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{low down, throw down with tara leigh}

i've been waiting all week for this!! :)
i'm so excited to share her with you....although, i'm sure most of you already know her and love her! maybe you'll love her a little more now! :)

i would like to introduce you to tara leigh.....she is quite amazing! her style is off the charts and her photography is beyond inspiring.

Name: Tara Leigh (last name Cook, but we don't need to know that) :)
Business name: Tara Leigh Photography
Location: New York, NY
Website/blog: www.taraleigh.com, www.taraleighweddings.com, www.taraleigh.com/blog

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:
full of life, joy, and delight.

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?: i make a mean meatloaf... am intensely loyal to my friends (being an only child, my friends are my family)... i'm a giant sappy mushball and will probably cry at every wedding that i shoot.

How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started: about four years, this is my first year of full time business.

I'm in a very rural part of the country and always fall in love with your "big city" images...tell me what you love most about living and shooting where you do: the city never fails to offer up a ton of edgy and urban backdrops. there's an energy here that you can feel every time you leave your front door and step out into it. electricity perhaps. it takes you over. however, i am OBSESSED with tall grass and reeds and other forms of nature not readily available here. whenever i see it, i scream 'THERE, TALL GRASS, STOP!!' and instantly make whoever i'm with go stand in it :)

What did you want to be or think you would be when you grew up?: for a very large portion of my life, i wanted to be a spy. i got accepted to the naval academy in highschool and would've gone into military intelligence, maybe work for the CIA. then a gymnastics injury kissed that dream goodbye. strange how life takes you down different paths. ha. also, a writer. i was an english major in college and originally moved to new york to pursue book publishing, network, and learn that industry. one giant layoff later, i'm now doing something that i'm truly passionate about full time... making people smile.

If you were given $500 today, what would be the first thing you would do?: buy a plane ticket to europe... i'm obsessed with travel. there's also that hugo boss black leather motorcycle jacket that was on sale a few weeks ago and i tortured myself over (but didn't buy).

Where do you go to find inspiration?: my clients. my friends. my colleagues and fellow photographers... fashion magazines. my closet.

What type of sessions are your favorite (children, e-sessions, weddings, newborns....) and why?: that's hard, since there are pieces that i like about all kinds of shooting. i would normally say engagement sessions... because it's amazing to get to see two people at the beginning of their life journey together. but liz already stole my answer... so i'll say "lifestyle/portrait work". my very favorite kind of session is one where i get to spend a few hours playing dress up, helping someone get past that "i don't photograph well, i'm not beautiful" mindset... and then showing them how very beautiful they actually are. you can change someone's life but simply taking a photograph of them. that's really powerful.

What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?:
i shoot with canon 5ds, and was thinking of switching one of my setups to nikon, just for the variety. both brands have pros and cons. ONE lens. you're funny. i was addicted to the 50mm f/1.4 until i got the 24-70mm f/2.8 L. now it's rare that i ever take it off my main camera.

What moment in your life makes you smile every single time you think about it?: my eighth birthday.. my mother made me a life-size barbie cake. it was epic, and quite delicious. OR... it was the first day after i made any big decision about my life and just went for it. moving to new york was a big one, since this place has greatly shaped the kind of adult that i've become. and i met my boyfriend here... and he's rather fantastic too.

What is at the top of your wish list right now?: more L glass... i PINE for it.
Tell us the best advice that you have ever received (photography related or life in general): stop comparing yourself to other photographers. it is one thing to draw inspiration from and learn from them, but completely destructive and counter-productive to compare yourself. we are all artists and have something different to say and offer.

And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word? awesome
What is your least favorite word? no or can't
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? laughter, openmindedness, fall colors, big collared jackets and winter hats.
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? grumpiness and closemindedness...
What sound or noise do you love? laughter... especially of the guffaw or giggle variety
What sound or noise do you hate? overhearing someone else yelling at their children... can't handle it.
What is your favorite curse word? how young are your readers?? because my answer is c*********!! :) d******** takes second place {haha, yes--we censored her. sorry, tara...i think we are asking for trouble with this question. we will need to switch it up :) }
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? twelfth grade english teacher
What profession would you not like to do? plumber
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? it's only just begun...

now, leave some blog love for tara and make sure you visit her website and become a follower of her blog....

a big thank you to tara leigh!!!


  1. thank you so much, ladies!! i'm honored to be included.

  2. I'm so pleased to see you featuring Tara. I've admired her for such a long time. She is wonderful.

  3. Wow, so very interesting! Thank you for sharing Tara, and thanks Shannon for the great interview! I love this, keep it up girls!!

  4. uh-freakin-mazing! i love me some tara leigh!

  5. weeeee!!!! thanks!

  6. much love for this talented ladychick.

  7. Tara, you're so, so talented -- I'm so glad the rest of the world is getting to know that too!

  8. You are so fantastic! Thank you for sharing! ;)

  9. yippie!!!! tara rocks. seriously. :)

  10. Someone give her those 500 Dollars quick! The more often she is in Europe and therefore within arms reach of me, the better. I love her.

  11. I puffy heart Tara!

  12. Her pictures are SO beautiful! What a wonderful post. Thank you for the introduction!

  13. Tara - So happy for all the good stuff going on for you - keep doing your thing. Loved the interview. :))

  14. Oh man....Tara, you know I love you. How am I only JUST finding this???


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