“I love being in the background watching people enjoy themselves at a party and capturing it, parents becoming emotional when their child has a birthday party or celebrating a milestone.”Tara Gray
Tara Gray is the photographer behind Feel This Moment Photography. Her images are thought-provoking and her ability to capture the pure joy on the faces of her subjects is unparalleled. We contacted Tara so we could get to know her better and get some behind the scenes information about her creative process and how she began as a photographer.
EotB: Please tell us your story and how you began as a photographer.
FTMP: I actually love telling this story. My father always had a camera laying around the house. But it was when he had a Polaroid camera when I was first enticed. I’d watch him and how he looked at things, how he would set up a scene, or how he would position my brother and I for pictures. He later purchased a camera that produced 3D pictures. I was AMAZED!! However, he would not allow me to touch it. LOL, I was so upset. I was still determined to take pictures so I went to Service Merchandise (a store that has long since gone out of business) with $10 and purchased my first camera. I took pictures of EVERYTHING! I later bought myself a 35mm camera, was giving my first digital camera as a Christmas gift, and after deciding that grad school was not for me, I bought my first DSLR in 2014. I never sought out to be a “photographer”. After I bought the first DSLR I obtained a mentor and learned how to use it. I would post pictures of the sky (the sky has always been my muse) and people starting contacting me.
EotB: What was your first photoshoot of?
FTMP: I honestly have no idea. I’ve literally been taking pictures since I was a child. So if I’d have to guess, it was probably a picture of my parents or my brother with my dad’s Polaroid.
EotB: You have mentioned before that you “didn’t get into photography to make money but for the love of nature and beautiful things”, what is your favorite type of photography and why?
FTMP: Correct, I didn’t get into photography to be a business. I just enjoy capturing moments. I have two favorite types of photography. I love being in the background watching people enjoy themselves at a party and capturing it, parents becoming emotional when their child has a birthday party or celebrating a milestone. I also love nature. It’s beautiful, organic, eye-pleasing, and calming. Nature brings me peace, it puts me in awe of God and His creation, and it’s centering.
EotB: What types of cameras do you use, and why have you chosen them?
FTMP: Outside of my dad’s polaroid, I’ve only ever owned Nikon’s. I don’t think it was a conscious thing, but the very first camera was a Nikon and I just sort of continued on with that.
EotB: Some of our favorite images are the ones you have taken for the BLM movement. Please tell us why this cause is important to you and why it inspires you.
FTMP: The BLM Movement is important for so many reasons. I think people are tired. Tired of the lies the government has fed to us for years, tired of the injustice towards black people, tired of the police not being held accountable and tired of the racism in general. Covid-19 has forced the world to see what we have struggled with since the beginning of time. Simply because we were all stuck in the house and had to watch. It’s important because I am black and I have four black children. It’s important because I have black friends, family members, and co-workers. It’s important to me because I believe in love and fairness. Capturing the marches and rallies has been inspirational. It’s been motivating. It’s been emotional. My favorite part of the marches is seeing the older people that were probably a part of the civil rights movement on the sidelines so happy, so moved and cheering us all on. It’s inspiring because it feels like the world finally gets what we’ve been saying for years.
EotB: Does your brand have a signature style and if so how would you describe it?
FTMP: I would have to say my style is organic, loving and vibrant.
EotB: Tell us the story about the pigeons! We love the photo of the pigeons huddled around the fire.
FTMP: I was in downtown Chicago taking pictures for a newly elected judge. It was freezing outside. My client and I were walking down the street and I happened to look to my right and saw the pigeons. I was in disbelief, totally amused and jealous that they couldn’t take the cold anymore and found a way to stay warm.
EotB: What photo is a favorite for you and why?
FTMP: It’s a picture of my dad at his retirement party. The room was filled with so much love for my dad and he was filled with so much joy. I caught him mid-laugh and it just brightens my day. My second favorite is of my friend Dreana. She wanted a winter shoot and was seriously hoping it would snow. I am not a fan of winter at all but I was willing to give it a shot. The day came for the shoot and it wasn’t snowing. Like magic, we started shooting and it snowed (it literally only snowed while we were shooting). It was magical!
EotB: What is next for Feel This Moment Photography?
FTMP: What’s next? My dream is to do major events, be in the room with game-changers, and truly just keep enjoying sharing my gifts capturing things that matter.
EotB: Please tell our readers where they can book a session with Feel This Moment Photography.
FTMP: Anyone can contact me through my website.
For more images from Feel This Moment Photography visit Taras Instagram. She also has an amazing Pinterest board that is worth a visit. In addition to reaching out to Tara through her Instagram and website, you can also find her on Facebook.