Hawaii-based photographer Tara Michie is a creative force. With her days spent capturing images of surf, travel and fashion from her own unique perspective, her blog 'Ladyslider' is fuel for the imagination.
Mesmerised by the beauty of living in a paradise and inspired by her mother's family photo documenting skills, Tara's images are an eclectic reflection of her moods, stories and dreams.
"I like to focus on transitional moments, rather than those epic moments everyone remembers. Like the way a friend tosses her hair when she laughs, or a surfboard flying in the air after a wipeout. To me, the most valuable moments are those in-between or unseen," she muses.
We caught up with Tara to talk more about Ladyslider, Hawaii and her passion for working behind the lens.
Q: Tara, how did your blog Ladyslider come to be?
A: It's a blog that captures a surf, travel and fashion lifestyle from my perspective. I started it about 4-years ago and it is a constant work in progress. It has challenged me to be more creative, take more fashion risks [or, should I say, given me an excuse to spend more money on clothes!] and presented me with the opportunity to see my life from an outside perspective. I will be forever grateful for it all!
Q: Why the name 'Ladyslider'?
A: I wanted to have a name that translates my passions for surfing, lifestyle, fashion and travel. I guess 'Ladyslider' is the best I could come up with!
Q: What fuels your passion for photography? Have you always been an avid photographer?
A: I have always been a very visual and creatively driven person. Growing up in such a beautiful place it's hard not to be, and the people around me have always been especially inspiring. My mom was an artist and an incredibly creative person. When we were growing up, she always made us watch old films and go to art museums with her. She also took beautiful, candid photos of my sisters and I when we were young - we have bins and bins of family photos! I think that has a lot to do with my interest in photography and the creative field generally.
Q: Tell us about some of your recent work.
A: I work with different companies to create original, lifestyle photos for their brand [to pay the bills]. I also do other work including creative direction, branding and a little graphic design. But my main focus has been to create images that are pieces of fine art. It's a work in progress.
Q: How do you describe your photographic vision?
A: I capture moments that are unique and unexpected. I try to tell a story with my photos, especially if there are multiple photos I take that fall into the same concept.
Q: What messages are you trying to convey through your photographs?
A: I'm just trying to share my own point of view. More recently, I've tried to be more thought-provoking and perhaps satirical with some of my photos.
Q: How do you go about choosing subjects to photograph?
A: Sometime my photos are premeditated [I have an idea in my head and want to perpetuate it visually] or I'll see a candid moment and simply capture it.
Q: You live in Hawaii! What's it like living in a place reminiscent of paradise!?
A: It's easy. Natural. Life in Hawaii is about enjoying the people and place around you, rather than striving for success and accomplishment. It's easy to enjoy the simple life when you live in such a beautiful place; you can forget about all the other stuff.
Q: Describe a typical day for you.
A: I wake up [slowly], make coffee or meet friends at a coffee shop, check the waves, go on a beach walk with my dog Annie, surf, shoot some photos, check emails and work late into the night on my computer.
Q: What do you do to stay healthy and grounded?
A: I surf, go on beach walks and eat healthy. I try to stay active, have time to myself and buy local.
Q: If you had to describe your lifestyle in a sentence, you would say…
A: It goes through its own seasons; from mellow and easy-going [usually at home] to spontaneous and adventurous [when I go on a trip].
Q: Besides photography, what other activities do you enjoy dabbling in?
A: I love to surf, travel, paint, swim with sea creatures, go camping and on hikes, hang out with my plants and build online shopping carts!
Q: You say on your blog that your passion for the creative field stems from your background in fashion. Tell us about some of the things you did in fashion before starting Ladyslider.
A: I didn't do a whole lot, but I went to school to study fashion design and eventually worked as a personal assistant for a couple of different jewellery/accessories companies.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
A: As a consumer, it's a form of self-expression; art. It's also about translating someone's creative vision into your own lifestyle.
Q: Your perfect day would be…
A: Swimming in warm ocean water, perfect peeling point breaks, surrounded by good friends, good food, and experiencing something or somewhere new.
Check out Tara's blog @ www.ladyslider.com/