Becoming Tara Williams Photography + Branding Session with Lauren Marks

I can’t lie- I totally screamed out loud when I read I had won the giveaway for a photo session with Lauren!! This girl ya’ll is a magician with a camera and I have been following her feed for inspiration for months! She was starting a new branch of her business where clients can book a full “photography experience” with her that included wardrobe, styling and hair and make-up and wanted to give one away to celebrate! YIPEE!! I could not believe first that I won, second the timing of this shoot could NOT have been more perfect! I was just starting the process of building my website with the wonderful Katie with @thekatecollectivedesign and I was in desperate need of some beautiful branding photos for it. Lauren was so sweet in the planning process and took care of every last detail. I just got to show up, get glammed to the max and meet her at this beautiful lake location. Unfortunately it had recently rained a TON and the lake was flooded, so we were unable to get to the water- but yall… im telling you… this magician made magic happen! Bet you would never guess in most of these I am standing right next to a dumpster! But she knew the light there was amazing, and I totally trusted her! (Trust your photographer people lol!) We had the best time that evening- and even thought my feet were BEYOND swollen by the end of this session- I could have stayed there in that park with her for hours! (Swollen feet because I had ran the Spartan Super Race with my husband just the day before and omg yall- I was HURTING! Lol!)

Which leads me to my next topic… ME! Tara Williams. I am a total girl- I love to dress up and smell nice and go dancing and sip drinks by the pool, but I am also a total boy mom! I love to help my boys catch bugs, have sword fights, ride 4 wheelers, and have a cold beer while throwing cornhole bags with my husband by a bonfire in our backyard. Some weekends I feel like I am two different people- a chameleon. One day I am running through 8 miles of trail, barrel rolling through the mud and climbing obstacles in the Spartan Race and the next day I am enjoying a much needed pedicure, getting my hair and makeup done and wearing all the beautiful gowns for a fabulous photoshoot in the wildflowers! (#actualweekend). But this is me- I love many different things and my family and I sure have a lot of fun together! 

So how did I become Tara Williams Photography. Well- I am a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mama. I loved teaching, but it was just too painful for me to leave my baby behind at daycare and go off to work. My sweet, amazing, super supportive husband was completely onboard with me staying home to raise our children, so he got a new job in a new state and we moved to start a new chapter with our family. I love being a mama ya’ll, like really love it! I was born for this job…. But after a few years of swimming in all the #momthings I had lost my identity. I loved my little family but who was I? Outside of mother and wife and homemaker I did not know who I was anymore. What did I like to do? What brought me joy? What awakened my creativity and defined me as a unique person in this world. I didn’t know. So- after much thinking and many tearful conversations with my husband (and my sister who was feeling the same way), I decided to pick up my camera again! I used to find so much joy in taking photos and crave the validation I feel when I gift someone something that I know they will treasure for years to come! I love being the person that provided my client with a photo that will be on display in their home for years to come! My grandmother (who we sadly lost when I was in just 7th grade) was an amazing photographer. She even had a dedicated bedroom in her house as a dark room to develop her own film! I so wish that she was still here and could share all that wisdom- but every time I pick up my camera I feel her presence. I know she is looking over me- so proud I have found joy in this craft and the business I have built for it! I am happy to have found identity again. I have met the most amazing, supportive, kind people in this journey and I am so excited to see what the future holds for Tara Williams Photography. Before I close out, I feel the need to shout out to my amazing husband Chris. Without him, I would not be where I am. He pushes and encourages me in the best of ways and is always willing to help out and support any idea, training opportunity, dream, equipment need or errand I have in mind. Thank you honey- you are a dream! And thank you all who are here and reading this for supporting my dreams! I hope someday I can help support yours too!

Photography: Lauren Marks

Planning: @lauren_marks_photography

Florals: @primandlovely

HAMU: @mela_mua

Designer: @reformation

Dresses: @renttherunway

Straw Purse: @target

Shoes: @timeandtru

Earrings: @ shiraleahchicago

Film Lab: @photovision prints