Wednesday, April 11, 2018

4-10, New website, New Blog!

I'm moving on up in the world with a new website,, and a new blog,  The format for these will be headshots because I'm slightly headshot obsessed lately (as if you haven't noticed, right?).  Maybe, over time, I'll come back to this platform for other photographic purposes.  For now though, if you'd like to keep following my work, please head over to my new site.  There, at the footer, you can sign up to receive my new blog posts as they are created.  I appreciate your following over the years, and I hope you will make this transition with me.  Thank you!  ~Tara

Friday, March 9, 2018

2-19, Headshot Mania

I have been reluctant to write this blog.  Psychologically, I couldn't figure out why I wouldn't want to blog about one of the best events of my life.  This morning, it hit me:  if I blog about it, it's over- it's history.  I didn't want mania to end then, and I don't want the memories to fade now.  I came in late to the Mania craze.  I didn't decide to attend until 2 weeks before this first-ever Headshot Crew conference (officially called Headshot Mania, lovingly referred to as just 'Mania').  I was a jumble of mixed emotions as I made my way from Colorado to California-- excited, nervous, etc.  However, from the moment I entered the registration room at the Morongo Casino and Resort, I knew this was going to be an awesome experience.  That feeling never subsided and each day I was drawn deeper into the knowledge that I was where I was supposed to be with an amazing group of photographers I was supposed to be with.  Have you ever had one of those moments?  It's been like that for me since I joined the crew a year ago.  I felt like I had finally 'found my people'.  The common joke.... and truth.... is that we all felt like we were having a family reunion with people we had never met.  See, all though the Headshot Crew numbers in the thousands and spans the globe, our daily lives intertwine via the internet in all forms (chat rooms, webinars, etc).  We talk with each other everyday in some form or another.  The most amazing thing about this group is the support it renders for all of its members.  Peter Hurley formed this group so he could have a worldwide network of associate photographers who could provide consistent headshots no matter where the location.  Not only did he accomplish that, but he created a group of photographers who are 'creators and not competitors'.  We're all in the 'same' market (i.e., headshot photography) and oftentimes even in the same geographic location, yet one member will always be there for another whenever questions arise.  It's simply amazing.  Yes, I have truly found my home in the world of photography and my virtual family as well.  So, my reluctant post has been quite therapeutic as I can clearly see that even though Mania is over, our love for our craft, our profession, our crew and its members lives strong.  

"Find your tribe.  Love them hard."

Headshot Mania 2018
Morongo Casion and Resort, Cabazon, CA

Pete Templin (Seattle), Me (Denver), Charlie Abrahams (Boston), Mike Nakamura (Seattle)

Pete motivating in the photography room

Me and Kim Dalton (Cincinnati)

Me and Tommy Collier (Denver x 2!)

Thanks to Bryan Engel (Kansas City) for this awesome photo!

Peter and our wonderful HSC mentors

Peter enthralling the audience with his wisdom.

Peter in action 

Wrapping up Mania.  Emotions running high.

Peter Hurley (NYC) and Me at the closing party.

Monday, February 5, 2018

1-31, Rachel

I loved the diversity of this session.  The combination of Rachel's wardrobe changes and switching up the backgrounds yielded an array of different looks.  One of these is going in my portfolio.  Do you know which one?!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

1-5, Kids' Headshots

This little girl makes me smile.  Every.  Day.  She's hilarious, imaginative, witty and loving.  As I've previously posted, the latter part of 2017 didn't rank very high in my list of favorite years.  A concussion has kept me down since July, and a cold bug took me out for the entire month of December (sinus infection and all)!  Frankly, I'm quite glad that 2017 is over.  Now that 2018 has arrived, I'm feeling rejuvenated and optimistic.  My physical therapy seems to be helping quite a bit (time-consuming, but helpful).  Over the past few weeks, I have treated my studio to some new additions which have resulted in me reinventing how I work from home (which I'm so very excited about).  I'm so happy to say that I am finally feeling good for a change!  (This all ties in, just wait for it....)  

Anyway, because these past few months have been so challenging, I'm hyper aware of the good things in my life.  This little peanut definitely falls into this category.  She has helped me, motivated me and made me laugh throughout it all.  And, come on!  Look at her spunk!  I'm committed, more than ever, to document all these fabulous moments (for my own family, as well as you and yours).  Did you assume that headshots and kids don't go hand-in-hand (well, except maybe for child actors)?  Why not?  This is my child, and I LOVE that her adorable face (energy....enthusiasm....) is up close, full frame, and the center of focus.  Think about this concept for a session with your child.  How about a session like this photographing everyone in your family individually and then making a beautiful wall art collection from it?  (I can do that, too, by the way with some pretty awesome software that I have to show you in advance what the elements would look like as a collaboration.). So many fun ideas to work with! And seriously, it's January.  It's winter and it's cold.  My studio is the perfect place to comfortably work on this project-- the heat is on and the lights are ready to go!  Give me a call (720-773-2006) or send me a message (  Let's capture these moments!

