Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Tara Krauss

NAME: Tara Krauss

WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Parker, CO, just south of Denver


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS? 3 years

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS? I shoot with the Flex kit now, but I began with Photogenics strobes. Over time, I have moved from the triangle setup for women to the square setup. I love the beautiful, even lighting that is achieved with the square. For men, I switch between the men’s lighting setup and a parallel setup depending on my mood and what I think best fits the client’s needs. The men I shoot are mostly business professionals, so I tend to keep the lighting less dramatic.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT? My love for photography began with landscapes when we lived in the Pacific Northwest. I couldn’t get enough of the mountains, ocean, lighthouses, etc, etc. As we moved to more urban areas during my husband’s Navy career, I transitioned to photographing people. I began with babies then to kids, families, and now headshots. Headshots are my ‘everyday photography’ and landscapes fuel my creativity when I’m not in my everyday environment. The Grand Tetons are like Disneyland to me with all of the beautiful sights and scenes. I could blissfully shoot there all day long!

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC? I first learned about Peter Hurley in 2017 when he was scheduled to be a guest speaker for Sandy Puc’s nationwide tour highlighting photographers around the country. At the time, I was photographing babies and kids, so her name drew me to the event. I figured I’d better read up on this Peter Hurley guy so I’d know what to expect. Headshots. Ok, headshots. Kind of boring, but why not? Man, oh, man, it didn’t take long to realize that the energy that Peter brings to the headshot genre is anything but boring. (How wrong I was with what I thought I ‘expected’!) I was hooked. I signed up for the crew shortly thereafter. I made Associate in October 2018. Now, my mission is to show others that headshots are NOT boring. If images or sessions are stagnant, then new energy needs to be incorporated into the process which will then be visible in the final images as well.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO JOIN THE CREW ONCE YOU FOUND IT? A couple weeks? One week? Definitely not long!

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU? I graduated in the top 10 of my class at the US Merchant Marine Academy in New York. I take great pride in that. It wasn’t easy in a male-dominated environment (or the transitioning from small-town Montana girl to life in the big city), but I persevered. In fact, during my senior year, I was selected by the academy staff to write an essay about my perspective as a female at a military academy. The essay was included in a book that was published and marketed to high school girls making the decision of what type of college they would like to attend. Fast forward 25 years, and I recently published a children’s book about adoption that I wrote for our daughter and our journey to bring her home from China (https://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Sister-Home-Gotcha-Story/dp/B0858TTTTM/r...). I’m proud of my Peter Hurley headshot that is on the cover of the book that was taken during the Intensive in Denver. (Thank you, Peter!) 

So, what would people never guess about me? I guess it’s that I’m tougher than I look and I like to write. LOL. But seriously, I’d like to thank Peter for the inspiration he has brought into my life, not only for photography but for pursuing other endeavors that are important to me. His passion for photography, teaching and leading the crew is so inspiring. He is the epitome of the motto that if you’re going to do something, do it well. This past year I have created a website that encompasses all of my work: https://www.tarakrauss.com. I plan to expand my creative pursuits and share them through this platform.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU? 
Hmmm….. this is a tough one as I feel I wear my heart on my sleeve most of the time, and that I usually have no problem speaking my mind! So, I guess that it boils down to the fact that I throw my heart into whatever I am working on and whatever creative outlet fuels me at the time. I tend to be quiet and introverted, and I am grateful for the crew members who have helped me realize that this is not a detriment to being successful. It is an attribute that can help guide you to your own version of success that’s best suited for you. My first job out of the academy was for a shipping company in New Orleans. My boss there, who I am still friends with to this day, once said to me: “You have to watch out for those quiet ones (meaning me), you never know what they are thinking.” It was the first time I realized that being quiet didn’t make me any less powerful. We all possess power in different ways- embrace your own style of power. Don’t hide it or feel less than what you think others expect you to be.

21 Comments

Jon Meadows's picture
Mentor

Glad you're here, Tara. Would like to see more of you around on the CrewCasts!

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

I'm so grateful to be a part of the crew, Jon. I know I've been a little (ok, a lot) MIA this year. Lots of things going on for me at this time. I'll be back. I promise. =)

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Good to learn more about you, Tara!! Beautiful landscape shot!!

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

Thanks, Beth! So happy to have met you at Mania 2 (that seems like a lifetime ago already, doesn't it?!).

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

*sigh*, yes. But I'm so grateful that we had the chance!! I can't wait to be able to do it again! ❤️

Gary Newlen's picture
Protégé

Thanks for sharing, Tara!

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

You're welcome, Gary. Thanks for reading!

Ian Johns's picture
Associate

Hands down one of my favorite people in the Crew -- thrilled to see Tara getting highlighted here! :)

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

Ah, Ian! You epitomize that welcoming, friendly, crew mentality! The incredible graciousness of crewmates never ceases to amaze me..... like the time I was just outside of Yellowstone National Park in a grizzly habitat center on vacation with my family, and you were a thousand miles away walking me through the steps of bidding on my first corporate gig and the equipment requirements. Love ya, Man!! =)

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Awesome. Tara Krauss

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

Thanks for taking the time to get to 'know me!' =)

Peter O'Hara's picture
Associate

Great interview Tara!

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

Thanks, Pete!

James Van Hees's picture
Associate

Hey Tara ... pleasure to meet you and read your feature!

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

Thank you, James, nice to 'meet you' as well!

Robert de Wit's picture
Associate

Tara's work is awesome! I've been a fan since she started.

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

So kind, Thank you, Rob!

Menno Klaasse's picture
Protégé

Love to read more about fellow crew-members, Thanks for sharing Tara and I love the real clean look of your headshots !

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

I appreciate that. Thanks, Menno!

Josh Line's picture
Associate

So glad you’re here Tara. Love your perspective on life and always happy to see and hear from you.

Tara Krauss's picture
Associate

I am so happy to be here, too, Josh, and I will truly make an effort to be 'here' more often. I love our military connection and the fun memory of meeting up in the Springs for coffee. =)