Hi Friends! This was probably one of my favorite interviews because Tara is just SO much fun! Tara owns As Eye See It and specializes in capturing the most amazing and perfect headshots for her clients! We spent a couple hours in her studio which is located in her home in Parker, CO (she also has one in Denver as well) and she made me feel totally comfortable and at ease while shooting my photos! Make sure to follow her and connect! She is incredible!
Question: Tell us about your business and how you became the successful business woman you are today.
Answer: My photography business was born in 2006 out of my desire to raise money for charity (specifically Parkinson's disease in honor of my mom and in memory of my grandfather). This creative spark has been molded over the course of the past 13 years, our final 3 military moves and an array of 'do you photograph (insert request here)' questions. I am a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography in both professional and portrait photography. I have many hands-on hours in the maternity, newborn, kids and family genres. It wasn't until 2017 that I found my photography calling and narrowed my focus to specialize in headshots. Headshot photography is the perfect balance for my 'attention-to-detail' tendencies and my inherent ability to connect with people one-on-one.
Question: Describe yourself in three words:
Answer: Honest, dedicated and kind
Question: What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Answer: To date, earning the prestigious title of Associate in Peter Hurley's Headshot Crew
Question: What are your professional goals for the next six months?
Answer: Double the number of weekly individual headshot sessions in my studio and increase the number of on-location corporate bookings
Question: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Answer: I have aspirations to be an author of a children's book for adopted kids based on our experience of adopting our daughter from China. Although we have come across many wonderful books in this sector, each one doesn't quite speak to the circumstances we experienced. I would like to add my thoughts, words and pictures into a book for my daughter, and in turn other adopted children whose journeys have been similar to hers.
Question: How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Answer: Each day is different, and I maintain flexibility to focus on the task at hand whether it be an on-location corporate shoot, an individual headshot in my home studio, a trip to the kids' orthodontist or even laundry. If I allow anything to build up and become a stressor, my theoretical 'balance' is off. Some days I'm up and ready in the studio by 5:30 am retouching images before my kids get up, while other days I'm in my pj's until 10 am making personal phone calls and responding to texts/messages/emails. Giving myself leeway and flexibility, without the judgmental 'shoulds' sneaking into my thoughts allows me to steam forward and tackle things in the order they need to be handled.
Question: What websites do you visit every day?
Answer: As with most entrepreneurs, social media is imperative. Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn are my go-to platforms each day.
Question: What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
Answer: I must confess, I'm a shameless homebody. I love being home in the Pinery whether it's working in my home studio, walking around Bingham Lake or reading a book on my back deck while enjoying the beautiful view of the Colorado mountains. My next love is spending time outdoors at parks (hiking in Castlewood Canyon) and rivers (tubing the S. Platte River) reminding me of all my wonderful childhood memories growing up in Montana. A favorite destination in Denver is taking in shows or concerts at the theaters (Shen Yun was a hit with our family). This area has it all covered!
Question: What is your goal for retirement?
Answer: To travel! To take more pictures! I have grand visions of hitting the open road with my husband and my camera and taking in more of this amazing US countryside. I want to add more images to my landscape gallery and provide income through that avenue (www.aesilandscapes.com).
Question: Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
Answer: Be kind to yourself. It's challenging building a business. Stop telling yourself excuses and take inventory of that mental talk that's always humming in the background. You really can do anything you set your mind to, the deciding factor is just that: DECIDING. Figure out what it is you want, then figure out next a plan to set you in motion. Surround yourself with your tribe. Seek out mentors and others who have paved the way before you. Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction-- just get out there and do it!
Question: Any final comments?
Answer: Do yourself a favor and get a professional headshot. Elevate not only the way the world sees you, but how you see yourself. In this digital age, that critical moment of a first impression is simply a glance. Don't risk immediate oversight because of a casual selfie. Give yourself and your profession the credit that's due. And, just as many of my clients have witnessed, you may see yourself in a new light and realize just how uniquely beautiful you are.
Hi There! I am Leah Ryan, Lead Publisher and Social Media + Event Coordinator for Housewives in the City here in Denver, Colorado! I have lived in Colorado my entire life, born and raised. My family has some deep Colorado roots and I am fascinated with anything related to Colorado History!
I love to spend time with my boyfriend, cook, read, use my creativity in every aspect possible and if there is a puppy around... that is where my attention will be! Please come introduce yourself to me if you see me out and about and especially at one of our monthly Ladies Night Out events! XOXO - Leah