My name is Taryn Lewis! If you’re here, hopefully, you’ve looked through some of my photography on social media or my website! If not, well I’m glad you’re here, and let’s get to know each other!
I haven’t had a blog since college, so it’s been a while! The last time I blogged, I was using Tumblr and making a portfolio blog for a photojournalism class I was taking. It was super fun to make, and I loved sharing my photos that way! Plus, who doesn’t love Tumblr?! Over the years, I’ve had several Tumblr blogs. One of the random shit my brain spews, another for an art history course, and one for my early photography work!! I’ve lost track of the first blog that I made when I started using Tumblr in middle school. I was 14 when it launched and it was a huge thing for everyone! It was the era of MySpace and YouTube …. good times. Anyways, this is a roundabout way of saying that it’s been a hell of a long time since I blogged, even though I used it for years. But hey, I’m back! Yay!!
Let’s have some fun!!
WHO AM I?
I’m a photographer (Duh! Why else would you be here if not to look at pretty photos?!) and I live in Portland, Oregon. I live for portrait photography, but I also love shooting things like engagements and weddings. I don’t want to limit myself, so I can do most types of photography involving people. Ooh! I also started doing product photography in the winter, which has been a new experience for me. It’s got a bit of a learning curve, but I love it!! Working with a lightbox is really unique and I think it’s a skill every photographer should utilize, if only to learn how to light inanimate objects in a controlled environment. I’ve learned a lot about lighting since I got the lightbox! Some of the products I have shot are beauty & bath products, candles, and stationery. I use this lightbox, and absolutely love it!!
Besides product photography, another avenue of photography that I’ve been playing with and trying to get better at is self-portraits!! I have a small studio setup in my apartment, so in the past couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with self-portraits, using natural light with a seamless background. It’s been SUPER fun!! I’ve never really been confident in front of the camera, so being the photo subject has taken some getting used to. The last self-portrait shoot I did was for my birthday in May, involving bubbles, confetti, and dinosaurs! 🙂
I’M MORE THAN JUST A PHOTOGRAPHER THOUGH…
If you remember from the beginning of this post, I’m currently based in Portland, Oregon. However, I’m a recent transplant. During last year’s quarantine, I decided to move from the San Francisco Bay Area!! It had become tedious, living there when I wasn’t really happy or doing anything that fulfilled my spirit. Plus, I grew up in the Bay Area and lived my entire life in California until I decided to move. It was a pretty sudden move when I look at it from an outsider’s perspective. I visited a friend in July, and on September 1 drove a U-Haul up with my car towed behind. What a long ass day that was. But since I moved, even though things are tough sometimes, I have never felt more comfortable where I live, happy and fulfilled. I feel like I belong here.
A few months after I moved, a friend asked me what I missed about California. After thinking for a minute, the only thing I could think of was Yumi Yogurt, the absolute BEST frozen yogurt chain in the Bay Area. It’s owned by one family, and there’s a chain called Rosy Yogurt which is owned by another part of that same family. I actually worked in one of the shops in high school! I’m a woman of many talents. Besides that, the only other thing I really missed was my family. My dad and stepmom live in the Bay Area with the doggo, and when I’m feeling sad I really do miss them. But we talk consistently and I know that they’re close if I ever need a fix.
MENTAL HEALTH. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT IT?
One really big part of my life that I simultaneously am open about but also don’t talk about enough is my mental health. I’m Bipolar, and it’s been a huge struggle for me to deal with it for most of my life. I was first diagnosed with an emotional mood disorder/ Bipolar NOS when I was eight-ish, and spent the better part of a decade and a half trying to become a sane, functioning member of society. It’s still really hard for me, even though I’ve been stable for several years, but I struggle every day.
One thing I struggle with most is sleep. Even if my body is truly exhausted, if my brain doesn’t slow down then I don’t sleep. Medication helps, but sometimes my brain is like “Nope. Not tonight, sucker.” Another thing that is hard for me is staying in one job and maintaining steady hours. That’s why I like retail and photography so much!! Those industries allow me to have unique days at work that don’t become repetitive or stagnant. That’s what kills me when I’m working. If there isn’t anything to challenge me, then I’m no longer successful and I start to resent the work.
I’m guessing that one of the first thoughts you had when reading that I’m bipolar was a vision of someone absolutely losing their shit and going crazy. Am I right? Well, that’s not really an accurate picture. What you just thought of is a manic episode, and not everyone has them. I’m Bipolar II, which means it’s not likely that I’ll have a manic episode and I tend to dip down into the depressive side of Bipolar. But that doesn’t mean mania isn’t a part of my life! Oh no, it is. But I suffer from hypomania as opposed to mania. It presents itself in ways like sleeplessness because my brain is like a friggin high-speed bullet train going through the dreamscape in my head or super intense bursts of energy with a day of recovery after.
But hey, I’ve been working on my mental health for 20 years. It will always be a battle I have to fight, some days winning and some losing. Most days I’m pretty successful, and life has been a lot better on my current regimen of medication! Plus the move from California REALLY helped. Living there was seriously detrimental to my mental health. I’m not hating on CA though! It’s a great place, and if you’re successful there more power to ya!
WELL IF THAT’S ALL…?
If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU!!! It means a lot to me that you’ve taken the time to read this very short, spastic introduction. I hope you’ll come back for more! And in the meantime, check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages and the rest of my website!!
I hope you all enjoy the weekend, see you soon!!