With & About is the brain child of photographer, documentary filmmaker, and non-profit programming developer Natalie Brasington. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Natalie discovered her passion for socially conscious storytelling while photographing and interviewing survivors of Hurricane Katrina during her time as a research assistant for the Silver School of Social Work. Now, with over a decade of media-making behind her, she focuses her lens on human stories in both the commercial advertising and editorial worlds. Before photographing celebrities, entertainers, athletes, and CEO's for advertisements, national networks, and global brands, Natalie produced photo shoots world-renouned clients like Grey Advertising, BBDO, Viacom and New Wave Entertainment, among others. Uniquely equipped with both a media background, and non-profit training in youth trauma, creative workshop facilitation, interviewing techniques, and anti-oppression alignment, Natalie realized she could lend her varied expertise and insight to important causes in need of partnership.
"With & About allows me to share my vast network of creatives, academics, and activists. Together with ad agencies, publicity firms, and global brands, we build all-star teams that are bigger than the sum of their parts. Our collective goal is to build a better world through ethical and honest representation.” – Natalie Brasington
As a precursor to With & About, Natalie co-founded the Art Start Portrait Projects with Hannah Immerman and Johanna De Los Santos in 2013. She conceived of the project and built the model for the program and, with Anyway Reps, secured key industry sponsors to launch the project into fruition- namely Fast Ashleys (now Smashbox Studios) as a founding partner and equipment sponsor. Natalie also produces the project, interviews youth participants, directs and edits video content, and photographs participants. This initiative brought together New York’s top-tier photographers and vendors to create portraits for Art Start youth and families. In five short years, the project developed into a multifaceted program, an advocacy-focused media project, and an ongoing dialogue about representation and self-definition. The project has had annual openings in New York’s gallery district, as well as sponsorship from partners like Canon, Beyond Costumes, Schuyler 4, The Prop Stylist Inc., DCOY Studios, Hubert's Lemonade, and Goody Girl Cookies, among others. The Portrait Project has served as a catalyst for Art Start to expand nationally, this year, partnering with Milwaukee Public Schools BLMA (Black and Latino Male Achievement) program as an instrument to promote positive narratives about youth of color in Milwaukee. In 2015, Natalie presented a Ted-X talk about the Art Start Portrait Project.
Last year, Natalie produced and directed the documentary feature “Love and Distortion: A Genuine Search for a Mostly Authentic America”. It will premier at the Madrid International Film Festival, where it is nominated for Best Feature Documentary and Best Story. She's currently shooting and editing a feature length documentary film advocating for alternative to incarceration programs for youth. A lover of world travel, Natalie makes her home with her husband and their daughter in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.