Guest Judge//Tia Costello//The Vintage Wheel Photography

Guest Judge//Tia Costello//The Vintage Wheel Photography

Please welcome this week's guest judge, Tia Costello of The Vintage Wheel Photography. Tia is an amazing photographer and a former "Mavenista" from Snap Maven! She chose an amazing theme for us this week and has taken over our Instagram. Be sure to read all about Tia below and submit to her theme over on Instagram. Use the hashtag #spm_outdoorfun & #snapmaven for a chance to be featured!


Tell us about yourself...

Hi there. I'm Tia, a documentary photographer from Austin,TX. I live here with my husband and two fun and crazy kiddos. I'm a lifelong artist wannabe, a skin cancer survivor, and a vegan who occasionally eats Chick-Fil-A (I think that’s called a CHEGAN, right?). I’m loud, silly, creative and if you ever meet me, my sunglasses are either on my face or on my head…they’re my ultimate accessory. I love to dance and sing, even though I'm horrible at it and I have to listen to music for at least two hours per day or I go crazy. It's like my therapy and where I get most of my inspiration.
Most days you can find me in our toy room, no make up, hair a mess and snuggled up with my kiddos. Like most moms, I cherish every moment spent with my kids and I make sure to always have my camera handy to capture as much of their childhood as possible. I find so much beauty in everyday life that, quite honestly, I have fallen in love with documenting ours. There is something so rewarding to me about grabbing these precious moments and having them forever. In fact, I feel so fulfilled doing it, it's exactly why you find me teaching others how to do it themselves and why I document real life for my clients. I am passionate about showing others how to preserve these same precious, fleeting moments.

What’s your dream project or shoot?

I can't say that I have a dream shoot or project I'm working towards, mostly because I feel like I am still working with the one I completed last year...which was a dream of mine. 

At the end of 2016 and into 2017 I had worked on a project that I planned to release in May of 2017. And when I did release it, it quickly became more successful than I had originally thought. It was shared by The Skin Cancer Foundation and had quite an impact with their community. To date it has been one of the most popular posts on their blog. In addition, it not only helped raise awareness for Melanoma, it helped save a handful of people from going down that horrible "cancer" road. And that was my goal with this project from the start. I couldn't be happier. 

I am still working with the project and collaborating with other non-profit organizations to release it again and to create other projects along the same line as this one. If you would like to check out the project and read how it even came about, you can view it here:

Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Yes. To stay focused on a specific type of photography. I know it is hard in the beginning of a photography career to do so. You want to get any job you can and not to mention, you want the practice and experience. But man oh man can you get burnt out quick. I remember being so exhausted and my thoughts, when it came to photography, were like a spinning wheel. At one point I was doing outdoor, posed family sessions, birthday parties, headshots, newborns and even a few times I desperately did some studio sessions, not knowing exactly what to do and how to get the proper lighting. It was too much and my work and my love for photography suffered because of it all. 

Find that one genre that makes you feel good and go all in. Don't worry about what your competition is doing. Focus on your passion and give it your all. Treat it like it's the only type of photography out there and market it like it is your baby. Be confident and the clients will come.

If you could take your art in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead, what new thing would you try?

Mentoring, Mentoring, Mentoring. I am trying right now, but my goal for 2019 is to become a Clickin Moms Mentor.

Who is your favorite photographer (dead or alive) and what about their work inspires you? Drop us a link so we can check them out!

Oh man, I have so many that it's hard to choose. But if your making me, I'd have to say Mina Mimbu comes to mind straight off the bat. Mina is a fine art photographer and to say her work is incredible is an understatement. Her creativity and imagination blow me away. How does she dream up such amazing images? And she has a new one almost every day...amazing and so captivating.
Mina, you're awesome girl!

What is your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?

Right now my camera stand! I have made it a mission to take more photos of me with my kids this year, and without it, I am not sure how possible that goal would be at attaining.

What do you credit with your biggest growth in your photography?

I would have to say my (kind of recent) scare with Melanoma really pushed me to be where I am today. I was so sad and fearful and in desperate need of seeing the light. And one day, after months of looking for a way out of the darkness, I did see it...literally. So I grabbed my camera and started shooting. I started shooting real life, my real life and it took me in an entire new direction that I didn't even know existed. I am not saying that I am happy that I was diagnosed with melanoma, but I am so thankful for the way I got back up and that it involved my love for photography.