GIRL BOSS // Erin & Tara


Name: Erin Neale & Tara Pearce

Location: Kyneton (near Melbourne)

Current Title / Company: 
Photographers at Erin & Tara
Creative Directors of Poet Weddings
Co-founders of Say PEACE! Posters

What was your first job out of university and how did you land that position? 

T:   I worked as a buyer for my families business, which was always the plan (arranged from birth!). Although perceived as a glamorous job, I'd find myself mostly negotiating in foreign factories and spending long days at trade shows. This was (unsurprisingly) a short lived career.

E: I worked in hospitality, which meant lots of fun bars and restaurants around Fitzroy. Also short lived, but perfect at the time. 

What inspired you to create your business? 

T: I’d always been inspired by the images in my parents and grandparents wedding albums. Their timelessness, a love of black of white imagery and I guess an instinctual pull to re-create that mood, through modern photography. Most of all though, the inspiration for my own business is my children, and the search for that eternal work / life balance.

E: Yes the ability to work from home and be here for the kids is an incredible (and significant) part of the appeal! But that desire to capture beautiful moments, and the creative autonomy that comes with owning and running your own business, with a kindred human …that’s what’s inspiring!

Take us through a day in the life of your business? 

T: Emails over a very strong coffee, followed by breakfast with two of my favourite human's, school drop off, hit the gym, editing, consulting with our amazing brides, location scouting and blissed out family time!

E: Get the kids up and ready for school, then head to the gym (sometimes!), then home to dive into edits and many, many emails, followed by school pick up, home to whip up some dinner and hang time with my beautiful family. 

Has anything surprised you about the journey to creating your business? 

T:  I think the most awesome surprise has been learning that every desirable goal is achievable if you are prepared to put in the hard work!

E: The magic that can be caught by a camera, there is such beauty in those fleeting moments. How despite inevitable juggle of a million things when running your own small business, learning that the process of shooting hasn’t lost any pleasure or magic…that’s been a nice surprise. 

Obviously, your business has grown! So, let's talk money. Tell us about the intimidating process of finding funding for your business. Any advice for women who need to find funding for their own startups? 

T: We started with the very basics; a few camera's, insurance, a website and a logoI'm very particular when it comes to how our work is viewed online so I actually built our website. Luckily for us, this meant our initial investment came from our own pockets, rather than external funding.  

E: Apart from the outlay for equipment and gear in the beginning, we haven't needed to put too much money into advertising, and are fortunate to have self funded our own business. I suppose our advice to others would be to think carefully about what you invest in, and for photographers, carefully considering the right blog or platforms on which to share and publish your work. If you do spend money advertising, be sure it feels like a truly perfect fit for you, your brand and your brand’s end goals.

Your business has developed quite a following. Can you tell us a little bit about marketing your business? How did you spread the word? 

T: Social media (particularly Instagram) has proven game changing for creatives, particularly in any visual medium. As a platform built for imagery, it’s allowed our photography to reach and be shared by people who it may not have discovered it otherwise.

E: Collaborations have also been key, and wonderfully, they often feel more organic and creative than traditional ‘marketing’. Social media of course has been huge, as well as submitting weddings to magazines and online platforms that resonate most powerfully with the kinds of couples we’re excited to work with! 

What do you think is the key to the success of your business? 

T: Collectively speaking, I think it’s our enduring passion for photography… because for any business to be a success you have to legitimately love what you do!  
For me personally, this means details and couture. I think our brides appreciate and gravitate towards the way we capture this element of the day.  

E: Classic black and whites. We’re each drawn to this timeless style of photography, which has become a signature of sorts. It seems to resonates with people, which is great, because it’s how we love to shoot, instinctually. 

Best advice you ever received? 
T: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
E: Fake it 'till you make it.

I wish I knew how to ... 
T: Dance and cook!
E: Paint or sing.

What is your coffee order? 
T: Double shot piccolo
E: Strong Skinny Latte

TV show do you wish was still on the air? 
T:  Louis Theroux
E: Seinfeld

Next travel destination? 
T: I would love to take my family to Italy, for a complete sensory overload of the best possible kind!
E: We're off to New Zealand. I’m looking forward to some precious family time in majestic spaces. New Zealand always feels a little otherworldly…a photographer can’t help but be inspired there. 

What advice would you give your 23 year old self? 

T: You will never get that time back, so just do the things you love.  
E: Take life in, in all its magic and entirety, it goes so fast!