Feature Friday: Tara Long

Tara Long Photography (4)

Today’s Featured Iris Works user is Tara Long Photography! Here’s her story:

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi – I am Tara Long and I am located in Springfield, Illinois- the home of Abraham Lincoln 🙂  I met a cute neighbor boy at the age of 14, and we dated for 9 years and then got married and just celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary.   We have two boys: Lennon and Harrison (Yes, we are Beatle’s Fans) and a daughter, Norah (Yes, we are Norah Jones’ fans 🙂 And our new Goldendoodle Bingham (Yes, we love the singer Ryan Bingham).

How did you first get started in photography?

I was previously an elementary school teacher turned stay at home mom.  While staying home with my children, I was really looking for an outlet to fulfill my creative side.  The minute I picked up my camera, I knew photography was exactly what I had been looking for!  That was 5 years ago, and I still pinch myself that I get to do this for a profession!  I love the fact that I get to make people happy EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!  There aren’t many professions where you get to say that.

What do you specialize in? What made you want to focus on that specialty/specialties?

I lost my mother about 13 years ago, and she was always the one behind the camera and I don’t have a lot of pictures of her, and so I really find it important to share that story with my clients, especially moms that are hesitant to get in front of the camera.  When I look at pictures of my mom, I only see beauty.  I think she is GORGEOUS in every picture, and I just feel love.   There is so much pressure with social media etc. to look a certain way, and I just really try and tell Moms that your children only see beauty and the love of their Mother when they see pictures of them, so Moms need be present in their family photos!  Life is too short to not be!  I had a video created for my website that was one of the BEST INVESTMENTS besides IRIS WORKS that I made last year.  It really dives into : MY WHY and MY STORY for what I do, and clients have really responded to the video and book me because of it:  https://www.taralongphotography.com/when-where/#tara-long-photographys-story-1

After dabbling in all types of photography, I have really found my niche in newborn, child, and family photography. I think it is the elementary school teacher in me that really knows how to make a child feel comfortable during a session and have fun! And, I think being a Mom in the thick of motherhood has really helped me connect to parents as well!  We chat before a session about running kids to and from practices, school life, and trying to do it all as parents.  I have found just connecting with parents on that level really makes them feel so comfortable for sessions!   Personally, I really strive in each sessions to get a family to feel comfortable with me and open up, and it’s then that I am able to capture those raw and real in between moments that happen within a family that shows REAL feelings and REAL expressions, and the REAL them.

Fun Facts About myself:

1)  I was names after the movie Gone With The Wind.  My maiden name was O’Hara so I was Tara O’Hara.
2)  I don’t drink coffee, I know crazy right!
3)  I have three sisters and we talk or see each other EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! (Our poor husbands 😉
4)  I just tried Guacamole for the first time and I AM IN LOVE!


Be sure to check out more of Tara’s work!

Website:  www.taralongphotography.com
Facebook:  Tara Long Photography
Instagram:  @taralongphotography




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