We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Peckham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tara, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Conventional wisdom says that if you have a nice camera, you will take better pictures. I completely disagree with this. Taking great pictures has more to do with your understanding of the equipment you own, than with the quality of your equipment. Good cameras are available on pretty much every phone these days, and I’ve seen amazing pictures taken with them. A nice camera is wonderful, but if you don’t know how, when, or why to use the different settings, then it’s basically an expensive paperweight. Photography is not about equipment, it’s a study of light, and a few basic principles creatively applied.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I based my business on family photography because I know that even for the best of families, family life is hard. Sometimes you need an outside pair of eyes to show and remind you of the love your family is based on. My goal has always been to make emotionally impactful pictures, which means families connecting with each other, not necessarily facing forward and smiling for the camera. What sets me apart from other photographers is transparency with pricing, printing and digital access, and my process working with clients during a shoot. I specialize in making the shoot enjoyable, informative, collaborative, and turning those reluctant spouses into believers. The biggest struggle for me is probably one that most artists can relate to. This is a profession that comes with no interview, no resume, no yearly performance review-so the only person who can tell you that you are a professional is yourself. And with creative pursuits there is always more to learn, failure with trying, and a nagging sense of dissatisfaction with your work that keeps you invested in the creative process. But for me, those things made me reluctant to publicly declare myself “a photographer”, which means no one was going to take me seriously, and I lost quite a few years of business development to my own self-doubt. Ultimately, I had to practice introducing myself that way. I took advantage of every opportunity to say it out loud, and gave myself permission to acknowledge the hard work that I had put into developing this talent. That was really when I began to grow professionally and personally. I found that people were very willing to believe in me once I believed in myself.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.
I have young children at home, so our favorite places to go are: The Ft. Worth Stockyard, the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden, The Perot Science Museum, Klyde Warren Park, The Dallas Art Museum, Farmers Branch Historic Park, the walking trails in Carrollton, Downtown Carrollton, the Mary Heads Carter Park, Ft. Worth Zoo. Babe’s Chicken, Gorji restaurant, Cattle-ack, Coconut Thai Grill, Cane Rosso
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Carrollton Early Childhood PTA has been wonderful in helping me develop my business. I have donated to their silent auction for years, and have built up a client base from those photo shoots. I have covered a lot of their events, which gave me confidence and developed my skills in a different genre of photography. And I have made many amazing friends who have let me experiment and practice on them.
Sarah Mae Photography