featured contributor: tanja lippert

Today we are chatting with the always fun and inspiring Tanja Lippert! Website: tanjalippertphotography.com

Specialty & Location: fashion, commercial, music, fine art & wedding photography- based out of Los Gatos, CA but travel worldwide for assignments.

DA: Tell us a little about yourself...

TL: I love adventure, creativity, traveling, spontaneity and inspiring others. I am a dreamer and a hopeless romantic at heart! I think God he has blessed me with creative gifts and abundant love. On top of all that, I am pretty much a big dork!

DA: What has been your most memorable image and why?

TL: I think my most memorable image was this one of the bride standing in the doorway from behind in black and white. Even though I shot it over 6 years ago, people will still comment on it and ask for it. I really don't feel like I have "signature" images because I strive to create something unique for every client. However, if I did have a "signature" image, this would most likely be it!

DA: If you could tell photographers that are just starting out one thing you wish you had known before starting a business, what would it be and why?

TL: Set up your "business" first. It will be much less stressful once your business takes off and you have more clients than you know what to do with... trust me, I did it the hard way. Once you get rolling and your swamped with shoots, it's much harder to "go back" and set things up. After 11 years in business, I still feel like I am "trying" to set mine up! Ha!

DA: Where do you find inspiration?

TL: I can find inspiration in many things, but typically just one small thing will inspire the whole shoot. Often I am inspired by clothing, a cool location or my clients themselves! I love to take one piece of jewelry, or one dress and build a whole shoot around it!

DA: How do you enjoy your images (what physical products do you make for your own home)?

TL: I love creating art out of my photographs. In my own home, I have adorned my walls with photo collages, unique frames, encaustic paintings & canvases of imagery! Most of the images I use for these endeavors are ones of my own children or fine art images that I take at random!

DA: What is the craziest job you've ever had?

TL: The craziest job I have ever had was with my stylist/friend Tia Reagan. The two of us rented an RV and driver in Los Angeles as we shot 6 models per day (3 looks each) for 10 days straight. We'd start at 6 am each morning and sometimes not end our shoots until 6 am the next day (yes, just in time to for the next 6 models to arrive). It was such an amazing, creative, exhausting, crazy adventure of a trip and we would never trade the memories we created for the world, but when we figured out how much money we made, we averaged 6 cents per hour! That's when I realized I was a lousy business person....ha! I am still okay with that!

DA: Who has inspired you more than anyone? How?

TL: My partner in crime stylist, Tia Reagan (who does all my hair & makeup) and I have shot together for over 8 years now. She has to be my constant inspiration. Her and I have a similar vision and LOVE creating, our energy just abounds when we are working together. Together, I feel like we can create ANYTHING our hearts desire!

DA: What is your favorite book of all time?

TL: I love reading inspirational books. I have many favorites, but among them are "The power of Less" by Leo Babauta and "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. Both really great reads for photographers!

DA: If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

TL: If I had one item of food to eat for the rest of my life, I think it might just be AVOCADOS! I am CRAZY about them! I am also a sucker for curry.....Oh my goodness, it's making my mouth water just thinking about it!!!

DA: What will you be doing 10 years from now?

TL: Hopefully, living as an artist (non necessarily photographer) and seeing my kids through college!

DA: What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

TL: I am hoping to cross it off my list of "to do's" in my lifetime this year, but, I have a goal of rollerblading over 500 miles from Southern Oregon to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am training for it now! Wish me luck!

DA: If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

TL: I have always been drawn to London & Greece, but since I have never been to either, I am not sure that I would actually want to live there! London's underground appeals to my dark side. I love the dark, gritty, old, big city pictures I get in my head when I think of London. Greece because I watched the movie "Mama Mia" and fell in love with the architecture and scenery of Greece! Looks like a photographers dream to me! Currently, I am most interested in moving to Oakland or Santa Barbara, CA.....In Oakland, I fantasize about living in a unique artists loft with exposed brick and high ceilings, Santa Barbara because the beautiful Spanish style architecture, beaches and amazing weather!

DA: What are you most grateful for?

TL: I am most grateful for my two amazing kids! Being a mom is the most challenging, yet beautiful thing I have ever done in my life!

DA: Did you go to school to study photography?

TL: I went to the school of "trial and error" haha!

DA: What is your favorite film of all time? TL: Oh, Lord, it's hard to pick just one! My favorites films are Fuji 400 pro & Kodak 160 for color. For black and white I choose Kodak 400CN hands down          

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