This Thursday, Toronto-based photographer Tara Noelle Will be using our minto775 sales centre to host a client appreciation evening. Her work has been featured in the Globe & Mail, flare.com and fashionmagazine.com. She is also a frequent contributor to Toronto’s social based blogs cdaily.ca & notable.ca. We spoke to her recently about her work and the idea behind the event.
Tell us about your photography and how you got into it.
I’ve been shooting on my own for just over a year. I went to OCAD and have a background in the fine arts. Initially I was focused on painting. I took some time off from the arts to do corporate work and then came back to photography once digital was really big. I was doing event management and HR, which is where I got my education in business. Because I’m not with a studio, it was really important for me to have an understanding of the business world. When it’s just me, it’s essentially like running my own business as well as being a photographer so I needed those skills.
What is the idea behind Thursday’s event.
I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of working on my photography full time. I was always doing it part-time while working in the corporate world, but it’s not the same. I quit my job in October of last year and went to Italy for a month. When I came back, I was officially on my own working as a full-time photographer.
As an artist you always wonder if you’ll ever feel like you’ve made it. I feel so grateful to everyone who supported me and to my clients. I’m at the point where I have repeat clients. I really think it’s important to say thank you. That’s one of the things that stood out to me when I was working in HR and events. So this is just a way for me to say thank you to everyone who helped me get here.
We have to ask. How did you choose the minto775 sales centre for your event?
I chose the space because I wanted something clean and simple in the King West area where I live and work. I also wanted it to be at ground level so it would be easy for people to casually drop in. My friend Raynor Powell is a sales representative at Minto WaterGarden and he suggested the minto775 sales centre. The space has great character and and it’s sleek and modern so I thought it would compliment my work. It turned out to be the perfect fit. And it’s easy to get to from all over the city.
When people ask me about my neighbourhood I always tell them that it’s ten minutes from everything: ten minutes from downtown, ten minutes from Bloor and ten minutes from Liberty Village. I can also be at the lake in ten minutes and I’m ten minutes from the shops and galleries on Queen West. I spend a lot of time on Queen St. and shoot in a lot of the little cafés.
What can people expect when they book a session with you?
I meet with the clients to see what inspires them and what they want to get out of the shoot. We discuss the location to find something that will work well in the photos and reflect what’s important to them. Then I’ll put together an inspiration board with clothing options. A lot of photographers either hire a dedicated stylist or they just don’t do it. But I really think it’s worth it.
What attracts you to shooting people?
I really like the personal connection you get with shooting people. While there is all kinds of technical stuff going on, it’s really just me and the subject. The process can sometimes leave people emotionally bare. All of their insecurities and concerns come out and then we work through that and get them comfortable enough to do the shoot.
Sometimes I don’t get to meet them beforehand so we have ten minutes at the beginning of the shot to get to know each other. You just have to work with whatever comes out. That can be especially true with kids. I love having that emotional connection, the styling and the way people’s personalities come through. That’s why I shoot people and not landscapes.
What are your favorite sources of inspiration?
I subscribe to tons of blogs that I look at every day. I’m also a huge Pinterest fan. I discover new people and new art all the time. What inspires me is always changing, but here’s what I’m into now.
BLOGS & MAGAZINES
The City Sage
The New York Times Magazine
The tunes on Burberry’s online store
What would be your dream photo shoot?
Anything involving Annie Leibovitz. I would love to be on set with her in any capacity. It wouldn’t even matter who or what the subject was.
How do you feel about Instagram?
I love it and I’m on it every day. But it can be frustrating when I’m shooting a wedding and somebody’s already got fifty pictured up from their iPhone. We have a lot of technology to make things look pretty. And some of these images can go viral very quickly even though the person isn’t even a photographer. But it’s completely different when something is properly shot. I don’t feel threatened by it because I believe people respect the details that make a really great photo and respect people who do it as a profession.
Thanks to Tara Noelle for taking the time for this interview. While it’s not a formal gallery showing, you’re welcome to drop in this Thursday, November 22 at the minto775 King West sales centre to meet Tara and see some of her beautiful work. You can check out her portfolio at taranoelle.ca.