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Inspiring Conversations with Stefan & Kayla of Tangerine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefan & Kayla.

Hi Stefan & Kayla, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Of course! Thank you for this opportunity. We’re the owners of Tangerine — an engagement, wedding, & lifestyle photography business based in Southern California. Leading up to the launch of Tangerine in 2021, we had separate careers working in the photo industry here in LA. Stefan is a self-taught photographer specializing in medium-format film. The early years of his career were spent photo assisting while freelancing & building his clientele. Stefan’s unique eye for detail & ability to connect with people is effortless, instantly making clients feel at ease. Kayla kickstarted her career as a photo intern while studying photography in college. She is a commercial photographer & former photo producer, having worked as both an in-house photographer & producer for a young women’s clothing company. Tangerine was the build-up of many conversations over the years; we were on the fence for a long time about whether or not to pursue careers as wedding photographers. Our friends started asking us to photograph their weddings, wanting us to incorporate our approach & style of photography into their images. We then realized how much we loved the cadence of the business & sharing these memories with our friends; we wanted to replicate it in a way that was exciting & tangible for us. That’s when Tangerine came to life; it combines what we love most — photography, creating moments, & meeting new people. We’re very lucky.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We wish! It has been incredibly challenging, especially over the last few years. We were originally going to launch Tangerine in 2020 but ended up pushing the date until we felt the timing was right. Its been a furious grind & has required a ton of patience; patience to build a new business, reach clients, & develop a brand identity. This is also the first time we’ve leaned into working together professionally in the seven years we’ve been a couple. Figuring out a steady work/life balance has been a learning curve for us both but we’re having a lot of fun together. The wedding photography industry has also been incredibly welcoming; there’s room for everyone to succeed in this business.

As you know, we’re big fans of Tangerine. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Tangerine is our engagement, wedding & lifestyle photography business based in Southern California. We specialize in medium-format film & digital photography. The name, Tangerine, is inspired by a lifestyle & place soaked in citrus-colored skies. It stems from our lives in California, bouncing between Los Angeles & the salty coast. Mostly, it is a gentle nod to where we grew up, where we met & where we started this business — Orange County. We’ve also recently expanded into photographing bridal editorials. Coming from the world of fashion & commercial photography, this has been a very rewarding experience for us. It’s been a great way to meet & work with some incredibly talented vendors in the industry.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
We don’t consider ourselves to be the biggest risk takers but every big moment that comes to mind, whether that be in our personal or professional lives, has required us to be brave & step outside of our comfort zones. When you step outside your comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens. Starting Tangerine wasn’t the biggest risk for us, it felt like a very natural transition, but where we do like to take risks is with our photographs. We want to push the envelope on traditional wedding photography while still maintaining a classic, timeless aesthetic. We’re constantly striving to do better at our craft which inherently requires quite a bit of risk creatively.

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