Learning about Tallis Photography begins with learning about me. After three decades of photographing I've photographed for record covers, corporate brochures, guest portraits and clients recognizing my work, I believe I've earned the stature to pick and choose my assignments. Semi-retirement in North Florida has its rewards. In addition to sun, surf, and a young grandson, I'm experiencing the same artistic exhilaration I felt when I first began my practice of photography thirty years ago. I now too have the time and expertise to donate to charitable and philanthropic organizations - which is my way of saying "thank you" for the amazing career I have enjoyed.
I grew up with a camera in my hand thanks to my dad, Sid, who was a talented wedding photographer in New York City in the late '40's through the early '60s. In the '70s I decided to transition from the music industry into the professional photography field as a means of expressing myself and earning an income. After an extensive apprenticeship with Lionel and Elly Bishop, owners of Lionel Studios in Brooklyn, NY, I took a deep breath and "booked" my first wedding.
The first year I did four weddings. The second year I did eight parties. Fast forward to year five and I was doing sixty events annually—all generated through personal recommendations. I prided myself on not carrying a business card or soliciting clients. The phone rang and rang and rang. Contracts came in, I photographed events and beautiful work was delivered to happy clients around the country. My work was obviously more than acceptable. People liked it! People liked me! I loved working with people who appreciated my time and talent. More than three decades later, I'm proud to say that I still work with several of them.
My apprenticeship with Lionel Studios was a pivotal learning experience for me. Lionel and Elly drummed technique into my head. In the '70s there were no automated electronic flash units or programmable cameras. It was f. stops, shutter speeds, distances and light ratios - and their relationships.
My musical training at NYC's High School of Performing Arts, college and graduate school at NYU and Stony Brook where I spent thousands of hours listening and evaluating music - hearing what was good...and what wasn't was the perfect foundation for my new career in photography. The natural evolution from sound to sight was an easy transition for me. More importantly, being honest with myself about what I heard and saw worked to shape my personality and work ethic. Over the years as part photo technician and part artist, I have had the opportunity to teach and lecture at universities across the United States. What I appreciate most though is the impact I've made working with countless fledgling photographers and helping them develop both shooting and personal skills. What keeps it fresh for me is my introspection. It's always about critiquing each assignment. Then I think how fortunate I am to do what I love!