After landing a prominent corporate job straight out of college, Natalie Amrossi ‘11 did something that no one expected: she quit.
As a skilled photographer with an adventurous spirit, Natalie chose to forego the practical and pursue the incredible, and it paid off. Today, with more than 400,000 Instagram followers, she is widely recognized across social media as “Misshattan,” a name born from her stunning aerial photos of New York City.
Named “The Queen of the Sky” by Huff Post for her daring helicopter shoots, her photography and branding skills have taken her to new heights in more ways than one. Among the major brands who have collaborated with Natalie are Nike, Adidas, Cadillac, Jaguar, and Canon. Still, beyond her successful career, Natalie and the Misshattan brand have become synonymous with something truly inspiring. In her words, the brand serves as “a mantra for those who have the audacity to pursue their dreams.”
Was photography always your dream?
I was always passionate about photography, but even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I could turn it into my career.
What was the turning point for you that pushed you to take the next step in pursuing photography?
The turning point happened while I was shooting for one of my clients, Jaguar. They loaned me a shiny new red F-Type to photograph. It was such a beautiful car that I decided to do a late night photoshoot around NYC on Sunday (the quietest day of the week). With my friend in the passenger seat, we took pictures everywhere! From downtown to even parking the car in the middle of Times Square, just to grab a cool shot. I remember getting stopped by police, not to give us a ticket but to compliment how nice the car was. While photographing the car, I noticed it was already 6 a.m., and I had to rush back home to get ready for work. The moment I sat down in my cubicle, I immediately regretted not bringing my camera to the office because I really wanted to look through the images I created hours before. It was then and there, in that single moment, I realized my heart wasn’t in finance. That day, without hesitation, I resigned from my position at J.P. Morgan to become a full-time photographer.
What were your dreams while you were at student at Stony Brook?
To be honest, as a student at Stony Brook, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take. I decided that business management would give me the skills I needed, no matter which career path I eventually chose.
What advice would you give to anyone unsure of taking the next step in pursuing their dreams?
I believe that the best way to pursue your dreams is to spend your free time focused on it. As much as I love photography, I wasn’t going to quit my job without having a backup plan. Instead, I built my photography career outside of office hours. Even then, I never thought I would have the courage to leave until that one morning, when everything changed. Deep down, I knew I had to focus on photography full time to take my new career to the next level.
How has Stony Brook played a role in your career?
Stony Brook has played a major role in my career. Aside from building the skill set I need to survive in the real world, it is also where I met so many like-minded, career driven people. To this day, they support and believe in me. Without them, I’m not sure where I would be.
Did anyone at Stony Brook encourage you?
My professors at Stony Brook were always inspiring and the students were driven for success. That environment was contagious and I am truly lucky to have been a part of it.
What is your favorite spot on campus to photograph?
I loved taking photos at the Staller steps. It’s where everyone would hang out before, after and in-between classes. It’s where I took some of my favorite photos from Stony Brook.
What is your favorite spot in NYC?
My favorite spot would have to be outside of Manhattan, in DUMBO, Brooklyn. There are so many great photo opportunities there. With Manhattan as its backdrop, there is no bad photo you could take in DUMBO. I also love the vibe in that area – you could feel the positive energy while strolling through the streets.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical work day for me is rarely the same. My day mainly depends on the shoots that are booked, the meetings that are scheduled and the calls that are set up. Any spare time in between is when I tackle my emails.
What does a typical day off look like for you?
A typical off day for me is when I spend the day with my family, leaving my camera behind. It’s pretty relaxing not to worry about what shot I should grab next.
What is your next big audacious move?
My next big move is to develop products geared towards creatives, but worn by everyone. It’s so hard to find accessories and clothes that fill my needs as a photographer. I am currently in the middle of creating something that is not only functional, but comfortable and stylish as well.