An advocate of Rooh Collective since the beginning, Tarynn Walker is a professional photographer, mum and business owner and we were excited to find out more about her, what inspires her digital creations and how she integrates living more sustainably into her every day life.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do for work?
I own and operate a photography business specialising in family and motherhood but I also offer couples/intimate weddings and some fashion and branding.
Favourite piece in your wardrobe and why?
I'm not sure I have a favourite per se, if I do it's forever changing... I'd say I've reached a point of knowing my style well enough that each piece is carefully selected and they are all becoming favourites. If I don't love it anymore I donate it or sell it. I don't buy things on a whim, preferring to save for something I know will be a staple in my wardrobe for years to come. I do have a bit of an obsession for hats though... Most of mine are from Will and Bear. I don't really wear jewellery, so hats are my way of accessorising.
How does your style reflect your personality?
I'd say my style reflects my personality in that it's relaxed and minimal with a feminine edge.
Day to day you'll find me mostly in jeans or cropped linen culottes and an oversized tee or blouse with birkenstocks or blundstones depending on the season. On the weekends or for an occasion I'm reaching for a dress (usually something floaty with full sleeves). I love feeling comfortable and unrestricted but feminine at the same time and with a dress there's no worrying about having gained a kilo or two since last wearing it, or pairing it with the right thing, Just put it on and go! Easy peasy! Just what I need when getting ready with kids around.
Talk us through your creative process as a photographer
First and foremost it starts with getting to know the client. Finding out what is going to be meaningful to them, what is important in their life story. What location is going to suit them. What kind of lighting are they drawn to?
This is usually done via a questionnaire. The more detailed a client is, the better it helps me to understand the best way to capture them.
As far as what I look for when I shoot, there are a few things... Most importantly LIGHT, CONNECTION and COMPOSITION.
Any one of these things without the others means the image will never be as strong.
There needs to be emotion felt through the image and I think one of my biggest skills as a photographer is the assistance I give with creating that, directing my families through actions where I know there will be connections happening naturally. You can always feel if it's fake or forced. You can sense through an image if someone feels awkward, this is why the trust I build through getting to know my client prior to our shoot is so important. When they arrive and I ask them to do certain things, they trust my vision completely as we've already spoken about the process.
How do you juggle being a mum and running your own business?
I'm still trying to figure that out myself! Haha! It really is a juggle. I wish I had the magic answers for all the mum-trepreneurs out there, but I'm still just winging it really. I have a very supportive husband, but he also works hard and long hours, we just support each other as best we can and allow ourselves the odd takeaway or late bedtime when business is busy for us both. Through summer, my shoots start later so the juggle is a little easier with our different working hours (although I'm pretty tired by the end of it with all the late nights and travel). Winter can be a bit of a juggle with pickups and dinner etc. I just try to have my gear organised early so I can quickly hand the kids over and run out the door!
What do you do for self care with managing your business and two beautiful young ones? Any rituals you would like to share?
I'm veeeeery low maintenance when it comes to skin/hair etc. I don't really wear makeup day to day so I love skin needling to keep my skin fresh and bright, I do that every few months. I'm a hairdresser by trade and trained in basic beauty too, so I mostly colour my own hair, give myself pedicures, waxing etc and twice a year I have someone else do my hair for me.
My main self care on a mental health level is just giving myself time alone. Be that to meditate, exercise, listen to a podcast on the way to a shoot... Once you become a parent (especially without family help nearby) you are very rarely alone. My husband can always tell when I'm feeling "touched out" and he'll say "I've got the kids if you want to take some time out". He's very good at reading the signs after 10 years together.
How do you practice sustainability in your day-to-day life?
More importantly than anything, it's asking ourselves daily "do I really need this?" The best way to be sustainable is to simply consume less. We aren't perfect by any means, but we've certainly improved.
The past three years, for us as a family, have been hugely invested in creating a low waste and low-tox environment in our home and educating ourselves about lowering our footprint on this planet.
Sustainability can be such a buzz word in today's world, but I've found that in the past few years there has been so much more calling out of "greenwashing" and more and more brands are expected to show greater transparency regarding their sustainability and environmental practises.
It's a great step in the right direction.
Some of the changes we've made personally in our home and day to day life;
- Swapping out disposable products for reusable
- Replacing cleaning and bathroom products with all natural alternatives in recycled or reusable packaging.
- Buying fruit and veg from a local farm co-op
- Recycling and composting correctly (you'd be surprised how many things most of us are doing wrong)
- Reusable car kit with keep cups, plates, straws and cutlery to avoid waste while travelling.
- Using carbon offset options when booking flights etc.
When it comes to fashion, I try to buy pieces for myself that I know are made well, from natural fibres, have ethical production and that I know I will still love for many years to come. I've also found buying beautiful quality things and less of them for our kids, is a great investment as I can usually resell them preloved and I feel better knowing they will get a second, third or fourth life and I can use any profit to put towards the kids next season pieces.
I try to shop small wherever possible. Being a small business owner myself, I know how big of an impact it has when someone chooses to support my business so it's always nice when I can do that for someone else.