The Importance Of Checking In With Your Inner Child, with Fine Art Photographer Tara Mapes

Growing up in nature with a mom who inspired and nurtured her creativity, Tara Mapes has developed a signature style as a fine art photographer that has clients clamouring for her art. Today she shares with us more about her inspiration and creative process.

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Introduction (3:05)

How did you become a fine art photographer? (7:50)

I love nature, and started off doing landscape and macro nature photography. When I taught myself Photoshop, I moved into creating digital backgrounds and then capturing the essence of childhood in composite creative nature settings.

Were your children your inspiration? (12:40)

Not specifically. My son is not the path to my creativity – he just opened the door to it.

What is your process when you have a new idea? (16:28)

I have ADHD, so the first thing I do is text myself! I write out my shoot idea, then build on that with props and accessories. I also spend a lot of time location scouting. I do a dry run first so when the actual shoot happens, I’m not under pressure.

How do you attract clients who want the quality a fine art photographer creates rather than a large quantity of photos? (19:45)

I don’t offer any traditional photos sessions like family sessions in the park or seniors or weddings. I was creating for years before I started a page. As I was creating, people came to me wanting to buy my work. Now when people come to me, they want a piece of art, not a package.

Where do you source your fine art outfits? (24:56)

Sometimes I work with designers on custom outfits, and sometimes I buy on Amazon, or I buy themed couture. See Resource Guide for links.

What do you do with the outfits once you are done? (27:10)

I keep them in my storage units because I feel like I will be using them again, and so much work has gone into sourcing them.

Tell us about your ancestry art (30:10)

They are aimed at men mainly because of the more harsh lighting, and I base the styling on their heritage.

How many images do you include? (32:22)

I include 5 images for fine art, and just 1 for composites.

Do you have a set process for every client? (32:46)

Yes, they reach out and state the theme they are looking for or the story they want to tell. Then I will style clothes, then accessories, then the location.

When or where would you have your dream shoot? (34:34)

Hollywood, because they have all the costumes and locations already there. It’s a dream for any fine art photographer.

How much personal work do you do? (36:14)

I do a shoot just for myself about every 2 months.

What do you wish you knew when you started out as a fine art photographer? (40:26)

I am ok not knowing anything. Everything I have been through allows me to identify with the people that I teach today. I wouldn’t change anything, because it would change who I am today.

Speed Round! (42:04)

What are you currently artistically curious about? (43:20)


Discover more about Tara Mapes

Bio: Tara is an artist, fine art photographer and educator. She offers commercial photography for brands, and photography education to photographers.
She began her photography journey a little over 10 years ago with an interest in landscape. That evolved into digital background design as she self-learned Photoshop, then she moved onto portraits, fine art and couture. As she grew and others expressed an interest in learning her editing style and photography techniques, she began sharing her knowledge via tutorials and recently released a masterclass this year.  She offers thousands of digital backgrounds and tutorials as well as commercial photography for brands.

Resources shared in this episode:

Mararte Workshop:


Princess and Frog Boutique

Anna Triant Couture


Stella Maris

Little Dreamers

My Masterclass: Painterly Pro Masterclass:

The Head Mistress

Check out my other podcast with fine art photographer Shannon Squires

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