We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara Paskey-Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tamara, how do you define success?
My answer for this has changed dramatically over the past year. Previously, I defined success as running a high grossing business with many employees and multiple locations. I was so focused on the traditional definition of success as we see in the corporate business world, thinking that this is what I was “supposed” to do. This mindset over the course of 14 years put me into a state of burnout that I never thought I could hit. I was living the life I thought was expected of me. As a last ditch effort to save my sanity I signed up for a few courses in 2023 with photographers who had been on the same path as me, but came out on the other side much healthier. I’ve done a lot of learning about myself (not an easy task) and have put the time in to figure out what actually makes me feel fulfilled. As a creative business owner, I realized it’s unreasonable to hold yourself to a non-creative corporate standard. I slowly began shifting my mindset and business towards a healthier way of doing everything, and miraculously, I was excited to create again!
Now, my definition of success is having the freedom to create for MYSELF. This is so important because I spent most of my career in survival mode creating for other people. 2024 is a whole new story. I get to travel, photograph art that makes me feel something, and run my business in a way that makes sense for the lifestyle I want.

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Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since recovering from burnout, my title has changed from “Boudoir Photography Studio Owner” to “Fine Art Nude Photographer, Educator, and Speaker”. I wear my 3 new titles very proudly because they are what fulfill me as an individual.

My business story is incredibly long, so I’ll keep it to a minimum. Since 2010, I’ve owned a niche, brick & mortar boudoir photography studio, previously Paskey Boudoir, now called The Vixen Society. Running my studio by myself as the owner, photographer, and employer has been quite the journey. I moved my studio from Kentucky to Kansas City in 2012, and then to Dallas in 2015, and did so successfully each time! I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and I think this is what sets me apart as an artist. I made it through Covid quite well, and through major changes in the industry. While I’ve had more failures and difficulties than I’d like to admit, I have amassed an incredible wealth of information that I’m working on organizing. I’m moving into photography education as we speak and I am so excited. It is such a natural progression for me, because I have so much to share, and I’ve already helped several photographers elevate their businesses.

Apart from owning the studio and being an educator, one of my main titles is Fine Art Nude Photographer. I have photographed fine art nudes in nature in incredible locations since 2019, but I really started making it a priority in 2023. Since then I’ve had 3 exhibitions for my work, sold prints to private collectors, and am working on finding the right fit for a gallery! (I’m always open to new connections, by the way!)
My most recent conceptual project is called “You Don’t Own Me”. This is one of the few I’ve photographed in-studio in Dallas, but it is by far the most impactful. The project tells a powerful story of healing after sexual assault. I worked with 5 of my favorite models to bring this storyline to life, beginning with the feeling of being “less than” and not being at home in your own body, then progressing, with the help of other women, into a feeling of healing and rediscovering your confidence. The last image in this project is called “Indomitable”, because if you are able to surround yourself with other strong women, and do the work to heal, you can claim your power back and become untouchable. This story is a very personal one for me, but also a story that so many of my past clients and models have shared with me as well. You can see the full project on my website at www.tamarapaskeyalexander.com

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Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course my favorite spots in the city are art related! I would first show off my studio, haha (shameless plug…). But then I would take my friends to Meow Wolf, the art museums downtown, and around to any other exhibitions that might be going on at that time! Dallas’s art and music scene has really grown over the 9 years I’ve lived here and I’m blown away.

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Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yes! I love giving shoutouts to the female photographers who pushed me through my burnout and got me to the place I’m at now!
In 2023 I went to a “photography” workshop in a castle in Italy (yes, really). I put photography in quotes because I almost didn’t take my camera. The 3 educators were Sue Bryce, Kara Marie Trombetta, and Teri Hofford, all of whom had long, successful careers, but have either stopped or slowed way down on taking paying photo clients. I wanted to hear their stories and how they moved into a different phase of their careers. To say I cried at this workshop would be putting it lightly. I completely broke, but it was so needed. I made some hard realizations that made me go home and put some MAJOR changes in motion. The head boudoir photographer, Emma Jaye, at my boudoir studio in Dallas held down the fort while I did all of this introspective work, and she ended up taking on all of our clients, besides a select few, so I could work on being an artist and running the business. She has been such an incredible support system. I love watching her grow as an artist too!
And then I can’t forget my best friend Julie Socher, who is also a career boudoir photographer. She has been my sounding board, advice giver, and cheerleader.
I could go on and on about all of the incredible women in my life (there are a lot) but we would be here for a long time.

Website: www.tamarapaskeyalexander.com www.thevixensociety.com

Instagram: instagram.com/tamarapaskeyalexander instagram.com/thevixensociety

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Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.