Friday, June 27, 2014

My personal photography project

Thanks to the disconnect of not growing up here in St. Francisville, I'm able to have an outsider's perspective on our Feliciana parishes that our house lies between. I've also been blessed to be in the wedding industry, where I get to visit and go behind the scenes in some of the most grandeur plantations and houses in our area.

While visiting and taking pictures in these privately owned plantations and spreads, I've found fascination with a common thread most of these beautiful places share- a caretaker. Many of the plantations and large pieces of land are owned by one person, but managed and maintained by someone else. This someone who I refer to as a caretaker is, in my opinion, the backbone of each operation. Some have more people duties, managing several housekeepers, tour guides, and maintenance men. Others have more facility-oriented jobs that involve upkeep and cleaning.

The caretakers I've met all seem to have these similar traits- they must be reliable, hard-working, self starters, have a sense of what needs doing, and above all else, they must be TRUSTWORTHY, for the property owners are often absent. 

This is the first of hopefully many portraits of my project I'll be calling "the caretakers." This project has been on my mind for a long time, and I've finally stepped to to begin it. This is one of those steps to take to rejuvenate my creative mind.

This is Theresa, who is in charge of many things at The Myrtles Plantation.
Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tunica falls engagement photo sessions are not for the faint of heart!

Julie and Khang did their engagement session at Tunica Falls in Woodville, MS because they love to hike. This photo shoot really rejuvenated me! Living in Louisiana, I don't get much opportunity to hike, but I do enjoy hiking very much. One summer I hiked 101 miles in the Grand Canyon while I worked at a gift shop and did a ministry there. 

Anyway, this shoot began at 7:30 am, and we hiked down into the trail about 3/4 of a mile to get to the first waterfall. This office working/computer sitting girl was definitely huffing and puffing as we were hiking back uphill, and it was totally worth it. The light was beautiful, and the situation challenged me enough to force me to be creative. I think this is something I need to do more often. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jan 2014- Tara Marie Photography 3

Photography 101: How to take better phone pictures in the dark I used technique 1 to take this iphone picture. Have you ever tried to take phone pic

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Photography 101: How to take better phone pictures in the dark

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I used technique 1 to take this iphone picture.

Have you ever tried to take phone pictures at a dark party or event, only to get frustrated at the flash and how long it takes? Most night pictures I see taken with phones leave a little to be desired. Here are some tips to help you make the best of low-light situations with your phone camera.

Technique 1- Looking for light

1. Find ANY source of light
2. Have subjects face the light
3. Turn the flash off
4. The subjects need to hold REALLY still.
5. Take the picture

Technique # 2- Using someone else's flashlight.

1. Have an assistant turn their FLASHLIGHT on their phone on. (this is not the phone that will take the picture)
2. Have your assistant hold the flashlight above your subject's head at about a 45 degree angle. 3. Make the light look good on the person's face. You can create shadows if you want for a more dramatic look, or just hold the "flashlight" more evenly toward the front of the face for a flatter lighting situation.
3. Make sure your own flash on your phone is off, and take the picture using the light from the other person's phone.

But always remember, a less-than-perfect picture is better than no picture to capture a moment that is special to you. :) Get out and take some pictures!


Upcoming events and specials

July 13th- Beginner's photography Workshop
August 11th- end of the Senior portrait summer special benefiting the animal shelter
June 30th- deadline for Senior 2014 disc sale
July -Head shot summer special

2014 4x6 PhotographyWorkshop NO ADMIN ONE

Beginner's Photography Workshop
Sunday July 13th, $95
If you have a digital "fancy" camera but have never really learned how to use it off the "auto" settings, this 4 hour hands-on Sunday afternoon workshop at my studio in St. Francisville is for you. Limited to 8 participants.

Learn more here.

