Inside WRAL

In between the blinks

Posted February 15, 2011

WRAL's newest reporter, Tara Lynn, has so many interesting hobbies – salsa dancing, teaching aerobics and volunteering at animal shelters. I recently learned that she is also an excellent photographer and has a website called In Between The Blinks. I asked Tara Lynn to share some of her photos and tell us more about her photography:

How did you become interested in photography? What camera(s) do you use?

I’ve always taken photos my entire life. I love to scrapbook and record special moments in my life. As I scrapbooked more, I wanted to be able to take better photos. I started volunteering at Pet Helpers, an animal shelter in Charleston, SC. I was taking photos of the dogs for the website. I wanted to have a sharper image and more control of the type of photo I wanted, so I decided to upgrade from my digital point-and-shoot camera to a Canon rebel. I then upgraded from the standard lens it came with to a 35mm fixed lens! I love it.

Photo by Tara Lynn

You’ve taken some great pictures of kids and animals, but they can be difficult to photograph. What’s your secret?

Photographing kids and pets is not easy. I’ve learned with youngsters, you have to earn their trust. No matter how outgoing they are, most still have a warm-up process with new people. I like to get them in an environment where they are comfortable like a park and just let them play and not try too many poses. With dogs, treats are king! Working with animals at a shelter, not all know how to sit and many are very timid. The goal is the capture the dogs personality and make them look as adorable (and adoptable) as possible. Again, this usually involves letting them play in the yard or a really good handler. Plan to take a hundred photos and have a handful turn out! And have a good cloth to wipe the doggie licks off your lens!

Photo by Tara Lynn

What advice do you have for people who hate getting their picture taken and don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera?

If you don’t like to have your photo taken, it’s going to show! That’s why I like to try to get my subjects in a place where they are typically comfortable in to begin with. Think about the photo as a “memory moment” and not a “photo.” And you don’t have to look at the camera for it to be a great photo. You may find interacting with something or someone is easier. Just let the photographer capture you in your element and moment.

Photo by Tara Lynn Photo by Tara Lynn

What advice do you have for other aspiring photographers?

I consider myself an aspiring photographer still! There is so much to learn. You must know your camera! No matter how great your camera is, if you don’t know how to manipulate the settings, you won’t be able to get the shot you want. Pay attention to the frame. What’s in the background? Is it distracting? Does it make sense with the photo? Practice. Practice. Practice and have fun!


Thanks to Tara Lynn for sharing her photos and story. To see more pictures, check out her website.

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Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.