In a bid to capture the perfect wedding day, Tara Pearce spends her weekends chasing brides around the beach, the paddocks or inner city venues, with business partner and photographer in crime Erin Neale - aka Erin to the Tara of Erin + Tara wedding photography fame.
During the week, however, Tara goes it alone and gets busy shooting homes and creative spaces in and around Melbourne and home town Kyneton, successfully capturing the essence of the spaces and people she shoots with a sense of wonder and candour that has the viewer both intrigued and wanting for more.
A relatively newcomer to the photography world, we thought we'd ask Tara to share with us how she came to pursue her craft and to shed light on any advice she may have for those looking to spread their creative wings and break into the industry.
Tell us about your background – what did you study and how did you first get in to Photography?
I studied business at uni and I was destined to work in our family home wares importing business. After a year of trade shows, merchandising, buying trips in China, bagging oasis and cutting wheat from a paddock at 11pm for a large national apparels store's window display (...nightmare), I decided I needed a more structured career and worked in the Government sector for 7 years. It suited me and had amazing benefits for a working mother but something was pulling me in a creative direction. I knew I wasn't destined to sit at a desk for the rest of my work life. It was two years ago when I took time off work to opened a vintage + industrial furniture store in Kyneton (my home town) and during this time I gave styling a bash. But I found it wasn't filling a creative void so my husband bought me my first real (DSLR) camera and with the help of google I learned how to use it.
What advice would you give to creatives trying to get into the industry? And what was the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
Find who you want to work for/with and contact them. It's that easy! The worst thing that could happen is you get no response (editors are very busy people), but hey I bet they read your email and now know you exist. A year ago I directly emailed a national magazine editor and 6 months later I was thrilled to receive a response which was filled with constructive feedback (which I took on board). We regularly exchange emails and I have since had my work featured in the magazine. The best piece of advice I was given was to find my style and stick to it.
Did you have a mentor who helped you develop as a photographer and taught you the tricks of the trade?
I've never had a me photography mentor, but I did assist the extremely talented photographer Wilk last year and walked away inspired all over again. I thank all the creative folks I have been fortunate enough to work with who have taught me tricks of the trade.
How has your style changed as you’ve grown as a photographer?
My style has naturally developed as I have gained more knowledge and experience. I would say it has definitely changed and has become more refined as I have gained more confidence. I'm always working on developing skills and I feel like I will never stop learning.
Who and what inspires you?
Creative people. My clients. Mother nature. My two children. Travel.
What are you working on at the moment?
Today I worked alongside talented stylist Sami Johnson shooting La De Dah Kids Summer 13 campaign. I have so much fun working with kids, they are a bundle of fun and full of surprises. I absolutely love watching my clients products develop as the seasons past, they are truly an inspiration.
Can you share with readers how you became involved with Est Magazine?
Est Magazine is a beautiful online magazine filled with creative and inspiring interiors in Australia and across the globe. After reading Issue #1 I was hooked and within minutes I was emailing co-editor Sain telling her I want to shoot for her magazine. It was meant to be.
What does a day in the life of Tara Pearce look like?
Strong coffee, school drop off, emails, location scouting, shooting beautiful homes, dreaming up visual concepts for clients, editing, school pick up, more editing + coffee, turn computer OFF, washing uniforms. (I'm very lucky my husband is the wonderful cook in this household!)
What has been the best moment in your career?
Recently learning a wedding I photographed with pal Erin (who by the way is a super amazing photographer), was featured in Vogue Italia.
And the worst?
Watching stylist Stephanie Stamatis fall down a flight of stairs on location with my camera in her hands. Steph walked away unharmed and so did the camera!
What would be your dream project to work on?
My dream project would be shooting traditional homes + people in Mexico and a wedding in the Arizona desert with an unlimited budget.
If you could do your creative career again, what would you do differently?
They say that timing is everything however I would of started my creative career much earlier. I knew it was there waiting for me, I just wish I had have tapped into it a lot sooner than I did.