Register here

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Senior portrait summer specials- Benefiting with the West Feliciana Animal Shelter
Summer is the time to do custom senior portraits if you want to save and work toward a cause.
For every senior portrait session I do during the summer, I'll donate $15 to the [West Feliciana Animal Shelter] (, and summer sessions are $65 off! Packages are available to take your senior pictures with your best friend or by yourself, with hair and makeup or without. Tara Marie Photography Seniors

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033114 HollandSenior 204e

Senior portrait disc sale
Did you love ALL of your senior pictures? Through June 30th, you can get a disc of all your 2014 senior portraits for $235 plus tax. You can upload and print up to an 8x10 from this disc. Call us to order. 225-634-7229


Head shot special week- Month of July
Is it time for you to have a new head shot?
We now have a simple studio setup for head shots during weekdays. You can make an appointment and get in and out within 30 minutes, with your digital file emailed to you. For the month of July only, head shots will be discounted to $60. This includes in-studio head shots and 1 file to use.


Me in all my glory. Photo by Kaylynn Marie Clark.

I'm Tara Morris of Tara Marie Photography in St. Francisville, Louisiana. I specialize in wedding photography, senior portraits, family portraits, and commercial photography.
We have a facebook page blog, instagram, and a website for you to look through to see more pictures or get more information.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way at all.

Tara Marie Photography
5877 Commerce St, St. Francisville, LA
Office: 225-634-7229
P/TEXT: 225-721-1313
IG: @taramariephoto

You're receiving this email because of a previous interaction with Tara Marie Photography. I promise not to share your information. If you'd like to not get this email, no worries- just push unsubscribe below.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beginner's Photography Workshop coming July 13th

 It's time again for another Beginner's Photography Workshop! This is a favorite thing of mine to do. A friend of mine a few years ago had a "fancy camera" and was having trouble figuring it out, and she convinced me to put together a workshop to teach how to use it. Now, I've taught over 8 or 9 of these workshops, and met some really cool people along the way.

This next one is Sunday, July 13th, from 2-6 pm, and costs $95 to be a part of it. It's limited to 8 participants, and it will be at my studio in St. Francisville. If you have a digital "fancy" camera but have never really learned how to use it off the "auto" settings, this 4 hour  hands-on Sunday afternoon workshop is for you
We'll cover the basics of how to take better pictures from the inside out. This includes learning to "see" better pictures, your camera's capabilities, learning about some equipment that can make your photos go from good to great, using the best lighting situations, and choosing locations. There is a large focus on the settings on your camera and how to use them. You will also take home a booklet of all class notes to review after you go home. You'll will stop in between some sections of classroom time to do a hands-on activity to practice the concept that we just learned.

Others who have taken this workshop have really enjoyed it and walked away with practical knowledge about their camera and about taking better pictures.

Digital SLR camera (the kind that that will let you change lenses and settings) required, and a light snack will be provided.  Questions? Call me! 225-634-7229, text me at 225-721-1313, or email me at
Ready to do it? Register online here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Animal Shelter fun

This past year, I've been volunteering with the West Feliciana Parish 4-H Photography Club. On Monday, our club did a very fun service project at the West Feliciana animal shelter. It has been said that animals with great pictures in their online ads get adopted sooner, so we went to the shelter and tried to take pics of the dogs and cats who had been there the longest. Three of the club members attended, and despite some distractions (petting kittens and puppies) they did a great job of these pictures. Then, one of the club members came and edited pictures as well! We experienced the fact that animals move quickly, and you need a high shutter speed, sometimes a high ISO, and to shoot quickly yourself to get good pictures of animals.
The kids did a great job, and I'm proud of them. One of the girls even wrote a blog post about her experience- see it here on the 4H Photography Club Blog.
The pictures that are not watermarked were taken by the 4-H kids.

This dog was beautiful- looks like a Pit and chocolate lab mix to me.

This dog, named "Brown," has got to be a full-blooded red heeler. I'll bet he's one heck of a cow dog. He has only three legs, but I'd be willing to bet he would still try to tear up a rank cow.

What some eyes! All of the cats were so, so gentle and sweet.

I can't believe this guy has been at the pound for nearly a year. He was so much fun. As you can see, he loves the mud.

This dog, (Maggie I think) would've probably been my pick to take home. She was full of energy, but seems like the type that would settle down after she burned her energy. I love her!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer engagement portraits

Erica and Nick are getting married at the back yard of the house her parents have renovated several years ago. The land include some fields a large pond in the back some big oak trees in the front yard, all surrounding a beautiful old house in Ethel, louisiana. We did their engagement pictures there, and I'm not going to lie- I got lots of bug bites. Like, over 60. Probably most of them were acquired while I was doing this set of shots. Regardless, it was worth it. Here's one of my favorites from my rolling in the grass adventure.

