with Courtney Slazinik
Have You Met Lana Tavolario?
Have You Met Lana Tavolario?

Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am not longer accepting applications for this series.

  • No.
    Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.

    My name is Lana, I am 34 years old, living in Long Island, New York. I am a wife & mama to one beautiful & crazy little 3 year old boy, Jackson. I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start my business until after my son was born. One of my friends just sorta forced me to make a Facebook page & everything just took off from there. Word of mouth is a very powerful thing!

    24-70mm | f/3.2 | ISO 200 | 1/40

  • No.
    What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?

    The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. This is so true in photography & in life. I really try not to compare my work with anyone else’s. I think that just puts a block up on anything I’m trying to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at other photographers’ photos, but I glance & move on. I know there are so many people better than me & it can get discouraging, so I try to take this advice. It only matters how far I’ve come from where I started.

    24-70mm | f.2.8 | ISO 320 | 1/100

  • No.
    What is your favorite thing to photograph?

    My favorite thing to photograph of course is my son. I want to capture every second of him while he’s still little. I want to remember everything he does, the way our messy house looks, the craziness that is our lives.

    35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 50 | 1/1250

  • No.
    Where do you find your inspiration?

    I find my inspiration everywhere. TV, magazines, music, the internet, LIFE. I think everyone inspires me in different ways.

    35mm | f/2.8 | ISO 160 | 1/750

  • No.
    What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?

    I took a film photography class in college (when I went back to college at age 30). I learned about processing in the dark room and all that, but if you ask me to do that now I’d have to break out my notebook. I took some online classes but about 95% of what I learned is self taught. I’m constantly on the computer reading forums, watching youtube videos, googling any question I can think of. One of my favorite websites (besides Click it Up a Notch of course) is Creative Live. Free classes with tons of information. It’s amazing what we have at our fingertips.

    24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 250 | 1/200

  • No.
    Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?

    This is the first time I’m doing a 365 project. You can see it if you follow me on Instagram. But I’ll admit, I’m doing it with my iPhone. It’s really just a project for myself, to capture at least one photo (mostly of my son) everyday for a year. Does it really matter if it’s from a cellphone? I have to say 90% of my photos of my son are taken with my phone. I mean, who has time to break out the camera? By then the moment is past.

  • No.
    If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?

    If I could only use one lens it would be a 50mm.

    24-70mm | f/3.5 | ISO 500 | 1/125

  • No.
    Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.

    How to use Kelvin for White Balance – Click it Up a Notch
    How to get sharp photos – Cole’s Classroom Because Hey! Who doesn’t want tact sharp photos!
    Depth of field – Click it Up a Notch

  • No.
    What is your favorite image right now?

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite image. But I’d say my number one is the black & white (see attached) of my son by the window. But it was taken with my phone. Does that matter? :)
    misslalaphotography_favorite photo

  • No.
    What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?

    Right now my new camera is a nikon d700 24-70mm lens. I also shoot with my nikon d5100 and 35mm. And my iPhone of course.

    35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 50 | 1/1250

  • No.
    Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?

    I definitely think you should check out Horse & Feather Photography. She was in one of my online classes & she has such stunning images on her Facebook page. Another photographer is Shannon Lustig Photography. Beautiful all around newborn & family sessions.

  • No.
    What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?

    I think my biggest challenge with my business is constantly coming up with new ideas. I have a lot of returning clients for birthdays & holidays. How many different ways can you say Merry Christmas? No one wants the same photos over & over again. But no one ever tells you as a photographer you have to constantly keep coming up with new & creative ideas! Its draining sometimes (& expensive)

    35mm | f/1.8 | ISO 125 | 1/640

  • No.
    How do you display your photos?

    misslalaphotography_display photos_3
    misslalaphotography_display photos_2
    misslalaphotography_display photos

  • No.
    What's the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?

    Strangest thing I carry is lollipops. You never know when you have to bribe someone.

  • No.
    What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?

    I’m looking into offering prints to my clients. Right now I only offer digital but I’d like to offer gifts & prints.

    35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 100 | 1/60

  • No.
    Show us what your workspace looks like.

    It’s a mess & so is my son… So am I for that matter, that’s why I like to stay behind the camera.


  • No.
    If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?

    If you’d like to follow me, I’m always updating Facebook. This is where I mainly upload my sessions & everyday life. Or you can check out my website www.misslalaphotography.com

  • Brennan
    February 16, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    I LOVE that your favorite image now is from your phone! It is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • erica antesberger
    February 16, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Love that you take a lot of phone pics! Busy moms capture with what they have! It is about the moment, and it is fleeting, I know all too well! Beautiful work!

  • February 16, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Such adorable photographs!
    Rubi | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com

  • Janet
    February 16, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Love your images Lana… Thank you for sharing!

  • February 17, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Thank you ladies!

  • February 17, 2015 at 8:27 PM

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