I N T E R V I E W - Love Find Co. / Girl Boss
Name: Erin Neale & Tara Pearce
Current Title / Company:
Photographers at Erin & Tara
Creative Directors of sister studio Poet Weddings
Co-founders of Say PEACE! Posters
What was your first job out of university and how did you land that position?
T: I worked as a buyer for my families business, which was always the plan (arranged from birth!). Although perceived as a glamorous job, I'd find myself mostly negotiating in foreign factories and spending long days at trade shows. This was (unsurprisingly) a short lived career.
E: I worked in hospitality, which meant lots of fun bars and restaurants around Fitzroy. Also short lived, but perfect at the time.
What inspired you to create your business?
T: I’d always been inspired by the images in my parents and grandparents wedding albums. Their timelessness, a love of black of white imagery and I guess an instinctual pull to re-create that mood, through modern photography. Most of all though, the inspiration for my own business is my children, and the search for that eternal work / life balance.
E: Yes the ability to work close to home and be here for the kids is an incredible (and significant) part of the appeal! But that desire to capture beautiful moments, and the creative autonomy that comes with owning and running your own business, with a kindred human …that’s what’s inspiring!
Take us through a day in the life of your business?
T: Emails over a very strong coffee, followed by breakfast with two of my favourite human's, school drop off, hit the gym, editing, consulting with our amazing brides, location scouting and blissed out family time!
E: Get the kids up and ready for school, then head to the gym (sometimes!), then home to dive into edits and many, many emails, followed by school pick up, home to whip up some dinner and hang time with my beautiful family.
Has anything surprised you about the journey to creating your business?
T: I think the most awesome surprise has been learning that every desirable goal is achievable if you are prepared to put in the hard work!
E: The magic that can be caught by a camera, there is such beauty in those fleeting moments. How despite inevitable juggle of a million things when running your own small business, learning that the process of shooting hasn’t lost any pleasure or magic…that’s been a nice surprise.
Obviously, your business has grown! So, let's talk money. Tell us about the intimidating process of finding funding for your business. Any advice for women who need to find funding for their own startups?
T: We started with the very basics; a few camera's, insurance, a website and a logo. I'm very particular when it comes to how our work is viewed online so I actually built our website. Luckily for us, this meant our initial investment came from our own pockets, rather than external funding.
E: Apart from the outlay for equipment and gear in the beginning, we haven't needed to put too much money into advertising, and are fortunate to have self funded our own business. I suppose our advice to others would be to think carefully about what you invest in, and for photographers, carefully considering the right blog or platforms on which to share and publish your work. If you do spend money advertising, be sure it feels like a truly perfect fit for you, your brand and your brand’s end goals.
Your business has developed quite a following. Can you tell us a little bit about marketing your business? How did you spread the word?
T: Social media (particularly Instagram) has proven game changing for creatives, particularly in any visual medium. As a platform built for imagery, it’s allowed our photography to reach and be shared by people who it may not have discovered it otherwise.
E: Collaborations have also been key, and wonderfully, they often feel more organic and creative than traditional ‘marketing’. Social media of course has been huge, as well as submitting weddings to magazines and online platforms that resonate most powerfully with the kinds of couples we’re excited to work with!
What do you think is the key to the success of your business?
T: Collectively speaking, I think it’s our enduring passion for photography… because for any business to be a success you have to legitimately love what you do!
For me personally, this means details and couture. I think our brides appreciate and gravitate towards the way we capture this element of the day.
E: Classic black and whites. We’re each drawn to this timeless style of photography, which has become a signature of sorts. It seems to resonates with people, which is great, because it’s how we love to shoot, instinctually.
Best advice you ever received?
T: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
E: Fake it 'till you make it.
I wish I knew how to ...
T: Dance and cook!
E: Paint or sing.
What is your coffee order?
T: Double shot piccolo
E: Strong Skinny Latte
TV show do you wish was still on the air?
T: Louis Theroux
Next travel destination?
T: I would love to take my family to Italy, for a complete sensory overload of the best possible kind!
E: We're off to New Zealand. I’m looking forward to some precious family time in majestic spaces. New Zealand always feels a little otherworldly…a photographer can’t help but be inspired there.
What advice would you give your 23 year old self?
T: You will never get that time back, so just do the things you love.
E: Take life in, in all its magic and entirety, it goes so fast!
I N T E R V I E W - Mr Theodore
We tend to be drawn to capturing those special moments between the bride and her mother or the great grandparent dancing for joy". Erin & Tara talk to us about their early days, how they've become the success they are and most importantly, what makes a brilliant photographer.
This week we had the fabulous opportunity to interview photography duo Erin & Tara. Known for their distinctive style, eye for detail and their candid photography, it is not hard to see why brides and grooms from all over the country are seeking these girls to photograph their wedding.
You are definitely the leaders in wedding photography right across the country, how did you start off?
Our photography journey started 5 years ago when Erin & I thought it would be fun to photograph a wedding! This was before we owned a camera let alone knew how to use one. Let’s just say Google is our best friend!
What was the main turning point in your career that made you become the success that you are?
