Making Waves - With Tara Ruby Photography
Be brave. Take risks. Make waves.
That's what our next featured photographer did when her image went mega viral!
Tara Ruby is the photographer behind the internet famous Military mom nursing photo shown below.
She is trying to change the world's view on breastfeeding in public, so she now offers all sorts of themed breastfeeding sessions!
This is how you make waves people!
We think what she does is pretty unique and awesome, so of course we hit her up for a Lady Boss interview and t-shirt collab!
Read her interview below...
Tara, please tell us a little bit about your brand and your story of how you chose your specific photography path...
My brand is simply me. I feel comfortable shooting portraits as I see them, and I don't edit heavily. I want a raw and real feeling to my work. I am a military veteran and my husband is currently still active duty so I work closely with many military families so capturing motherhood alongside of military moments just blends well. Many military families spend time apart from their soldier, so I help them by capturing those special moments to share with spouses and even grandparents.
In your words, what are three things you'd like your photography work to portray?
I want my work to tell stories. Empowerment, Success, Love .... I want to help mothers feel beautiful and to know that they can do whatever they put their mind up to. There have been moments where my portraits change mindsets and that is powerful.
How do you want your clients to feel after leaving a session with you?
Elated and ready for their portraits! I love when they are excited and what I see them sharing how great their session was with their friends on social media.
Tell us about a situation that helped you grow in your photography career. Either early on or more recently....
Going viral helped me change my career alot. Learning that my work is more than just a portrait taken with a great camera, but that my portrait is a piece of art and I am the artist behind it. I can not draw or paint, but I have always felt like I was a creative person. So, realizing that by creating a masterpiece through photography was indeed my creative personality coming to life was amazing.
I think we forget sometimes that we are artists and that we can portray certain messages through our art. Seeing myself in that light, and learning to view my work as art and not just as a photo on a piece of paper has changed my work tremendously.
What are some must haves that you have at all of your sessions?
My Baby Shusher, Tamron Lenses, baby wipes or towels (poo and pee happens... lol) and music.
You definitely have a unique mission with your work. What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone who is trying to stand out from the rest in their field?
It might sound cliche but ... follow your heart and your instincts. If you feel a burning desire to do something. DO IT. But be ready for those that don't agree with your vision. They will tell you all about it. I know that when I have an idea, it literally will drive me crazy until I finish it through. That's called desire and passion and it fuels us creatively.
Have you had moments of feeling like you could give up? If so, how did you overcome that?
Oh yes, and even recently. We moved after 7 years in El Paso to Georgia with the military. Being established and then uprooting your business to a brand new area is HARD. I was super bummed. I lost constant income. I lost clients and friends. I lost my studio space. And we moved in winter so I was stuck in the house for months. But the drive and the passion was still there so I started to reach out to my community. Attended events where moms would be. I also learned that I didn't need to be SO busy and I spent more time on family and my home. I think it was a much needed break and now feeling refreshed I have new clients in my new area and things are slowly looking up.
What does Tara Ruby do for fun?
Fish. Being here in Georgia is perfect for this and I love to spend my free time on the beach with a few fishing poles. Best thing to catch is sharks. I've caught one over 3ft long all by myself. (I seriously think I just love sitting on the beach)
Have you found the magical balance between family and business? If so, please let us know your recipe for success...
This one is hard to answer, because my family dynamics change so often. But when my family is all together I try to include my children in my photography business as much as I can. My son loves helping me work expos. He loves the business side and my daughter loves being in the studio helping with all the newborns. When the work day is over, we put phones away. We turn off the computer and we focus on our time. We don't allow social media at the dinner table. We take only ourselves to the beach, not work. Making that firm break between when you need to be at work and when you can focus on your family is the most important. Make work hours and stick to them!! You can't call up your favorite restaurant at 2am and order a steak dinner. Our clients need to respect our family time and if you are clear and upfront with your hours then it will all work out ok.
What is something that you say to your clients to make them feel more comfortable in front of the camera?
Breathe. I've seen them tense up and stop breathing. So that is step 1. Next, we start talking about their littles. Once that conversation happens they seem to forget they have a camera pointed at them and they just embrace the moment. They start focusing on small baby feet and that little hand around their pinky finger and I'm no longer there, it's just them. And it's beautiful.
If you could shoot a nursing session at ANY location in the whole world where would that be?
WOW. Just one? There are so many beautiful locations that I want to shoot, Paris, Australia, Ireland..... but in all seriousness I am wanting to visit India. I've learned that my portraits can change the world and their perception of breastfeeding. There are many places still left in the world where women can not breastfeed in public, or they are just beginning to be able to do so. I have been asked to come visit India to do a shoot there and I would love to go there. The story behind that photo would be powerful. Just think of how many little girls in the world right now would benefit from seeing that photo.
Wow! Hearing about your mission to change the world's perception just makes me smile from ear to ear. Your story is truly inspiring Tara! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us into your world. Keep making magic and doing YOU!
We've made a special "I breastfeed, SO WHAT!?" slouch tee just for this occasion! If you'd like to grab one for your favorite breastfeeding mom, they are slouch style and SUPER easy to pull down in front or up from bottom for easy access!
Just click here to shop - Enter code TARARUBY for $5 off of your order!