Friday, June 6, 2014

What time should my outdoor sunset wedding ceremony begin?

How to set your ceremony time for an outdoor wedding is one of the hardest things to know, and it's something a photographer should be able to help with. Some major things to consider are where the sun is setting, what pictures you want that dreamy sunset light in, and where you are standing in relation to the sunset.

The first thing you should know is that great LIGHT makes great pictures, and the best natural light for pictures is within the last two hours before sunset. I use the iphone app "Rise" to help my clients know the sunset time on the day of their wedding, and also when the last light will disappear at the end of the day on any day of any year.

Many people dream of a sunset wedding (I know I did) so there are many things to consider. First, do you want to get sunset pictures, or have a sunset ceremony? The difference is when you take pictures. If you are doing the majority or all of your photos before the ceremony, then you may want to do that during the hour before sunset, and then have your ceremony just after the sun sets. If you are doing the majority of your photos after the ceremony, and you want that dreamy sunset light for the pictures of the bride and groom, then you may want to set your ceremony time about 45 minutes to one hour before the sun sets, so that there is enough time to get that beautiful light in the portraits of the two of you.

Also, keep in mind which way you and  your guests will be facing and where the sun will be setting in relation to that. In our hot Louisiana season,guests who have the sun in their face you can be pretty miserable. Additionally, it may create squinting or less-than-great lighting for the wedding party if the sun is shining on the alter area from behind the guests. Ideally, I prefer the sunset to be just behind the bride and groom.

You can have the prettiest location in the world, but if the light isn't right, it may look dull. Also, if it turns out overcast that day, that may take pictures from sunny and creamy to a little cooler and greyer. If you stand under some sort of cover, such as a gazebo, thick tree cover, or other, it will dull and dim the light.

Here is a tentative schedule that I use for wedding pictures. Let's assume that this is a wedding taking place today, and today's sunset is at 8:06 pm. So, our best time for pictures (if no clouds appear) will be between 7 and 8 pm, with the light quickly fading until 9 pm. I would suggest the following to my client if they were doing a "first look" in order to do all except family pictures before the ceremony.

6:00 First look photos (bride and groom)
6:30 Wedding party photos
7:00 set up for ceremony/freshen up (Guests usually start arriving around 30 minutes before the ceremony)
7:30 Ceremony (during sunset)
8:00 Family photos (it will be a little dark, but this is when I would bring in my flashes)
8:20 Enter the reception

This schedule would have beautiful light for the first look, the wedding party, and the ceremony photos, as long as a cloud cover didn't come. The light wouldn't be bad for the family photos, and then it would be nice and dark for the reception, which makes for a fun party. I would much prefer a little too bright of light at the beginning of the pictures, than to run out of light at the end.
If you are doing most of your pictures after the ceremony, you may want to consider doing the ceremony a little earlier so that there is plenty of light for the photos.

If you have time while planning your wedding, I would suggest going out to your ceremony site a couple hours before sunset on a random day and watching how the light hits the area where you will be standing. When it looks and feels prettiest, take note of the number of hours or minutes it is before the actual sunset time. The sun may change in angle a bit in different seasons of the year, but that will help you get a better idea.

The sunlight at this one was perfect.

This was pretty bright sunlight, around 3 pm in the spring, but it was more workable than it would've been in the dark.

Notice the beautiful sunlight behind her?

This is my favorite type of light to photograph in.

Under some thick tree cover.

This one was just after the sun had set behind the horizon.

I hope this helps you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

St. Francisville's beautiful Afton Villa Garden is great for....

Afton Villa Gardens is a beautiful spot on Hwy. 61, just north of downtown St. Francisville, Louisiana, that I believe may have one of the prettiest oak alleys in the area, and I think it's a perfect location for small sunset or afternoon weddings. Alicia and Royce's small southern wedding was just at the right time in early April for the wisteria blooms and tulips to really be showing off and make their pictures go from good to great.

After the small ceremony with less than about 15 people attending including myself, they had a larger reception with all of their friends at the Art Barn in Clinton, LA. I was really impressed with Alicia's barn reception decorations.

To see how she decorated the Art Barn, check out their featured album (new to our website) here. 

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