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HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
My Opa (grandpa) gave me his 35mm Leica film camera when I was fifteen. I think he saw in me the same passion he had for photography when we would sit together and flip through his old albums and talk about his life stories. He overcame so much in his life and having those images is a living testament to him and our family. In many ways, I feel like he passed the torch on to me to keep telling stories through photography.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Punchy, dramatic, and personal. I definitely want my images to evoke some sort of emotion and be memorable. I also have a soft-spot for black and white edits because I think subtracting color can enhance the overall message of an image.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
Composition, light, action, emotion, and visual interest. I think I’m kind of architectural that way- I love symmetry, lines, reflections, and dimension. I’m drawn to clean, simple compositions, even if there’s a lot going on in the frame.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
Creation inspires me, as do good-hearted people and fellow creatives…I literally gawk at the raw talent being produced right now in the industry. It’s amazing to see and be part of. It also fuels my drive to improve and build on my skill set so I can be a source of inspiration to others.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
Staying focused challenges me. There’s so much information to process with social media, technology, and the natural tendency to compare, that it is a constant challenge for me to maintain balance, authenticity, and vision for the goals I want to achieve. When my mind gets into a frenzy, I take a moment to quiet everything down and reassess what’s important to me and feel gratitude for my personal journey and growth.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
As much I’d love to say it’s the first look, the vows, or the moment right after the ceremony when the couple is embraced by family and friends, I’ve learned that each wedding is as unique as each couple, family, and wedding guest. What I might anticipate to be a moment that might strike an emotional chord for one person, may not be the case for another. So as a photographer, I have to really be in tune with what’s going on around me. When that unique moment happens, that’s my new favorite moment of that particular wedding.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
Not yet. I have images that I like a lot, but not a favorite. I think that’s a good thing though…it definitely pushes me to challenge myself more. I may never have a favorite image and that’s totally ok with me, because that means I’m still hungry to learn.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TANYA PARADA?
Speaking of being hungry, I’m a total foodie! I often introduce myself as Tanya Lasagna, a nickname my brother in law gave me, not because I love lasagna, but because it’s the only thing that rhymes with my name…try it! Nothing else rhymes and now you won’t forget lol! I also love mixology and coming up with names for my cocktail inventions. Some other random facts- I was onstage once with the Blue Man Group and on an episode of Food Paradise. Spanish was my first language. And I wear my heart on my sleeve.
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
DVLOP has become one of my favorite tools in editing, if not my favorite. I think of it as my special sauce, or the icing on a cake. The presets breathe life into my images. I’ve even begun re-editing some of my older work with DVLOP and it’s amazing to see them pop, like a new coat of wax. I use DVLOP in three ways: as my “one-click-wonder” (I throw on a preset and boom, it’s ready to go!), or as my “trail-mix” (layering multiple DVLOP presets together) or if I’ve already edited an image, I usually “season” it with a DVLOP tweak or two. Combinations are endless which is why for me DVLOP is so fun and versatile.