Meet Tara Swain :: {Women In Business Series}

Welcome to 2012 everyone! Here to jump-start our line up of Women In Business interviews is Tara Swain! Have a looksey, don’t forget to leave  some love in the comments if you enjoy this series!!


Hi Tara! Thanks for taking a little time to  share with everyone a bit about yourself and how you run your successful photography business! First let’s get to know you a bit, tell us a little about YOU!
Thank you! I’m honored to have been asked! 🙂 Well I’m a wife of 6 years and we have a beautiful little girl who just turned 2.

Where are you located, and how did you first get into photography?
I’m based out of Paris, Texas, where I’ve lived since 2001. It’s a small northeast Texas town about 100 miles east of Dallas. Photography has been a hobby of mine since I was about 8 or 9 years old. After I graduated high school I really jumped back into it. Family friends started asking me to take family photos of photos of their children. This quickly led to friends of friends (who I didn’t know) contacting me and I ended up falling into a part time business. I immediately got my tax id and set up a  small website for my “part time business”. But God apparently had other plans because the “part time” didn’t last anytime, I began running a busy full time business on  part time hours. I was forced to make a choice, so I ended up having to leave my full time job later that year to have enough time for my photography business.

How long have you been in business?
Officially since January 2008

What areas/subjects would you say you specialize in?
As far as portrait sessions go, I’d say child sessions. I love doing the themed concept sessions with the older kiddos but I have to admit that the 5-8 month chubby babies are my absolute favorites! 🙂

Are you an on location photographer for newborns or do you have a studio space?
I am primarily on location~ I LOVE natural light. But I do have a studio space that I use for newborns and children.

How do you separate and distinguish yourself from all of the other photographers out there?
I believe the way I run my business, which is very personal, and the creativity I put into my sessions.

When shooting weddings, what is your favorite moment? What really gets to you, makes you laugh or perhaps makes you choke up?

I LOVE the first look. The mix of nervousness and excitement is overwhelming. There have been a lot of times where I have to fight back the tears.

What is your camera of choice? Favorite lenses?
I shoot with both the Canon 5D & the Canon 5D mk II , but I love the flexibility the mk II gives me with the high ISO. Favorite lenses would be my 50 1.2, 35 1.4 and 85 1.2

Okay a little business talk now ;)…. How do you find/target clients who are look at your art & value your work and not just consider the bottom line price?
Truthfully, I don’t do a lot of advertising. The only advertising I do is occasionally with our local paper if they have a special edition in the newspaper or local run magazine. But 99.9% of my business comes from word of mouth.

And finally, what three pieces of wisdom would you leave anyone either starting out in business, or trying to better themselves as business people?

1. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, find your style and concentrate on doing what YOU love.

2. Equipment isn’t everything. The photographer and the talent is what makes the image, not just the equipment.

3. Word of mouth will always be the very best form of getting your name out there.

Thanks for sharing with us this week Tara! Check out Tara’s Facebook page too!

PS!! Tara has ONE spot  that just became available for her much desired workshop taking place in Feb! If you are interested contact her ASAP for the details!!

  • Christina Coffey - Loved this post!! Keep em’ coming! <3

  • Carla - I love these women in business posts…especially when they’re talented photographers, like Tara. What gorgeous and unique photos!! I love how natural they feel and the vintage coloring, and the concepts are to die for! I love the one with the baby and the baking supplies 🙂 I would love to know how much her workshops are so I can be saving up!

  • Debi - I loved this post sooo much, I have been a follower of Tara for a little over a year now… she is such a great encouragement to aspiring photograpers, God Bless you and your wonderful gift you capture of memories for others 🙂

  • Tara Swain - Thank you so much for the feature and thank you ladies so much for your sweet comments!!! 🙂 Hope everyone has a blessed week!!!!!

  • Kate - Thanks for the business tips 🙂 fun interview.

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