check them out

check them out

there are 2 new places you’ll find my thoughts and images:

the websites have been split to provide more focus on my fine art work, and still allow me a place to share my landscape, daily shooting, and documentation of my family work.  they both have their own blog spaces, so I will be updating those places more frequently as it relates to photography.  please take a minute to visit and bookmark both sites — and as a bonus, on tallieimages, you can sign up for a periodic newsletter announcing updates.

I hope to see you in the new spaces!!



always learning

always learning

how do you keep yourself from evaporating? I heard this phrase a few days ago – evolve or evaporate. 

my constant thirst for knowledge, and challenge to learn through experience has definitely helped my view of the world evolve.  it’s pushed my photography even further. 

there is something inside me needs to get out, and in order to convey it in it’s most complete form I continue to learn and experiment with new ideas and new ways of creating.

studio lights were the most recent challenge, and I was a wreck going into it. with every shoot there is the pressure of “you’re the Photographer – and you know what you’re doing, right?”  and I do know to a point, but there are spaces of angst where I just don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing, and  I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with the not knowing.  these are the spaces where I just see what happens – and capture that.  the great thing is, I don’t think anyone can tell when those moments are happening! (I don’t think they can…..)

the studio presented itself with many benefits that have been detractors to the work in past sessions. there was no w i n d (unless we created it with a fan).  it was not a 6am start time on my freezing San Francisco rooftop, and I did not have to worry if there was going to be enough light. however, the studio (this studio) had its own challenges. it was HOT!, and there were no windows or natural light at all, so it was like being in a giant cave. 

I’ve always been intimidated by studio lights, but the setup was pretty straight forward  – and once I had my settings I could just concentrate on creating – which was freeing.  

evolve or evaporate? I’d say as I wrapped up my first session under the lights there was more of me. more brain power. more confidence and a little bit of pride that I had accomplished a new thing. I think what evaporated was my fear. 

do something new today! evolve and evaporate.




over the holiday weekend (thank you America for having a birthday – I desperately needed the time off) we took a drive north – and rested our heads at the beautiful Bardessono hotel in Yountville, CA. 

we all know the Napa Valley is one of the largest wine regions in the world, and we all know that I’m a wino!! but this weekend wasn’t about wine. surprise!

this weekend was about relaxation, new experiences and okay… wine! 

Friday at 4:30 AM came very early, but starting the vacation off this way was so worth it. we were picked up and taken to the meeting site where we were assigned a group to meet our pilot. By 5:30 AM we were in the field getting instruction on how to be safe passengers on our first hot air balloon ride. 

read more about the our experience above the valley in my Steller Story here :: Up on Steller

up, up and away……


the process

the process

every one of my photo shoots is carefully thought through. details planned out. clothing, makeup, hair for each set of images I’m working to create. there can be 3-4 looks that have to be built upon and choreographed so that we don’t start with dark heavy makeup and then ask for the next look to be neutral and fresh. everything is considered with this level of detail.

this shoot was a new approach on inBetween. I added a new challenge – a strobe light setup, and for “ease” I set up an additional backdrop on its own stand so that we could switch between it and the tent backdrop quickly.  I invited a young photographer to assist us and shadow me while I photographed, and we had the regular cast with hair/makeup artist and my assistant. M recruited a few hands to help with set up and tear down of the all the gear, and I had 3 models scheduled. the day did not got as planned.

model one showed up on time, and excited to be a part of the concept. our assistants and extra hands all showed up ready to go and there was a cryptic text message about a car accident on M’s phone that we figured out later was model two. I’ve followed up with her to make sure she was ok – but no response. model three has never contacted me to say what happened to her. unreliable model mayhem strikes again!  so, I had one excited model to get at least some of what I had planned accomplished.

we set up on the roof under cloudy skies. everyone came bundled up because San Francisco weather can be very unpredictable, and the element that proved to be the most challenging and unexpected was the wind. Mother Nature was in full swing and her gusts threatened to take the tent, the lights, the additional backdrop, earrings, dresses, everything and blow them off the roof.

it was all hands on deck! all hands that at first seemed extra, were needed and thankfully available.  they planted themselves on the legs of the tent, and we used sandbags to weigh down lights and other stands. the reflectors I use became kites.  the months of planning, the detailed shot lists, the ideas for multiple models all had to be adjusted on the fly to fit the situation I found myself in.

