WIA Profile: Natasha Inamorata

WIA Profile: Natasha Inamorata

Natasha Inamorata was just a kid when she first picked up a disposable camera. She quickly became enamored with it and continued to shoot with whatever equipment she could afford. In her teens, she saved enough money to purchase a digital Canon ELPH, began taking portraits of her friends, shot an entire wedding on a point-and-shoot camera and edited the photos with Picnik. She got her first DSLR when she turned 20.

Despite her passion for photography, Inamorata never imagined that she could make a full-time career out of it. It was just a hobby. Besides, she wanted to be an artist. She had been obsessively sketching and painting from a very young age; her favorite medium was watercolor. Her plan was to study art and pursue graphic design professionally.

I see the adult industry as a space where I can both leave a mark and leave it better than I found it.

As it happened, however, Inamorata’s first job after college was as a photo retoucher for a well-known wedding photographer. She had grown up in a small town in the Midwest, but was so ecstatic about the gig that she relocated to the big city, and soon fell in love with commercial photography.

Following that passion has led Inamorata on globetrotting adventures spanning 30 countries from Africa to Asia and beyond, including nature and animal photography. In the adult industry, she has quickly become known as a go-to photographer for erotic shoots from stills to studio features. She has worked on award-winning films for the likes of Digital Playground, Lust Cinema, Dorcel and Adult Time, and her photographs of top stars and indie creators alike can be found all over social media.

Now, WIA’s Woman of the Month sheds light on her career path, how she brings her artistic vision to life, and her future goals.

XBIZ: Tell us about your experiences as a photographer prior to working in adult, and how they shaped your current approach.

INAMORATA: I have an extensive background in commercial photography. I started out as a production assistant and quickly worked my way up to building sets, wardrobe styling and eventually camera assisting for one of the biggest commercial production houses in the Midwest.

The culture of the production house I was working for was very inclusive and collaborative, which was key in my career development. I was given a seat at the table from the very beginning, and all ideas at the table were heard. I was given the opportunity to work directly with the ad agencies and brands that hired us, and got to work alongside other very experienced and talented creatives to bring our vision for each project to life.

It was the type of production house where everyone was excited and passionate about what they were doing and gave it their all. I learned so much in my time there and I am forever grateful for the opportunities I was given.

When I moved to New York City, I decided to start my own business. I combined my love of animals with my photography skills and shot for some very notable pet brands and animal rescue/conservation organizations. I started traveling extensively to work for different animal sanctuaries as well, which took me to some of the most remote wildernesses on the planet.

During my time in New York, I was also being mentored by a protégé of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. He taught me so much about how to use natural and available lighting, because lugging gear around in New York City is not realistic. We once shot an entire celebrity profile magazine spread with $100 worth of tungsten bulbs he purchased at Home Depot!

My most important takeaway from those experiences was how important consistent visual imagery is when building a brand, and how to shoot and stay consistent with an already established brand. Ultimately, my style and what I want as an artist is not always what’s going to be best for the project. What matters is how I can use my skill set to make marketable content that gives my clients a return on investment. That is the goal of my work as a whole.

XBIZ: What inspired you to enter this industry, and how has your craft evolved since?

INAMORATA: While in New York City, I made some friends in the sex work industry. I offered to do a test shoot with one of them and she opened so many doors for me. Upon doing market research, I discovered that there was a major deficit of female photographers who were openly sex worker-friendly. I saw a space where I could build a business, use my branding skill set and contribute to filling a need by providing a safe and professional space for my clients.

In the process, I’ve met so many wonderful people and discovered how supportive and incredible a community it can be. This industry has shaped me as a person. It’s shaped my own sexuality in many ways. It’s inspired a lot of self-work to overcome my own biases. In order to be good at my craft, I have to recognize and capture what’s marketable and sexy about anyone and any act, regardless of whether I am personally attracted to it or not. Developing that skill set is a big part of what has made me successful.

I see the adult industry as a space where I can both leave a mark and leave it better than I found it. I want to raise the bar.

XBIZ: How would you describe your visual style, vibe and overall aesthetic?

INAMORATA: There is a lot of influence from my fine art education in my work. I borrow a lot of color palettes and lighting styles from famous artists throughout history, especially Renaissance and impressionist painters. My portraiture and sometimes my retouching style have been influenced by Annie Leibovitz and Mark Seliger.

Taking the qualities I love from multiple sources and creating something erotic out of them has been a very fun twist and challenge for me. I love telling the story, capturing personality and finding a way to make it horny. I want people to see my images and be so overcome with the artistic nature of them, that they almost forget it’s pornography.

On set, I don’t always shoot to my own style or aesthetic. I shoot to the overall vision of what I’m supposed to be advertising. In today’s climate, with so much content overloading us, it’s really important for my work to stand out. I need my images to make someone pause while they are scrolling. The purpose of my images is to make people click on them. Quality, color and composition matter. My objective at the end of the day is for my images to pop off the screen and grab your attention.

XBIZ: Talk about your gear. What hardware and software do you rely on to create your art? Give us the geeky specs!

