Meet Tara, aka @ladyslider — surfer, photographer, stylist, all-around babe — in a series highlighting some of our fave FP Me gals.
Born and raised on a tiny island cluster in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I can’t help but have a pretty unique perspective on the world. I was the youngest of four girls and lived most of my life outside or in the ocean (away from the possibility of getting beat up.) My upbringing was very well-documented — Dad got my mom a Canon film camera and soon she became a vigilant photographer. My dad bred German Shepherds, so my best friends were always dogs. (He still tells people that “Tara was raised by the dogs.”) When I was 12, I acquired my very own surfboard from an art teacher who was throwing out his old 7”6” Blue Hawaii. It was all of these things that contributed to who I am today — a woman with a quirky sense of style and unique point of view.
Growing up in such an isolated place has (maybe) surprisingly afforded me many unique opportunities. When I was younger, all I ever wanted to do was get out. The urge to see the rest of the world and travel to faraway places was so strong. Now that I am older (and privy to having visiting a few places), I’ve grown to appreciate and understand my roots more than ever; now, I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else in the world as it’s granted me the rare chance to develop a well-rounded perspective of everyday images.
I always knew I wanted to work in a creative industry, but never imagined that I could survive as a photographer and stylist. Today, I am surrounded by a circle of extremely creative, visually stimulating people, places and things, every day. It’s a true blessing to work with them to create beautiful imagery.
Hawai’i is unique for countless reasons but, perhaps most importantly, it is the birthplace of surfing. Native Hawaiians have a birthright to surf, as their culture is so closely connected to the land (and water). I am not of native Hawaiian descent, but am privileged to practice the art of surfing — it is a unique part of their indigenous culture and revered as a rare art form, as we are using the motion of our bodies and the momentum of the ocean to move forward. You can’t get more connected and symbolic than that.
My fiancé, Tyler, and I live a comfortable little life on the North Shore of O’ahu, and it is he who has been the foundation of all of our creative endeavors. He is THE one behind the camera, capturing moments in time and empowering me to become a better technical photographer.
Most importantly, we live a simple kind of life that we enjoy. We love spoiling Annie, our 3-legged Border Collie, surfing together, and spending nights at home making yummy meals. I couldn’t ask for anything more!