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A 27th Birthday Letter to Myself – St Louis Photographer

Dear Tara,

If on desktop, listen (especially chorus) while you scroll –> the song you & Kodak listen to when you “GO FOR RIDE…” Go ahead, call me basic.

Oh heyyyy girl!! This is the fifth year you’ve publicly blogged on your birthday/weekend. Sharing thoughts, challenges and lessons. Reading back through year 23, year 24, year 25, and year 26, was not only sentimental but provoking and encouraging. Oh how much life these years have seen. How many people, stories, and the gift of traveling.

Year twenty-six looked very different than what you expected, but if anything, it just proves how much a year can hold & mean.

Some highlights from July 2018-2019:

  • Making pivots and literally restructuring nearly every internal part of the photography business. Taking 4+ business courses. Raising prices twice.
  • Packing up & unpacking your home three times.
  • Living in Chicago
  • Taking a ballet class
  • Seeing Hamilton
  • Books & books & books
  • Successfully learning to French braid your own hair (a goal since you were twelve)
  • Time tracking, on the half hour, for over 9 weeks?
  • Investing in personal mindset & professional growth by hiring your first business coach and attending two in-person events
  • You’ve now been to 43 states & 4 countries
  • Shooting at a venue you dreamt of before you even began your business. aka: full circle.
  • Cooking is no longer intimidating or stressful
  • Encountering unexpected health problems, becoming your own advocate, and #overcomer
  • Working out with Stephen and already seeing encouraging results & strength
  • Actually having friends to hang out with regularly in St Louis


I am so proud of the growth in empathy, open-mindedness, and deeper roots in faith.
I am so proud of your business and the dreams & goals on the white board that already have active plans for implementation.
I am so proud of the self-awareness, the self-care, and the self-talk (though far from perfect) that has amplified itself towards the -> positive direction.

And because the other years leading up to Twenty-Seven seemed a emotionally, tulmutous, I am happy to report: You haven’t cried about this birthday. Because you are 10x more comfortable in your own skin, where you stand, and SO DANG HAPPY. Which makes a huge difference.

This iphone photo: no makeup, natural hair, and feeling so loved by a surprise birthday cake with friends = epitome of growth & happiness.

May year 27 be the best yet!

Filled with seeking to unify & uplift others even more, new experiences & countries, deeper madly-in-love-feels for bae,
and if I can be so bold,

Abundance because the Lord is faithful. Abundance in relationships, stress-management, business dreams actualized, & personal life experiences.

New things are coming.
I can feel it.
And I’m all the “praise hands.”


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I’m Tara


As a young girl, I kept a journal and then when Stephen and I got married, we wrote our vows into a journal we shared as a couple. On this lil’ corner of the internet, I want to invite you into our virtual journal’s stories and musings.  I hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration along the way. You can expect a mixture of our recent photography work & adventures, lifestyle tips, current obsessions, and personal stories of us behind the scenes too! I’m so glad you’re here!

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