Beyond The Wanderlust » Inspirational Photography Blog for Storytellers Worldwide

A Cabin Connection

A Cabin Connection

By: Natalie Wiseman Wheeler of Act Naturally Photography

Drawing inspiration from the people I love, in a new and beautiful setting, always makes my photographer soul so happy. This was exactly the scenario last month when I spent a weekend with my family and some amazing friends nestled away in a cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona. There are so many reasons to be excited about a trip like this, and for me, one of the reasons is being able to document our time together via photography.

My approach to documenting trips like this is a blend of silent observation (think fly on the wall) and genuine engagement with my subjects. During the latter, I find that subjects forget that I am taking their picture, which results in a more authentic experience. This approach reflects my primary goal as a photographer: to get to the core of human connection.

The difference between photographing trips like this and hired sessions or shots of my daily life at home, is striking a balance between fulfilling the creative desire to artistically capture our experiences and simply enjoying the trip by relaxing camera-free. To achieve this, I have learned to be at peace with letting go of potentially great photo opportunities. Often times, it is much more important to stay fully engaged within the moment instead of running off to get my camera and stepping outside the moment in order to photograph it.


Moments in daily life are fleeting, and luckily they are also never ending. If you miss a great photo opportunity, there is always another one right around the corner. I have come to really appreciate those camera-free moments on vacation. I have no regrets about any shots I may have lost in taking significant breaks from photographing the experience. This trip to the cabin has left me with both a meaningful, tangible photographic record of our time there; and many memories that live only in our minds.


Natalie is a lifestyle photographer based out of Phoenix, Arizona.  She is a mother of two young children who are her main source of inspiration.  Her primary goal as a photographer is to get to the core of human connection by capturing authentic, emotive expressions and documenting life as it unfolds.