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Conversations with Talia Friesen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Talia Friesen.

Hi Talia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started taking pictures when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I found joy in photographing flowers, leaves, and nature. I was very introverted growing up and talking to people was a challenge so portraiture was out of the question. One day when I was 11, I took a macro shot of a red rose. I stared at it proudly for a good 10 minutes then ran to show my family my piece of art. It was that day that I decided I was going to be a professional photographer.

A couple of years went by and I upgraded my mini Coolpix camera to my first DSLR. My life changed. The photo possibilities felt endless with this new piece of machinery (selective color am I right). I took my sister’s senior portraits (which are a bit of a disgrace but we’ve all been there) and actually enjoyed it! She was family so one of the few people I was comfortable talking to/directing.

During middle school, high school and a bit in college I took a hiatus from photography. I didn’t think it could be a “real job”. I majored in Dietetics for two years but soon came to the realization that the sciences were not for me. I quickly changed my major to Photography (the plan B) and transferred out to California. At that point, my people skills had much improved and I took a portraiture class that helped me get over my fear of photographing humans. Making a living from photography seemed more doable all of the sudden!

Since then, I’ve fallen in love with portraiture. I love meeting new people and connecting with other creatives!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. A lot of cool opportunities came up after graduating college, but not enough to pursue photography full time.

The hardest part for me was/is getting noticed! The market is saturated with photographers and it can be hard to enter a field where there might not be a need for more photographers. Especially since I was new to California and had very little connections to begin with.

Another challenge of mine was finding my target audience. I didn’t know who/what I wanted to take pictures of! And it’s so important for anyone who wants their business to succeed in the long run.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
There’s something so special about shooting with people. I’ve always loved travel, portrait, and food photography but editorial portrait photography quickly became my priority.

I’d like to say I’m known for my candid and dreamy look. I love to make people feel comfortable and at ease and it always translates into beautiful imagery. Everyone is so unique and I want my photography to convey that.

I’m most proud of the work I’ve done while traveling. During the last couple of years, I was able to collaborate with models from France, Germany, and Russia. They bring their own unique personalities and cultures to each shoot and inspire me differently. Plus, shooting in stunning historical locations never disappoints!

Since I started portraiture, I see a lot of incredibly talented portrait photographers follow the same trends. And that’s amazing if they prefer a certain style! However, I wanted to steer in a different direction. Many of us have thought how cool it would be to be on a cover of a magazine. My dream is to make anyone who shoots with me feel like they could be on the next cover of Vogue. Everyone deserves to feel empowered and valued with class!

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
My parents actually moved us to Morocco when I was five. We lived there for 12 years before returning to the US. I went to a French school there where I learned to speak fluent French and a little Arabic.

But you’ll just have to meet me in person to find out more, ha.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Models: Maëlle Canals Meredith Foster Angelique Cazanove Cayden Boyd

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