Each year has had it’s own turning point from personal achievements such as creative growth to learning how to accept rejection gracefully. I believe the key turning point for us was when we started to trust our own judgment and abilities, which lead to more confidence giving us the freedom to express our creative vision.
As a wedding photographer, what is it about a wedding that inspires you? What grabs your attention on the wedding day?
Family is very important to both of us, so we tend to be drawn to capturing those special moments between the bride and her mother or the great grandparents dancing for joy for example. These are all such special memories that we don’t take for granted!
Tell us a little about your signature look? What is it that makes your work so distinguished in comparison to other wedding photographers?
We’re driven to make photographs which are timeless and dreamy with hope that our couples still adored them 40 years on. We do LOVE black and white photography and feel this is becoming our signature look!
Being a huge success you girls are, what makes a fabulous Photographer?
The ability to work well under pressure while juggling 10 different tasks with a smile. And that’s just the family photos part!
For couples planning their wedding, how important is it for them to know what they want in their photographs? Or is it best to leave it to the photographer?
The majority of our clients find us via a photograph they’ve seen of ours and instantly felt a connection. That’s when they get in touch! The worse thing you can do is hire a creative and not give them creative freedom. The key is finding a photographer you instantly feel a connection with, then you’re confidence in their ability will follow.
And to finish, from your experience, give us 3 key points couples should consider before choosing their photographer?
- Do you feel an instant connection to the photographers work? - Go with your gut!
- Asked them how they work on the wedding day e.g. Do they like the limelight or is their approach more relaxed - I’d prefer to blend in?
- Does my desired videographer and photographer complement each other's work?
I N T E R V I E W - Dermalogica Ambassadors #myfacemystory
Before they were business partners, they were best friends who thought photographing a wedding could be fun. One season and forty weddings later, it was clear that Erin and Tara had found their true calling creating unique, raw and beautiful weddings. We sat down with the girls to find out more about their story and their skincare secrets.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
T: We photograph beautiful weddings, internationally and Australia wide. Before that, I was working for my family business and Erin was busy raising a young family of her own.
How did you meet?
E: We went to school across the road from each other and kind of knew the same people. We ran in the same circles, saw each other at parties. Our kids started playing together, so we started hanging out. It grew from there.
Three words to describe each other?
E: Tara is strong, generous, kind.
T: Erin is thoughtful, caring, beautiful.
Most memorable wedding that you’ve shot?
E: I love all of our weddings and brides! We feel lucky, as we seem to have attracted the most amazing couples to work with.
T: All our weddings are wonderful and luckily for us, so far we’ve had no divas! Generally for our clients it’s all about their family and the party, making sure everybody is enjoying themselves and preferring not to take the spotlight themselves.
Favourite thing about weddings?
E: The emotion evident on the day is pretty special. That almost palpable energy between the bride and groom, the family, everyone there.
T: I love the dancing! When everyone loosens up and lets their hair down on the dance floor, that’s when the fun really begins. You get to see a different side to people, the mood is more relaxed, you see a grandfather busting a move, and you think “how did he get down so low?” It’s hilarious, and wonderful.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
T: Fake it until you make it.
E: Yes, most definitely what Tara said.
And if you could give one piece of advice to a bride-to-be, what would it be?
E: Relax, live in the moment, enjoy it.
T: Don’t get wound up over little details. Just let it go. Look around you, be present, take a moment to absorb everyone who is there, and try to just enjoy the experience.
What kind of impact has social media had on your business?
T: It’s been amazing. Incredible. We can share our work on this unique visual platform that’s accessible to everyone. We don’t really know any different because we started our business via social media but it’s proven such an amazing way for photographers to show their portfolio.
E: We get so many enquiries through Instagram. It’s how the majority of our clients find us, and happily, it’s also a place where we can express our brand.
What are your top accounts to follow?
E: So hard, there are so many… I love looking at @elisazaccanti
If you weren’t photographers you would be….
E: An amazing painter, in a light filled studio…covered in paint, drinking endless cups of tea!
T: An interior architect. I’m so inspired by light, and space.
Who inspires you?
E: My children, my husband and my friends and creatives who step outside of their comfort zone.
T: I get inspired by other creatives, not necessarily photographers, but artists, painters, ceramicists… I think anyone who is really good at their craft. And definitely my children and husband.
What song puts you in a good mood without fail?
T: Anything Beyonce
E: Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, by Paul Simon.
One thing we would be surprised to know about you?
T: I have a 15 year old daughter.
E: My favourite pastime is reading..words are my ultimate escapism.
What’s something everyone should try at least once?
T: A pastry or cake from Le Petit Gateau!
E: Cajun Chicken Sauce Piquant, it is amazing.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out?
E: So much….and our biggest lessons emerged from trial and error. We found it’s really important to get your work flow down, so you aren’t on the computer 24/7.
T: Oh, everything! You don’t need all the expensive equipment that you think you do. If you’ve got the eye and the style, you’ll be fine.
Favourite restaurant in Melbourne?
E: Shanghai Village Dumplings.
One place in rural Victoria that everyone should visit?
Both: Kyneton! It’s a beautiful little town, with great food and great spots to explore.