Monday, November 27, 2017

11-27, Your Gift

I've decided to spice things up with my Finding Focus blog.  I find it ironic that I started this photography blog almost a decade ago (I think?!) because I was hoping to talk myself through what it was that I wanted to achieve with my photography business.  It's really been an ebb and flow process for me.  (If you didn't know already, I'm a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy.  I'll oftentimes use nautical references in my everyday conversations.  That's normal....right?!)  Fast forward through a decade of life and changes, and I again find myself searching for some focus.  

I tried to keep it quiet, for awhile, that I had a blow to the head this summer that gave me a concussion.  All of the 'normal' concussion symptoms were present, by my continual problem with my eyesight has remained.  (You can imagine why I wanted to keep that on the down-low since eyesight is a critical component of photography, right?) It's been almost 5 months now since that jar to my head, and I'm still having problems.  

I'm pretty much a Type A personality.  Wikipedia will tell you that "personalities that are more competitive, highly organized, ambitious, impatient, highly aware of time management and/or aggressive are labeled Type A."  You can imagine my level of frustration that this amount of time has elapsed and I'm not back to where I was before the accident.  Through it all, I have tried to remain positive.  My favorite phrase from one of my friends is that this is simply a detour.  Yes, that it definitely is.  Thankfully my eyesight, from that very day, has not been so greatly affected in pictures but in words.  I have been able to maintain my photography (albeit at a reduced rate so as not to overdo it and adversely affect my recovery) but I have had to give up--hopefully just for now-- my reading obsession.  (Seriously, I used to read a book a week, and I loved every minute of it.) I have tried to find joy in audiobooks (tried being the true word of that sentence).  

So, this gives you the background story for my point of this post.  I heard something on my audiobook today that made me stop and ponder.  I'll give it to you straight that I don't follow the 'who did what' with celebrities, so I really have no clue what this author may or may not have done and how scandalous it may have been. (He made reference in the dialogue, but whatever, that's not the 'moral of the story' here.)  Anyway, here is the quote:

"Your gift is the thing that you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort."
("Jump" by Steve Harvey)

Wow, right? Does this hit home for you?  Are you living your gift or fighting it?  I found this to be an interesting spin on the concept that if you love what you do you'll never have to 'work' a day in your life.  Sit back and think about it.  I know that's exactly what I have been doing since July 3 (can't read, might as well ponder life, right?!), so that's why this really hit a nerve with me.  Am I on my chosen path utilizing my gift(s) or trying to swim upstream?  Are you?  Hmmm...... interesting.

Drop me some comments and let me know.  I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, November 10, 2017

11-2, Dramatic Doctor

I was pretty excited to get my first client from LinkedIn.  He's a doctor looking to update his headshot to ensure he's conveying the right image for his profession.  I had never met him before, and our correspondence had been limited to email and a few brief phone calls.  I wasn't sure what type of personality he had or how 'serious' our session might be.  It was a welcomed surprise when I greeted him at the studio door-- he was smiling, engaged and motivated for the session.  He had taken my session tips seriously and brought an array of shirts, jackets and ties for image diversity. As the session commenced and progressed, I found we had a great banter.  Through our exchanges I was able to capture a variety of expressions.  It was great fun, and now I have fantastic examples of the progression of expressions throughout a session.  I wish Mr. Doctor all the best in all endeavors!

Follow me through the session and see how we worked together to get the winning image.

"Don't look so miserable!"

Wide eyes and a blank expression, we can do better than this.

Mouth Tension

"Chin out.  Excellent!"
Now let's work on getting the chin out AND down....

It's fun to play 'games' to evoke silly expressions from clients.
It's all part of my process!

You know you're client is having fun when you capture a moment like this.

And it all leads to this.  Now that's what I'm talking about!

Monday, October 16, 2017

10-6, Susan

It's always interesting committing to take someone's headshot to represent their image and their brand when you have never met them before.  This client found me through my local networking group.  We immediately found we had something in common with our German last names and German husbands.  As you can see, she's a very pretty lady and her beauty shines through in her captivating smile.  It was fun talking about Germany and daydreaming about the yummy food that can be found there.  Thank you, Susan, for being such a great client!  Good luck on your new career in real estate!