Tara Lundrigan from British Columbia has been a photographer since age seven. Specialising in portrait photography and graphic design, most of her images reflect very dark thematic elements. Diving head first into the photography spectrum, Tara is now known for her dedication and skill as a photographer. Below we caught up with Tara for a chat about her career as a photographer and found out a little more about her construction of her images.
Tell us a bit about how you became involved with photography…
I think the first time I really fell in love with photography was around age seven when I purchased my first Polaroid. I don’t think I come from a creative background, but I have been an artistic being for as long as I can remember. Eventually I wound up with a job that involved photographing in night clubs and that really allowed me to explore light. I truly grew as a professional artist then.
Have you ever tried working in a different art form?
I do a lot of photo-manipulation, and I dabble in Graphic Design as well. I wish I could actually draw with a pen and paper; but no matter how hard I try it just never works out for me.
You have a very profound understanding for colour and composition, were you self taught or did you study in a photography course?
Thank you! I am self taught, although I wouldn’t mind taking a workshop or two from some of the photographers I look up too.
What is the most important element about a photograph?
I don’t think there is just a single most important element. I think they all work together and compliment each other. From lighting, composition, and processing, to the colours in the props, backdrop, outfit, model, hair and makeup. Everything is equally important.
What type of camera do you use?
Currently I am shooting with the Canon 5D Mark 2, but I would love to get my hands on the 3.
What are five things you wish you were told before starting photography?
I think I had a lot of fair warning before getting into photography. I still dove in head first anyway. Something people should always understand though is that it is not as simple as clicking a button. You are going to have to live, eat, crap ideas and art so you can actually grow. You need to try everything, good and bad because that’s the only way you are going to learn what to do and what not to do. You are going to have to put yourself out there in more ways than you can imagine. You’ll have to work harder then any other job that you could get because you are going to be living without or little pay, and starving for a long time.
What is it like working with models you haven’t worked with before?
I always get so nervous before a shoot, then I meet everyone and everything is perfect. I am always blown away when working with professional models, the way they move and know what to do…It’s refreshing. I do shoot my girlfriends a lot, and as fun as it is to be with friends they just don’t take things as seriously.
What some hurdles you have had to overcome in order to be where you are today?
The biggest hurdle for me is that a lot of my friends/fans/friends of fans don’t like my art that leans more to the darker side. I have gotten a lot of hate for it in the past and I beat myself up for no reason. I tried to stop making darker art, I tried and create things that I thought people wanted to see and then I ended up feeling miserable. Now I do whatever I want. If I am feeling like creating something scary, with or without blood I am going to do it…the same goes for if I want to create something light, or shoot an adorable engagement or simple portrait. I will do it. It’s all about creating what’s in your mind and heart at the time.
Do you think it’s crucial to establish a working relationship with the people you photograph?
I think that depends on whether or not you want to keep shooting them! A lot of the times you might only ever shoot someone once, and in that case I don’t think a “working relationship” is necessary. If you are planning on doing a bunch of projects with them, then of course you will want to have a good relationship.
What is one of your favourite photographs that you have taken?
One of my more recent shots, I call it “Dungeon Dweller” – It represents a tortured soul. A trapped soul. A soul that was unable to break free of all the hate and apathy that surrounded it.
Where do you hope to go in the future with your photography?
I would love to see some of my Fine Art in a gallery. That would be a dream for me. Honestly, to just be constantly creative new art, fresh pieces. Getting my reach far enough that people start hiring me to come to different parts of the world to shoot would be a dream
If you had one chance to speak to every single person in the world at the same time through a P.A system, what would you say?
Time for us to unite as a people, and help fix what we have allowed to happen on our beautiful planet..No more delusions that this is the only way we could have ever lived, our world could be better, less hate filled and less destructive. It’s up to you and me to do something.
If you were given the option to have coffee and chat with a notable person such as a famous photographer, writer or actor (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Albert Einstein. Hands down. I have always loved him. His ideas and thoughts were so beautiful. He was such a scientific man, yet he believed in imagination. He believed in the soul. He knew, as smart as he was, that no man on earth could ever know everything, that there is to know.
Finally, if you could summarize your entire collection of work and what you do in under a sentence, what would it say?
That’s a hard one! A picture is worth a thousand words – but I strive to make you speechless, frozen with emotion.