Paulette Tavormina's journey as a photographer has been an exhilarating one. This spring, twenty-five years after her voyage started, she returns to where it all began. This is her story...
Paulette’s introduction to the photo world started ordinarily enough. While working for a small PR firm in New York, she was asked to photograph a famous flutist for a client. She recalls, “All the other photographers had these big cameras with big flash units, and there I was with my little Olympus clamshell camera. But I got the shot!” She also got the motivation to improve her skills. While living in Santa Fe, she was offered a job photographing a collection of historic Cochiti Indian pottery. Santa Fe drew her in and she started taking classes at Santa Fe Workshops. One lesson in particular stood out. “One of my instructors told me that I needed to specialize. It never dawned on me that it can be important to learn one particular field or aspect,” she says, “That’s how it all really started for me.”
Once she had chosen her specialty—food and still life—her creativity and business thrived. Her experience has included photographing cookbooks, prop and food styling for Hollywood movies, photographing artwork for Sotheby’s catalogues and photographing for The New York Times and National Geographic.
Eventually, she decided to pursue her long-held dream of creating photographs inspired by Old Master still life painters. “I just immersed myself into this whole new genre,” she explains, “And that’s how I’ve devoted my time for the last eight years.”
When she felt the work was ready she contacted the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston. It was her big break. She recalls, “Robert himself emailed me back to offer to represent me and my life changed in an instant. Twenty-five years later, from my education in Santa Fe to my love of old master still life paintings, it all came together.” She also has gallery representation in New York, San Francisco and Paris and recently had a solo show at the Beetles + Huxley gallery in London. Her first monograph, Seizing Beauty will be out April 2016 and her first solo museum show at The Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland will also be in April 20, 2016.
With her return to Santa Fe Workshops this spring, this time as an instructor, Paulette’s photographic life has come full circle. As she says, “I’m thrilled to be teaching at the place where it all began and excited to share what it’s taken for me to get from The Workshops to right now.”
Paulette Tavormina leads The Fine Art of Still Life Photography, April 3-8. For more information, visit the workshop page on our website.
To see more of Paulette's work, visit her website at www.paulettetavormina.co