Sunday, January 10, 2021

Tira Howard – A Hidden Talent

Who is Tira Howard? Well you may ask … she is a hidden talent in Santa Fe, a fabulous photographer who I only discovered in that guise on-line, first on Facebook and then on her website ( Let me say right here that I know Tira because she is married to one of our son’s best friends, Brian Weed, a cinematographer for the Travel Channel. Let me further state that I asked Tira if I could write about her. 

Tira told me that she has been interested in photography as long as she can remember.  The first decade of her life was spent in Japan where her father went with the Peace Corps and later taught there.  As her father was an avid photographer, she was just following in his footsteps, often carrying a camera with her, taking photographs of her world, her friends and even her stuffed animals.

She became serious about photography when she was a little older and her father gave her an old Nikon F1. Today her favorite camera is a Canon EOS-R and most often attaches a Canon zoom 24-70mm f/2.8L but her favorite lens for portraits is a Canon 85mmf/1.2.  Though she says she relishes the sensations of rolling film onto a spool, she also uses a range of digital tools.

In spite of her life-long love of photography Tira only turned professional in 2015  when she moved to New Mexico. With an already long list of both corporate and private clients Tira bills herself as a Fashion and Portrait photographer. To me she is much more than that.  Though her work has appeared in numerous New Mexican publications, in my opinion she is a superb artist who deserves to be known beyond our state borders.

For this blog I picked a few of my favorite of her photos, which could not be easily pigeon-holed, and asked for her comments.  There was a still life which reminded me of a Dutch 17th century painting and her observation of her work was, “The quality of light in painting, as in photography, is so much of what informs the feeling and storytelling of an image … I’m always learning, and the painterly quality of many of the Dutch masters has a lot of inspiration to draw from.”

I told Tira that this second image of a woman made me think of French artists of the 19th century.  Tira said, “The romance of much French 19th century painting, is the kind of storytelling that appeals to my soul. I really enjoy the drama of elevating a humble moment or subject to one of heroism or fantasy…”.

The third is a striking photograph that for some reason I find upsetting. Tira, of course, looked at it differently, “These wild geese were so full of personality and the shapes that their bodies made as they interacted with each other were mesmerizing.”

Here is a photo that I did not ask about since it appears as such a universal of mother and child.  I have been taking photos of our 15-month-old granddaughter which prove all little ones are cute, Tira’s photograph, however, goes much further into the emotional bond between infant and parent than any photo of this subject that I have ever seen.

One last quote from Tira which I am sure any photographers out there will appreciate, “I’m hoping someone can invent a camera I can just keep in my eye.”

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