Spotlight Interview: Tara O Photos







Where are you from or where is your store located?
I am in Phoenix, Arizona and I run Tara O. Photos out of my home studio/office. I shoot on location all around the Phoenix area, as well as Southern California and of course, I go to Vegas every year to do photo shoots during Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. 


What does your store/brand specialize in?
I create custom portrait experiences for my clients, and specialize in pinup and retro styles. I do all types of photography, but am known for my pinup work and do pinup sessions about 95% of the time! I focus on not only creating awesome images for people, but also giving them an incredible experience that boosts their confidence and puts them in touch with their femininity! 





How did you get your brand started?
I have been taking photos since I was very young, I use to set up portrait sessions of my younger sister in our bedroom- complete with props and costumes and everything. In 2007, while in art school, I started trying to market and work as a photographer (complete with a MySpace page!). I worked for a few years at a camera repair center trying to juggle a long commute and a full time job with the growing work load my business was creating. In May of 2012, I took the leap from working full time for someone else, to working freelance full time. I hold part time jobs every once in a while, but my main focus and all my energy goes into my business.

How long have you been open and what is some of your favorite items?  
I have been taking photos since I was very young; I used to set up portrait sessions of my younger sister in our bedroom- complete with props and costumes. In 2007, while in art school, I started trying to market and work as a photographer (complete with a MySpace page!). I worked for a few years at a camera repair center trying to juggle a long commute and a full time job with the growing work load my business was creating. In May of 2012, I took the leap from working full time for someone else, to working freelance full time. I hold part time jobs every once in a while, but my main focus and all my energy goes into my business.

What inspires you?
My soon-to-husband. If it wasn't for him, I would have given up a long time ago, hands down. He's constantly picking me up when things get slow for a few weeks or I am working on an idea for a shoot and it falls through. He's beyond encouraging and extremely supportive. 

What celebrity would you most like to wear/use your items?

I have a pretty long list of models I want to get in front of my camera! My top of the list would be Dita Von Teese, though I might be too scared to even breathe through that one! I would love to shoot with Cherry Dollface (I did have her in my studio for hair styling this year and I am going to have her again next year!!!). A few others would be Mosh, Cara Mia, Masuimi Max Sabina Kelly, and Rockabilly Ruby! I have been extremely lucky to work with some crazy talented models including Ludella Hahn, Kandy K, Stevie Rosalie- and duh! Katty Delux! 

If you had to use only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Hard-working. I work my buns off dude.




What is your biggest pet peeve?

Sometimes I think people really believe you have to be cut throat if you are a photographer, model, hair stylist or makeup artist- but I don't agree. I hate when people act so "big" and "tough" and "cool." There's a lot of that in this scene and it just makes me giggle. Even if you are popular, even if you are famous on instagram, you are still just a person like me! I think there's room for everyone and that I shouldn't need to be sneaky or unfair. It's hard sometimes because it's my livelihood and how I make my living, but at the end of the day, it's just "pretty lady photos" and you really can't be too serious about that.

What are your favorite websites or companies you love to support?
Oh no! How do I answer this? I have been BEYOND fortunate to have the support of so many other business owners (especially ladies, and specifically in the rockabilly crowd). Some of the first to pop to mind are Heart of Haute, Kustom Voodoo, Modern Sparkles, Lila-Jo, Kandy K and Stevie Rosalie.

If you want to check out a series of videos I have where I interview other lady business owners on their experiences running a business- you can simply search "Business Babes" on YouTube or go here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj_n5G6_e5PAzN0CTXwnt-w/videos. A lot of these ladies are some of my favorite businesses to support.





What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Most people are surprised to learn that I have six dogs. They are all big breed- Rottweiler or Pitbull! They are my company when I am home working all day and I love them so much. My smallest guy is about 60 pounds and is named Vargas- after the amazing pinup artist, Alberto Vargas!
pinterest.com/ taraophotos
Tara O. Photos on YouTube
@taraophotos.com on Periscope

No comments:

Post a Comment