INAMORATA: The best camera you can shoot with is the one you have immediate access to. That being said, I am a proud Canon system owner and rely mostly on prime lenses for my images. I have a Canon R and a 5D Mark IV that are my workhorses, but what really sets my work apart are my prime lenses. I have a Sigma Art 24-35 F2, a Sigma Art 50 mm F1.4 and a Sigma Art 85 mm F1.4. My 50 mm is my workhorse and I absolutely love it.

As far as lighting, I only own one light myself. It’s a large, foldable continuous LED panel that I really love because of how portable it is. However, the vast majority of my work is done in natural and/or available light. Oftentimes on set, I will just find the best lighting in the setup because I want it to match the overall feel of the film that’s being created.

After shooting for so long in New York City and traveling so much with gear, I leaned into being minimalistic and making the best of whatever situation presents itself. If it doesn’t fit in my backpack, I usually won’t take it unless it’s specifically requested.

XBIZ: How do you create a space conducive to capturing someone’s sexuality on camera?

INAMORATA: My goal is to make my clients feel as comfortable as possible while we work together. I like to create a space where we can relax, have fun while we shoot and come up with some out-of-the-box ideas. I aim for it to feel like we are just friends hanging out and I happen to have a camera in my hands. My superpower is seeing people, and when people feel seen and feel accepted for it, they naturally open up. That vulnerability is something I always want to capture in my work.

On set, my workflow is a little different because I often don’t have the time to build rapport with each person in front of my camera. I try to always keep them in a flow for whatever amount of time I have them. Most adult industry talent I work with now know me and those who don’t are usually familiar with my work, so there is transferable trust there.

One thing I do with anyone I photograph is show them the back of the camera, as I find it builds confidence quickly and shows that they can trust that I know what I am doing. Showing the work builds a lot of confidence in whoever is in front of the lens. I am always asking for feedback and listening to what they want out of the images. I am always willing to take someone’s preferences into consideration while I’m shooting.

It’s a collaborative relationship, especially when it comes to someone’s likeness and how they want to be portrayed. Just because I find something attractive doesn’t mean it’s their favorite thing about themselves, or how they want to be captured. In the adult industry it’s fairly simple: If I can make the talent happy with the images, they will be more willing to share and promote the images that are shot for the production, which in turn creates more traffic and a higher return on investment for the company I am shooting for. Everyone wins.

XBIZ: What are some projects from the past few years in adult that you’ve been especially proud of?

INAMORATA: The first adult set I worked on was “Grinders” for Adult Time, which won an award later that year. I walked onto that set almost completely blind as to what I was getting myself into. I think it says a lot about my understanding of branding that I nailed what they wanted on my very first go. I’m extremely proud that I entered the industry at such a high level.

During the most recent awards season, I was lead stills on the multi-nominated movie “Machine Gunner.” Lust Cinema’s “Primary 3,” for which Casey Calvert won XBIZ Director of the Year — Individual Work, was a masterpiece that I am so honored to have been a part of. “More” for Dorcel was probably one of the sexiest sets I have been on to date. Ana Foxxx’s “It’s Not a Barbie Movie” was such a beautiful femme orgy with more than 16 people. It was femme-produced and was so much fun to contribute to.

I have worked closely with Ariel Demure in several of her personal projects, including the “Gorgons” shoot, which is an incredible creative vision. Most recently, I have been working with Michael Vegas and Siouxsie Q to create some jaw-dropping imagery for their projects.

XBIZ: Which talent do you shoot most often and how has working with those folks impacted the experience and outcome?

INAMORATA: The talent I have worked most closely with include Siri Dahl, Ana Foxxx, Ariel Demure, Tori Easton, Jade Venus, Maddie May and Casey Calvert. I’ve built some close and lasting relationships in this industry. When I build rapport with talent and they have confidence in my abilities, it just makes an entire shoot flow effortlessly.

I tend to let the talent get into the poses they want to do and then make small adjustments to make the poses the most flattering for them. Talent trusting the directions I give them is very important for helping me capture the best possible images. The fact that I’m fast, efficient and I know when I have the shot all contributes to that.

Over time, establishing close relationships with talent on mainstream sets has led to them also entrusting me with their personal productions. That has been so much fun, being able to create with so many talented and creative individuals.

XBIZ: When you’re not busy working, what do you do for fun? Any unique hobbies?

INAMORATA: When I’m not working, I have a very active lifestyle. I race sailboats and am very much looking forward to this racing season. I try to volunteer with animal rescues when I can. I have also been bouldering for a couple of years now and outdoor rock climbing will soon be added to my ever-growing list of hobbies. And of course I remain an avid traveler; I’ve been to over 30 countries and I am looking to add more South and Central American countries to that list this year. More locally, during 2020 I traveled around in a travel trailer and began learning about foraging. That is a hobby I continue to learn more about, and Los Angeles has so many free local food sources. You can catch me stealing fruit from shoot houses regularly! 

XBIZ: Any big goals for the rest of 2024 or beyond?

INAMORATA: As far as career goals, I would really like to begin traveling abroad and working with companies overseas. I want to release a coffee table book showcasing a collection of my work in the adult industry. I also would love to have a gallery show to celebrate what I’ve accomplished and the work that I have created. I’m extremely proud of the career I’ve built for myself and the hard work I’ve put in to get myself where I am now; I really want to find a way to celebrate it.

Each month, XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry’s most influential female executives.


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Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

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