Friday, December 19, 2014

Out of the box bridals

For her out-of-the-box bridal portrait session, Erica Brown, (now Erica Withers) her sister and mom, and I shared a pinterest board of ideas to brainstorm. They let me pick the location and brought everything I suggested when it came to jewelry.

They brought their own accessories, and props, including some boots and duck hunting guns and decoys, and I brought the turqoise chair.

I'm SOOO happy with how these bridals came out, and I think the reason for that was twofold. One, they allowed me much creative freedom. They told me, in more or less words, "I trust your creativity. Do whatever you'd like." Then, they listened and came with a great attitude, brought the props, and came ready to have some fun.  Those are the best two things anyone can do for me if they want some creative images. I love it when people let me pull out of my mental rolodex of ideas and go with it.

We did have a good time doing these. :) But I especially enjoyed this session more than most. And, now that the wedding is over, I can finally post them.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Would your bridesmaids and groomsmen do the warrior dash for you? Emily and Brendan, Warrior Dash Wedding, St. Francisville, LA

Emily, as I may have mentioned before, was the Tara Marie Photography office assistant back in 2011-2012, I think, and then her sister, Callie, took her position after Emily moved to Hammond for college. Emily always kept me laughing and always had an interesting/dramatic story to tell about her life. Well, she created another one when she and Brendan got married.

They never could quite find the right venue for their wedding. They wanted it to be different. They just didn't see themselves in any sort of traditional wedding setting. So, they finally decided on getting married at the sports park- DURING THE WARRIOR DASH. Warrior Dash is a boot-camp-like extreme obstacle course race that includes mud, water, crawling, fire-jumping, and a few miles of intense trails.

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and siblings all participated in the warrior dash that day, all with custom shirts.

I showed up that morning thinking that I could stand on the side and just take pictures of the obstacles out in the open, but I didn't realize that the trails were in the woods. And, I'm not really a "sit back and watch" kind of girl. So, I took off with them, media pass around my neck and crocs on my feet. I took only a few shortcuts through the trails, and I didn't do the obstacles, but I made it through the whole course and even got some mud on my pants and my camera holster bag.

When a bridesmaid drops out at the last minute, you give your body builder uncle her tank top.

After running the course, a very muddy wedding party, bride and groom, and Emily's dad assembled in front of about a thousand unknown people to have a wedding ceremony. They threw the bouquet and garter out into the crowd of muddy single ladies and guys. Then, they took mud-covered family pictures.

I have to admit- although I wasn't expecting to run the entire course, I WILL be doing it next year with my sister! It was intense but doable. I had a blast. And, if anyone decides to get married at the warrior dash again, I'll have that as part of my photographic resume.


PS- Later on that night, the group cleaned up and had a reception at Old Centenary Inn, complete with a CLEAN wedding dress and the works. A post will be coming for that one...

What I don't take pictures of anymore...

Sometimes it's easy for me to get caught up in the routine of editing and just managing, and I need to re-kindle the spark I had for photography I have buried deep down. To do this, I started thinking about reasons I got into photography in the first place. When I started doing that recently, I noticed some things that I no longer take pictures of very much.

I no longer take GOOD pictures (much) of these things- things that I love!
My dogs
My kids and family
Sunsets while traveling
Row crops on the side of the road
Beautiful flowers
Farm animals

Obviously, the whole "not taking pictures of my kids" thing is a bit of a problem! I do take a few here and there with my iphone, but this is an issue.

What can I do to jump start myself doing these pictures that I love again?
1. Make goals to take at least some professional-quality pictures of my kids every week.
2. Take a road trip (whether small or large) with the purpose of just taking pictures.
3. Go to a new place, maybe a garden or something, and take pictures of just the pretty things.
4. MAKE time for leisurely picture-taking.
5. Get a smaller, easier-to-carry-in-my-purse, camera (maybe my old film camera?)
6. Make myself some Instagram challenges (@taramariephoto)

Here are some pictures I took before I got into this industry as a business. I spent the summer of 2002 working at the Grand Canyon, and I hiked 101 total miles that summer. You've never really experienced the Grand Canyon until you've hiked down into it. I would carry my heavy film camera with one lens with me on every trip, and I'm still proud of many of these amateur pictures. They capture things for me that I probably will never experience again. I remember taking the roll of film and sending it off, just hoping that I would get back at least 3 or 4 images that were good. Then, the next time, I would try to get 5 good pictures. By the end of the summer, I had increased my "good picture" percentage significantly by just challenging myself with each roll of film. 

I think the trick is going to be start just a little at a time.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My story

So, I read this week that I'm supposed to be sharing my "story" on my blog. Well, honestly, I've never really felt like I have much of a story to tell, so I haven't told much of it. It seems like the good lord just put me in the right spot at the right time with the right stuff to get started with a photography business back in 2006 (living in a small town in need of a decent photographer near artistic Austin, TX, right as digital photography was making a big debut.) 

I've never felt that my "story" was that special. But as I tried today to convince myself that I didn't have a story, I kept thinking of circumstances I've been in that are unique to me. I started to realize that maybe there is something that I can share that will help someone else. 

High school seniors need to hear that your "major" in college shouldn't define who you are or what you do as a career. (I was an agriculture major and I still love studying and talking about it.) 

People getting married need to hear that marriage is a committed journey, not a destination or final resting place. (We have a neat, always-evolving story of two different, God-fearing people joining our lives together).

Budding small business owners need encouragement from others' mistakes and resources from which to learn. (Trust me, I've made lots of the mistakes, including taxes.) 

Small town people need to see the little things that make their town great and unique. (I have a fascination with my small towns around me.)

ADD writers need to know that there is hope beyond putting things in parentheses (I do this wayyyy too often (ok maybe there is no hope)) (did I just do that twice?)

So, maybe there is more than I originally thought...  It's going to take some guts for me to share a few personal insights into my life, because I'm quite private. But maybe there are some things I can muster up the courage to share that will benefit the reader. 

Here's to trying in the future to be more open...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jace's High School Senior Portraits- Central High School

OK, guys, I know that you actually don't care to take pictures that much, but your mama needs those pictures. I enjoy photographing guys for their senior pictures because they are low maintenance- no hair fixing, lipstick applicating,  or complex outfit changes needed.
Jace is actually related to me very indirectly by marriage- his mom married my husband's first cousin. So, we're cousins, right??
Anyway, sorry girls, he's taken. :)

Jace's 5x7 Custom Invitations

Jace's 11x14 Memory Box

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