Austin Portrait Photographers » Tara Welch is an Austin photographer that specializes in creative portrait and documentary photography.

Grief & Group Photos

This is a personal blog post written on my work website.

This is not an attempt to market my “Fall Mini Sessions!” or even an effort to drum up print sales.

This is not me prattling on about the importance of professional photography although I do feel that way. Obviously.

This is just me talking about how the last 9 months have shaped and changed photography for me.

Want a brief summary of this post?

Take photos, any sort of photos, with the people you dig.

2017 has been a year of loss for my loved ones.

Gut-wrenching, horrific loss.

It began with my beloved and hilarious grandmother, Jean, passing away in January of this year.

This was followed by the practically unspeakable, unexpected death of my 23 year old brother, Thomas, in April.

Eight days ago, we lost our brilliant friend Caroline.

I’m writing this in the first 5 minutes I’ve been home to Austin after her memorial.

Take photos with the people you love.

Bad photos, out of focus selfies, photos that your arms look fat in, whatever. Take them.

I would let someone slowly rip out all of my toenails for a collection of blurry selfies with my brother.

I don’t think even one exists.

Proof. Proof that we were together. That we existed in the same place together.

This is a photo of my dad and all of my paternal siblings. A blended family, our ages and looks are all over the place.

This photo is terrible on many levels.

It’s blurry, we’re all smiling for different cameras. My blue eyed sisters have demon eyes.

This photo is printed and framed in every single room in my dad’s house. This was even before my brother died.

I haven’t checked but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s a copy in the glove compartment.

I can almost guarantee this is my dad’s favorite photo of all time.

Group photos are important.

The photo below is my favorite photo of all time. I have 6 copies of it printed and it’s backed up everywhere.

My husband and I started dating (he’s the one in red and I’m the drunk girl with a beer in front of her face to his left) around this time.

This was a trip my friends and I took to visit my now husband in Hawaii where he was working on his Phd.

The girl to my husband’s right, Marina, had to literally swim to safety during Hurricane Harvey last month.

The girl in purple is my friend Caroline that passed last week.

Group photos are important.

Grief is weird.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, I don’t recommend it.

I expected the forgetfulness, the spaciness.

I think I did expect the paralyzing regret, the inability to change history.

I expected the complete lack of motivation.

I guess I could have guessed how this sort of sadness and despair would play out amongst family members.

I didn’t expect that it would affect how I thought about my job as a wedding photographer.

How much more valuable those clumsy, sweaty group photos of my clients with their favorite people seem to me now.

I try to imagine my clients in the future. Getting that shitty phone call with bad news.

How they might cry and scream and then begin the search. The search for the photos of them with the deceased.

Trust me, I’ve spent 9 months looking for photos of myself with the deceased.

If you’re a professional wedding photographer and don’t already do this…take the group photos.

Get rid of any ego and just do it.

Hover around anxiously, wait for that “hey, let’s all get a photo together”!

And remember that it’s okay for people to actually look at the camera. It’s totally okay.

I know….you love the epic background with tiny people portraits, the incredible first dance photos shot thru candles.

The beautiful bride’s eyelashes as he kisses her on the check, the backlit exit shot…..

These images are important too, very important even, but after this year I’ve become a huge fan of “boring group shots”.

Even in social situations, I’ve become that annoying girl wanting to get a photo with you or take one of you.

We live in world where a pocket sized device can take a bitchin’ photo of the people we love, be shared immediately with other people we love, backed up safely forever and still make a good quality print.

This is amazing. Absolutely freaking amazing.

Believe you me, you’ll want that stupid photo so bad one day.

Grief and photography

Elizabeth + Guhan | Austin Indian Wedding

Forgive me if this blog post seems a little disjointed!

There were so many photos I wanted to post but would make this thing like 8 pages long!

Elizabeth and Guhan had both an Indian wedding and a western wedding at 800 Congress in June!

The Indian ceremony took place in the morning followed by a tasty lunch and the western ceremony took place in the early evening.

Both ceremonies were unbelievable!

As some of y’all might already know, my husband and I eloped in India five years ago next month and Indian ceremonies will always be my favorite.

This wedding also had some of the best food I’ve ever seen at a wedding with caterers including Perla’s, Elizabeth Street, and Lambert’s!

I couldn’t believe how many people were still raging on the dance floor towards the end of the day!

So much energy!

This shin dig was held together by the powerhouse that is Gina Whittington of The Whitt Experience!

Other amazing vendors involved include the following!

Rentals : Whim Hospitality

Indian Caterer : Suprabhat

Caterer : MMH Catering

Lighting : Ilios

Hair/Makeup : Clarissa Miranda

Music : Chino Casino

Florist : Botanical No. 9

Cake : Simon Lee

Pastries : La Patisserie Bakery

Many, many congrats to Liz and Guhan!

Austin Indian Wedding

I know, she’s a feast for the eyes!

Austin Indian WeddingAustin Indian WeddingAustin Indian Wedding

I love this tiny moment of glee with her mom after the ceremony!

One of my favorite downtown Austin night portraits ever!

Austin Indian Wedding

Austin Indian Wedding

August 5, 2017 - 7:23 am

Steve Ackley - Tara,

You did a fantastic job capturing so many special moments.
All through the day you were a delight to work with.
What a joy,

Thank you,

Steve

Hannah + Sheldon | Vintage Villas Wedding

These two are in serious love y’all!

Married for only a year, Hannah and Sheldon wanted to do it all over again with a vow renewal ceremony at Vintage Villas!

It was a hot day in August but these two were troopers and made it so fun for me!

Hannah is a blonde with this amazing laugh of a smile and was wonderful to photograph.

Sheldon was such a gracious event host and you can see nothing but kindness in his face.

Vintage Villas had amazing food per usual (that chicken piccata is unreal) and it was my first time there since they redesigned the main hall layout. So much more room now!

Also isn’t that blue uplighting awesome?

While everyone started out in their fancy clothes, after the sun went down many people changed into something a bit more casual for dancing!

Nice to have the hotel right next door!

Hannah and Sheldon make their home in the highly underrated city of Omaha, Nebraska and I know they had a blast coming back to Texas.

May the next year of your marriage be just as wonderful as the first and many congrats!

 

 

Hannah had her two sisters walk her down the aisle since her dad got to last time.

I love this black and white image because you can see Hannah’s dad’s hand on her mom back bringing her in closer despite the heat.

Vintage Villas Wedding