It's been a while since I've done an Inside View interview and they were always popular, so after chatting about blogs with this weeks 'interviewee' I thought I'd have a go at resurrecting them!
I've been a fan of Talia's work for a couple of years now but met her when she actually modelled for me on a shoot. Shes an inspirational young lady from Birmingham, that is working hard to make waves in the world of fashion photography. I regularly tell her how she reminds me of the new Lara Jade with the way she works on both sides of the lens and her actual style of photography. She also is the founder of Te-bags, a camera bag company with a difference. This month she's moved into our studio space and after a few chats I decided she was a perfect candidate for an interview!
Hi Talia. As you know I'm a big fan of both your modelling and photography. Which came first the photography or modelling and how did it all start?
I started modelling at 16, around the same time that I started my photography studies. When first starting out I enjoyed the modelling more but once I started producing more fashion orientated work I got more of a buzz from the photography than from the modelling. It just felt a lot more rewarding. Also it would have been impossible for me to make it as a model when I'm only 5 ft nothing!
You mention 'photography studies' do you have formal qualifications in photography and if so did you think the course was worthwhile?
I studied at Solihull college for 5 years where I got the most amazing support from my tutors. They understood that I struggled with dyslexia, however studying at the college, unlike school, I got the support whenever I needed it, but also importantly, no one was watching over me making me feel I was doing everything wrong.
I improved so much from studying at the college. I left with 3 distinctions in level 5 Photography & Digital Imaging. I think studying photography helped build my confidence whereas if I was self taught I'd never have had the confidence to approach people for photoshoots. I left school with terrible GCSES because I struggled so badly but it doesn't matter to me because I've already achieved more than I could ever imagine from being creative which I don't feel is supported in schools as much as it should be. It seems they only care about Math, English and Science they don't seem to encourage more creative/arty people.
During this coming summer I am going to be teaching students between 16-18 for NCS The Challenge. I am so exited to meet youngsters who feel passionate about photography and give them the courage as support that they too can achieve their dreams. If I'd have been told at 16 I'd be doing all of the things I am especially teaching I'd have been like "no chance, I'm dumb I couldn't do that" but I've now realised I'm not dumb yes I am dopey haha but I'm not dumb I'm just creative!
Can we see an image from your first shoot?
Here is an image from one of my first fashion shoots. The image was based on my interpretation of a Snow Queen . My sister did the models makeup and hair then I styled the shoot. It was around this point I realised fashion photography was the route I wanted to go down.
Do you find it's helped improve your ability on both sides of the camera knowing what both roles require?
Having experience as a model has helped me to understand how nerve racking the whole experience can be.
I try to make the model feel as relaxed as possible and always encourage them, letting them know that they are doing amazing. That's the main thing. If you reassure them, compliment them lots, then they will start to feel more comfortable around you and you gain more of a connection. I've modelled on shoots before and had nothing from the photographer in terms of encouragement and it's made me feel uncomfortable, as though I am doing something wrong, so this is definitely something I have taken from my modelling and brought to my photography.
You also started your own company creating camera bags for women. Care to tell us a little more about that?
Last year I set up my own camera bag range called Te-bags. However my year got super busy and I couldn't put all my time into them. This is something I'm going to be expanding this summer, so you can expect lots of new products such as camera bags, straps and cases, there will be something to suit everyone.
The whole idea with Te-Bags was to help the female photographers feel a little more glam, also for the safety aspect I would feel very vulnerable when on public transport with my camera bag, as people know there would be expensive equipment inside, I would find myself chucking my camera in my handbag which resulted to a broken lens!
The idea was to make the bags look like an ordinary bag but when you open it you have pockets for camera, lenses, SD and Flash Cards, iPad, phone and even makeup brushes!
What do you enjoy most about it all?
I love the whole experience. I love the planning, prepping, shoot day, being able to work with and meet new people/creatives. I love the whole energy on a shoot it gives me such good vibes. I could be having the day from hell then go do a job and leave feeling amazing from simply being around inspiring people.
The thing I love most is editing, it is my happy place, I like my own space and my own company so editing is the perfect time to get that haha.
What is the worst thing?
I'd say the worst thing about being a photographer is the fact people always expect you to have your camera at a party or event..... It is my job, just like some people are builders I wouldn't ask them to build a wall at an event. It's the same thing.
What has been your favourite shoot so far and why?
My favourite shoot so far I can't actually publish until May. However, I can promise it'll be worth the wait. I'm so excited to share it with everyone.
Any bad experiences?
I can't say I've had a bad experience to be honest.
How would you describe your style of photography in three words?
Ethereal, Magical , Vintage
What are your favourite three images to date and why?
Oh man, this is so hard as I've worked with amazing creatives over the years I don't know if I can pick 3 faves. ......
Ok here it goes ...
This one of my all time favourite shots, I loved the whole concept of the shoot. It was also published in Dark Beauty Magazine and got over a whopping 7000 likes, over 400 shares and brought me in over 300 page likes on facebook in just 2 days. So I have no choice but to love this image.
I absolutely adored this shoot the model was stunning and the team were amazing this by far was one of my favorite shoots ever. I love vintage inspired shoots especially on location. This image was my fave from the entire shoot.
My final choice is from my editorial " Where The Wild Flowers Grow" the reason I have chosen this image is because these series of images got me my first every cover in American magazine "Dream Factory Magazine" along with a 10 page spread which was the most incredible feeling i've ever experienced.
Where would you like it to take you in the long run?
My dream would be to be photographing models such as Kate Moss, and Rosie Huntington Whitely for magazines such as Vogue and ID. My main ambition is to be known for what I do and love!
What would your dream shoot be (anything is possible)?
I would love to photograph Iggy Azalea I love her style, her music videos are right up my street in terms of the different eras, colour palettes used etc. The main reason I would love to photograph her is because I love her story, what she's achieved and what's she's done to achieve her dream. That's if anything were possible!!
Any tips for people starting out?
I think the main tips I would give to someone starting out is to practice, practice, practice. Practice with friends or family members until you find your style and what works for you. Be ambitious and never give up! The industry is hard but work hard and you'll succeed.
Anybody that inspires you?
I am a huge fan of David LaChapelle, he made me realise that anything is possible and he creates the most amazing imagery. In my research I found a quote from him saying “ imagine you have a blank piece of paper and you can put anything you want onto it, anything in the world”. I love that idea; it reminds me that anything is possible.
What's in your camera bag?
I have a pretty small kit in comparison to other photographers. I sometimes get embarrassed turning up to a job. I have a Canon 7D, Kit lens, 50mm Prime Lens, 18-135mm Lens and my flash gun.
Quick fire favourites:
Website - gngdirectory.com
Drink - Tea
Food - Pizza
Musical act -Iggy Azalea
TV program - Family Guy
Film - Up
Perfect Day Off - A lazy day watching films on the sofa drinking tea and eating chicken sensations but there's no chance of that happening any time soon!!
Quote - I have two:
Talent will get you far, but ambition will get you further.
When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath, that's when you'll be successful.
Thank you Talia for taking the time to answer my questions. If you'd like to see more of Talia's work visit her here
Here are a few of my favourite images from Talia!