the process is what it is to get me to the day, and then it just acts as a flexible framework that I leverage when things I could not plan for become the reality.  I got some shots I’m really proud of and wasn’t able to do all that I wanted with sculpting the light. the wind played a huge role positively and negatively and I think as with everything – take what you’re given, make it work for you and learn something!

follow my work on Instagram: @tallieimages



how do you see the world?

how do you see the world?

when you look out of your window in the morning do you see light playing in shadows, do you see vibrant color or do you see, varying shades of grey?

through my lens I see the world in a small square. I see lights and darks and compose for conversion to black and white. I see the contrast of the land and the sea, the colors of nature in concert with each other. repeating patterns from grass blowing in the breeze, or long crooked fingers of tree branches against the cloudless sky.

this weekend I shot my first roll of color film on the old mechanical Hasselblad. Kodak Portra – 220 mm medium format film. I got 24 exposures instead of my normal 12 I get with black and white film. the colors are unlike anything I’ve seen come from my digital camera. so strong, vibrant and true. so beautiful

below are some of my favorites – color and black and white from the most recent rolls developed.













my first love.

if you’re old enough you’ll remember cameras that only took film, you’ll remember having 3-4 rolls or even bags of film from vacations to drop off to get developed. you’ll remember the wait and anticipation to pick them up days or even up to a week later. you might remember forgetting you had images to pick up, and they’d be there for you – your captured moments to relive months later. or you’d forget you had exposed the first half of the roll in the camera with no idea what was on it.

those are my memories of film as a child and teenager. the smell of the empty canisters, the naughty desire to pull the tab and just expose the roll to see what it looked like. the excitement to open the packages and see what came out and what didn’t.

in high school I modeled a bit and I remember getting film contact sheets to see my proofs. 8×10 prints from sessions shot with film. thinking back on it – that was pretty cool.

it was also in high school that I developed my first rolls. the darkroom was a magical place. the science, the waiting, the enlarging, the magic of seeing the paper release the images in the solution bath. I think that was when cupids photography arrow hit me. seeing an image come up on a “blank” piece of paper – and knowing that the image is something you wanted to capture is a moment you don’t forget. doing it now in a local darkroom with a full understanding of what’s taking place gives me the same childlike sense of awe.

while I love the instant ability to see and adjust my images with my digital bodies, there is just something about shooting with film. this weekend I rented a Hasselblad 503 cm, and finally loaded my own Mamiya c300. Swedish and Japanese medium format film cameras. I shot three rolls of 120 film – each has only 12 exposures. you have to think, plan and get it right, because what you’re working with is finite. the images will be square (yay!!) 6cm x 6cm, and the negatives can be scanned so that I can adjust my files digitally. while I love dodging and burning, and reprinting in a darkroom – I don’t always have time, and it can take a lot of time.

I love the very mechanical nature of both of these camera. the winding and loud “clunk – clunk” of the shutter on the Hasselblad. there is nostalgia and history baked into every shot.

I can’t wait to see what comes of my initial attempts, and to decide if the Hassy is a body the will work for me. cameras are like handbags – when is enough enough? teehee

film. it’s making a come back – but it’s always been my first love.




personal work – the beginning

It has taken more than a month to get to today.  I needed time to reflect, to absorb, to begin to understand how the workshop affected me.  For the first time ever I’ve sat with my images. I fought the instant gratification bug to post them all right away, and did not post them as a complete body of work anywhere public. I took time to study what they said to me, about me.  My part of the session we were given to shoot on our own was my vision, my posing, and my expression of my own inner fears and strengths.  What I am sharing today is from that session, but it is just the beginning.  I’ve sold everything my business had acquired to support newborns, and I’ve made the decision to no longer take new clients.  My photography will be about my life, my upbringing, my family dynamics and being a black woman.  I am so excited to start this first phase of work – and sit with it for as long as it takes for me to be comfortable to share it with you.   On that note – here is the work from the July workshop at Motherwell Ranch in Colorado, with Jennifer Thoreson featuring my amazing model Heather Sebald.

click the collage to enlarge

Gallery one:  my internal dialogue.

Collage 3 Collage 4 Collage 5 Collage 6 Collage 8

Gallery two: my external being.

Collage 9 Collage 10 Collage 12 Collage 13 Collage 14 Collage 15

I hope you enjoy this new beginning, and stick around to watch this chapter unfold.

Collage 16

xo – natalie