September 14, 2017

thursday thoughts //

i spoke last week how i wanted to go a little deeper then just surface captions and posts on social media. a chance to get to know me a little better and in turn I would get to know you as well. I have decided to bring some words to my blog, “thoughts from Tiarra” if you will, some posts will be about business, life, the wedding world. etc. i have been a photographer for 5 years, full time for two. i am not an expert by any means but i am involved in the community and very passionate about the creative industry as a whole. through many conversation with photographers, artists, creatives, clients & non-clients i do want to bring up some things from time to time. what i love more then anything is creating dialogue & causing people to think and then decide for themselves what makes sense. i also want to hear from you what topics you are curious about, so my first ever post will be answering a question from YOU.

here we go, thanks for being here // 

“I would love to hear what things inspire you, what you do when you struggle with creativity. And honestly I’ve always wondered what photographers do when they are in the middle of a shoot and they have no idea what to do creatively. Like what if you’re taking formals/wedding day and you have no inspiration? Do you have go to tips? I’ve honestly always wondered what you do in high pressure shoots.”


Light is my constant inspiration. i love it. harsh light, soft light. shadows…. i want it all.  when i am not sure what to do next i follow the light. how it falls on her face, their hands, the shadows they create as the light disappears. it gives me something to go after & my subjects follow. now because i live in the PNW, we also have days where no sunlight is to be seen….but i can still find inspiration. i decide the mood i am after, the story i am going to tell before i even get to my location. buildings can make for great backdrops for added color, find flowers, plants, or greenery, i love the lines found in a parking garage or a street corner too. if i am in nature, i use the setting, natural texture or just change my point of view. i always want to keep in mind my couple & who they are together but as an artist it is my job to tell their story & create a mood that becomes the foundation of our shoot.


No one is on 100% of the time. its totally ok to pause and give yourself a minute to re-focus and gather your ideas for the next shot. just keep talking to your clients. tell them what you are doing. this is good both while you are shooting and during a pause. this is me pretty much the entire shoot “oh my gosh, so good, i love it, you guys are killing it, gah” when i need a minute i will say “ok, give me a minute, that was so good. i’m going to decide where i want to take you next” walk to your next location or give them something to do. if its a couple, have them dance with each other. twirl her around, movement for me is a good in between. it gets them thinking about not posing and also gives you variety.  if its just one person i am shooting i will have them move. it can be anything. their hips back and forth, their hands, their clothing (this is also why i encourage my clients to wear something with movement or layers) close their eyes and take a deep breath and relax.  i don’t stop shooting and i don’t get caught up in not knowing what to do next and now i am ready for the next spot. keeping them moving & in return they are getting more and more comfortable too.


this can be as simple as holding hands, a finger in a pocket, a hand on an arm. keep them connected with each other & you will have more to work with. this for me is super important & what i am after during a shoot. for you it may be something else but take some time to figure out what you want your photos to say and keep that theme going.


when i first started shooting i shot everything and everyone. i truly had no idea what i was doing or even what i was after. i would rapid fire that shutter and hope for the best. a fellow photographer heard how i shot once and told me to slow it down and take a breath. i didn’t even realize i was doing it but it was what i needed to hear and something i say to myself during a shoot even now. so SLOW DOWN. on a tight timeline it is to easy to feel stressed, rushed & that you don’t have enough time to get what you want. i think it is totally ok to have your 3-5 go to poses that you do for everyone. Mine is often hand in hand, some space in between and looking off the opposite direction from each other. From this pose i can change my position…follow the light, get close or pull back, have them look at each other, then pull her close, face each other, etc. keep these in your back pocket & by the time you are done with these poses you’ll find what you want to do next.


this i will preach for as long as i can. shooting for you will hands down make you a better photographer. when there is no agenda, no expectations, you will try things you may not be willing to try otherwise. grab your friend, your dog, a model, anyone. get out there & just play. walk away & listen to yourself. what left you wanting more? what didn’t work, but maybe you could do different next time? create simply for the sake of creating. you will not regret it.

thank you for reading! come back often.

feel free to use that comment box below to start a conversion (click +) or send me some topics ideas.  i really do want to hear from you.

comments +

  1. Love it! You are a kick ass photographer and an inspiring writer! 😘

  2. I enjoyed this post so much!! I will be shooting my first ever wedding this December and your words put me more at ease about maybe not knowing exactly what to do at all times, but just trust my instincts and be relaxed enough to let my creativity flow throughout the shoot. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Emma says:

    Already expecting for the next post!

  4. Amy says:

    Love this. I think shooting for yourself is such an important thing that I really need to start doing. I’m always so afraid to go out and shoot – so I just got to get through that.

  5. Emily says:

    Thank you for posting this! It’s so good to get in another photographer’s head and know I am NOT alone! 🙂 I’ll keep reading!

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