Auburn Family

Local Photographer Finds Her Niche Working at Cameragraphics

Natalie McVey loves nothing more than capturing special moments in photographs. From weddings to landscapes, McVey's passion for photography extends beyond the average client-artist relationship.

McVey first dabbled in photography as a junior in high school. She started by asking friends if she could take their pictures, considering the art to be a simple hobby.

"It wasn't until I started working at Cameragraphics that I really began to hone in my skills," McVey said.

Cameragraphics, located on East University Drive, is a locally owned camera and photography store. The one-stop-photo-shop opened in 1974.

According to McVey, their favorite slogan is “Let us sell you a camera, print your pictures and frame them too!"

“(Cameragraphics can) do anything and everything related to photography, including selling cameras and camera equipment,” McVey said. “We have a full-service print lab that prints anything from key chains to posters. We have an in-house studio and several professional photographers on staff, and we offer photo restorations, camera and Photoshop classes. We also have the area's largest custom frame shop.”

McVey started working in the photo lab at Cameragraphics in 2008.

“Over the years I started working more hours, gained more responsibility, and by Christmas 2012, I was the lab manager despite still being in college,” Mcvey said. “Once I graduated in May 2013, I began working full-time.”

McVey, age 25, graduated from Auburn University with a degree in communication in May 2013.

John Oliver, the owner of Cameragraphics, was a mentor to McVey early in her career, McVey said.

"I went from asking people if I could take pictures of them, to having strangers email me and ask me if I'll take pictures for them," McVey said. "Which I love."

Many of McVey’s clients have called upon her services for multiple occasions. Over the years, photographing special events in the clients’ lives created a certain bond between McVey and her subjects.

“It's definitely a special thing to be able to photograph a couple's engagement, wedding day, their first child,” McVey said. “You really start to feel like you're part of the family because you've been around for so many major milestones in their lives.”

Despite working with all aspects of photography, including weddings, events, real estate and etc., McVey said her specialty is in maternity, newborn and children.

“Babies and children have always been something that come naturally to me,” McVey said.

As far as her personal style, McVey said she mixes traditional portrait photography and modern photo-journalistic styles. However, her editing style is more  traditional.

“No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to edit my photos in the popular, washed out and hazy style that's all over Pinterest these days, it just doesn't look right to me,” McVey said. “I guess that's what you could say sets me apart from my fellow photographers around here.”

In a world so fast-paced McVey said many people are focused on settling for second best only because it's cheaper or faster to do so.

“What makes Cameragraphics and myself unique is our attention to detail and quality,” McVey said. “We strive to do the best we can in everything we do.”

McVey also said she, and the employees at Cameragraphics, aim to remind people that you pay for the products you get.

“It’s worth it to go to photographers who will take the time to ensure you're receiving a superior-quality product,” McVey said.

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