Becoming//The Thirties - Tara

One of the greatest pleasures of being a photographer is the people I get to meet and connect with. When I started my business 5 years ago I thought the best part of it all was taking photos and learning new things all the time. That notion changed very quickly. I went from a very introverted person somewhat fearful of other people, to now anticipating meeting a new person, that I am going to photograph, with much excitement. I think it’s this sense of adventure and need to venture outside of my comfort zone that connects me to my clients the most. That THEY are allowing themselves to be vulnerable, and to be seen by me. It’s intimate, and it’s always an honour.

This is Tara’s story.

“I would describe myself a ‘a dog mum crafter’. My life story started off as usual, I finished high school and went off to college. I worked for a year in corporate in the big smoke and then thought what the hey, I got a work holiday visa for the Netherlands and packed up and left. I didn’t have a job, money or the language skills but somehow I found my feet. I ended up staying for six years.

I came back to Australia and wanted to do something ‘Australian’.. I decided then and there that I’m going to the Northern Territory to work in the outback. I didn’t have any stockman skills so I ended up cooking on a million acre cattle station. I cried for the first two weeks – it was a vast difference from the life and friends I just left behind.

After the initial culture shock and no communication with the outside world, I found my groove and began to really enjoy the tiny little bubble world I was living in. After a year, I knew it was time for me to move onto a new adventure. It was a toss up between going to Canada with zero plans, joining the police force or the Defence Force. Before I knew it, I was training as a chef in the Navy and bought my first Ducati.

I turned 30 and took is very badly. I drank much too much wine two weekends in a row and it ended in tears, vomit, and a pot plant falling on my face. I was 30, single, broke, hated my job and had serious trust issues after a string of heartaches and ghostings.

I decided to commission as an officer to try to make a positive change for others. During training, I met my now fiancé. We had both given up on love when we met and were very focused on our careers. Within weeks of meeting, he was my best friend and within months I realised he was too much of a nice guy to let him get away.

The defining moment when I knew he was a good egg was when he added my fingerprint to his phone so I could listen to Taylor Swift on his iPhone.. it was love.

We now have two puppies together and we’re eloping in Iceland next year. I am currently experiencing PTSD from numerous assaults that I had repressed from the past. My partner (and my dogs of course) are extremely supportive and understanding. I started practising hand embroidery and cross stitch and have started a company creating pieces for customers which brings me joy

We try to practice living by our values, appreciating the little things, self-care and creating the life together that we want for ourselves, rather than the path that is expected of us. We decided that we didn’t want to have children, a decision that many do not understand or accept but a decision that makes us very happy. You only have one life and the quality and length of it is not guaranteed. Choose to live the life you want, it might not be perfect, but it’s yours.

Live the life you want, not what you think is expected.”

Check out Tara’s beautiful embroidery pieces here. I got one for my son Billy and I LOVE it. Totally one of a kind. Sew ME

Stine X