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Pattengale Turns Four – Celebrating How Far We’ve Come | Chicago, IL

I sat there, nervously fidgeting. We were about to go live.

I had just completed a three-month solo road trip and now it was time to launch.

Time to launch myself, without looking back, into being a “Photographer,” when someone asked what I did. After all, once you have a website, doesn’t that mean something mega serious?


“…believing the lie that I should be further along than I am…”


Oh the laughs these last four years of business have held! Oh the immense tears. Oh the lessons. Ohhhh the failures.

Oh but my heart, there are new mercies every morning. I’m gently telling myself that today more than ever (because I may or may not have cried myself into a puddle last night – of failing, overwhelm, disappointed hopes [aka believing the lie that I should be further along than I am], and everything in-between).

Indeed, this morning when I realized that TODAY was the mark of this journey, I became overwhelmed with gratitude.

Gratitude for the ups and downs.

Gratitude for a husband who holds me and when I feel like there is nothing to be proud of in that current state, he speaks truth over me. He says, “Tara, you are stronger than you think.”

So today, I stand in my purpose. I stand in the truth that I have something to share. Something to give. That I have a business that is healthy, growing, and a blessing to each client it touches. I stand in the truth that the Lord directs my steps and causes the growth.

I stand in the joy of looking back in order to see just how far I’ve come these past four years…


There’s so much more I could share.

But I’ll leave it at this: To all my couples, thank you. You have inspired and fueled this dream more than I could ever say. To all my friends & siblings who modeled for me, thank you. Without you I would still be fiddling around, probably asking my clients to do mega awkward things if you hadn’t told me to stop. To Mark & Betsy, thanks for being my first ever couple to model because I “just needed to see how guys & girls bodies work together,” and without hesitation you said yes. To my parents – you’ve always believed and celebrated with me.

And of course to my bebe, hottie of a husbae – let’s keep adventuring! Follow along on our adventures over on the Insta!

If you’re just starting out on this photography journey let me say this: We all start somewhere. Don’t give up. Learn all you can and when no one else believes in you, have the courage to believe in yourself.

Here’s to year FIVE!

–Tara M


  • Awesome job! And, all that second guessing is a normal part of life but not a destination. So, kick that to the curb! Keep growing. Keep loving. Keep pursuing the Lord; He is the one who gives us the true desires of our heart. ❤️


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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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