Thursday, May 26, 2011

Featured Professional - TL Glam (Photographer)

An Exclusive Interview with a photographer
who is making her way to the top
Tatiana Lavin of TL Glam of Long Beach, CA.

Written by:  QianaNichol

You describe yourself as an artist/photographer, I figure you look at a subject/model as a canvas, what are your favorite features to bring out?
-Well, with each individual and concept, I feel there is always something special about each person.  I feel that on every person no matter who they are, the eyes always tell a story.  During my editig process, I like to pay special attention to the eyes and what they are saying.

When did you create TL Glam Studio?  Why do you include GLAM in your company name?  What is your definition of GLAM?
-I created the company name TL Glam Studio about two years ago.  It took a long time to come up with the name.   To me, GLAM is all about being glamourous and beautiful. I also wanted to choose a name that reflected my personal point of view, so I chose my initials, T.L.

Is TL Glam Studio made up of a small group of (makeup artists, stylists or do you have many different makeup artists/stylists that make up your team?
-TL GLAM has one MUA Illyne Rios.  I work with different stylists, but my favorites are Gee Gee and Tai Collins.

What attracts you to being a photographer?
-As a teen I was very vain, always behind the camera. As I got older I began to do a lot of the photography at events. I took some artsy Black & White Courses for fun at a local community college. The thing that draws me is the URGE to shoot. I dream about shoots sometimes.  I am just very passionate about my craft.

When did you discover the creative side of yourself?
-I saw my 3rd grade teacher a year ago and she asked what I was doing, I responded, “I am a photographer.”  She wasn't surprised. Art has always been with me.  I have always been creative for writing, to drawing, to photography.

Do you do photography for Red Carpet events and/or fashion shows as well?
-I am learning runway now.

You are self-taught in studio lighting & photoshop, how did you begin to teach yourself?
-I asked many questions and learned through trial and error.

You have been been shooting for 3 yrs & yet your port is more versatile than photographers shooting 2 and 3 times longer, what do you attribute to that?
-I honestly do not know, how or why.  I am tremedously blessed.  Sometimes, I can not believe what my team and I have come up with. I tend to look at  beauty in all individuals.  Sometimes the most awkward-looking person can be the most interesting to shoot.  I look at that when searching for subjects.

Where do you get your inspiration?  Do you watch the top models, look at certain publications for ideas or do you experiment?
-I mainly experiment.  I usually don’t have a concept going in.  I usually draw inspiration from the model or the make-up or wardrobe.  I'm very attentive to every detail when lighting and setting up.

Some artists seem to be afraid to shoot women of color in bright hues. Usually sexy is associated with dark, mysterious colors, but I notice that you have a lot of bold colors in your port, what’s your motivation?

-I guess I see things from my own perspective and my vision is my own.  Color is my thing and if done correctly, it can be very original.

Do you find models are more comfortable with you because you are a woman, especially in a profession saturated with male photographers?
-Yes,  I do.  I also find that because I am a female, there is more drama and competition for me and I am tested more often.

What is your process when you prepare for a shoot?  Do you consult with the model and/or makeup artists/stylists or do you just show up for the shoot ready to dive in?
-My MUA and I plan according to our schedules.  Sometimes I have a set wardrobe or the models bring their own.  I play music while I am preparing to shoot and I edit.  That puts me in chill mode.

Some of your credits include working with VH1 Vixens "Cali", "Cornfed" and "Danger". Did you have to deal with Big Reality Show, Larger than Life Egos, or were they just regular girls that just happened to be reality show grads?
-From my experience they are average women with stories, goals and visions.

As a photographer, how do you get a model that is new to warm up?  Do you pose your models and/or allow them to move freely on their own?
-I talk to them and I remind them that I am their peer.  I also tell them it helps to create an alter ego.  I play music and I show them poses and magazines to pull inspiration from.

What are some mistakes you see photographers make when shooting certain subjects/models?
-I see photographers shooting from weird angles that aren't pleasing.

What type of model do you enjoy working with?
-I like working with models that are open and confident.  Yet not cocky and who trust my direction and vision.

Do you have any models/artists that you would like to work with?
-I'm always looking for the next thing to boost my name and career.  I would love to photograph Adriama Lima, Gisele Bundchen, Ajuma Nasenyana, Ekaterina Stafetskis.  Celebrities would be Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Fergie, Joss Stone, Lauryn Hill, Maxwell and ‘Lil Wayne. The opportunity to work with any big name would be awesome.

What would your dream project look like?  Can you name some locations and/or magazines that would represent the ultimate location for you?
-I would like to shoot for Vogue, Maxim, King, XXL or for designers such as Gucci, Guess, and Victoria Secret would be the ultimate. I would love to shut down a street to shoot or shoot in a fancy mansion.  I would love to shoot in NY, Japan or Brazil.

Have you run into "Phony Industry People"?  What are some signs that you look for to weed-out these type of people?
-I personally have not run into any phony industry people, but I hear horror stories from models I have worked with.  If a photographer is mixing his personal life with the shoot, like trying to hit on a model or being overly aggressive with his words or compliments, I would say that is definitely a sign to maybe go the other way.

What are some things that you plan to do in the future to advance your career?
-I plan to create a coffee table project of various artistic concepts that express my life through my poetry. I would also love to start my own magazine.

So if someone wanted to book you, how would they do so?
- or