and being there for her children. Therefore, achieving work and family life balance gets a tick. How so? In Natalie’s words, “Family always comes first; my business because it is my own is something I have structured to fit into our lifestyle and not the other way around. It’s all about balance and never losing sight of what matters most.”
When I asked Natalie to give me her idea of motherhood she threw this beautiful line at me; “Motherhood is the best date I have ever been on!”
Although Natalie and I have been back and forth with saying to each other ‘let’s catch up’ and fail at every attempt of booking a date I still feel like I haven’t missed out on her latest news. Why? Well, social media is one of the best things in the 21st century. Especially if you have friends who like to tell you their story on a daily basis. I’ve been watching Natalie display her love for her family life and her over sharing so many aspects of it. I’ve watched her look after herself and still manage to keep up with being a mother.
When talking about self-care Natalie highlights the importance of taking care of herself so that she can better care for her children. “My children and my husband are my priority but I also make myself a priority too. I take the time to do things that make me feel happy and experience the world, my friends, food, life…” And so, Natalie Ahmet, I dub thee my mentor…I really need to take a leaf out of your book!
Family life in the era we are living in today is the same but not the same as in the past. We look back at our parents and appreciate their hardships. But we also look at our own struggles and compare…and then we make our own choices. For Natalie and her husband Aksel family is achieved by having the same beliefs for their sons and they want them to be rich in experiences. They make an effort to allow them to explore the world, take them on outings; holidays, dinners, theatre…anything and everything that will make them smile.
For contact information and further details on what Garden of Eden Photography offers visit Natalie’s beautiful website which has all the information you need to know about the business. Natalie has put her whole heart into her work. She is sharing her passion with people who choose her as their photographer. From my own experience I can say that I was moved by Natalie’s love of life. When she captured images that were from my own heart and showed them to me on her camera screen I truly cried in the moment. The essence of my part of the Garden of Eden was being made into art that I can treasure forever and pass onto future generations.
All images in this article are courtesy of Garden of Eden Photography ©