Interview: Allana Taranto

Allana Taranto is teaching a workshop called The Visual Thinker, where she'll share the benefits of using her Visual Thinking Strategy and how it applies to shooting, editing, and business Website: ARS Magna Studio /

What do you love most about your job? I can focus on it for tremendously long treasure-able amounts of time. Plus, my boss is pretty cool with long lunches and extra vacation days.

What do you hate most about your job? That I can focus on it for tremendously long treasure-able amounts of time and forget that the rest of my life needs attention too.

Where do you find inspiration? In film, design blogs, museums, travel, talking with people, eavesdropping, people watching, the dog park

What was your first experience in photography? The first time I saw an art photography books, one a Mapplethorpe maybe, was in a basket of black and white fine-art monographs next to the bed of my parent’s friend. My sister and I were supposed to be asleep while the grown ups lingered at their dinner party, but I didn’t sleep. I went through the whole stack of books. I wonder if that’s why I am drawn to classical portraiture, to deep blacks and crisp whites.

Is there a defining moment in your growth as an artist? My high school art teacher asked me to make sure she was on the invitation list to my first art show whenever I had one. That was a huge moment for me, that someone saw a future for me that was as an artist.

Aside from photography, do you have other creative outlets? Nesting, obsessively trolling craigslist for the perfect mid-century teak wall unit, thinking about attempting recipes from my little collection of 1970s health food cookbooks, snarking it up over a bottle of wine with friends

If you could go on a trip where would that be and what would you hope to do there? Once around the Mediterranean clockwise by boat, which would satisfy my husband’s sailing fantasies and my stomach.

What advice do you wish you had received (or followed) when you were starting your business? It is more about presentation and confidence than you want to think it is.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? Oh this one is embarrassingly cliche! A fashion designer.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Breathing underwater or teleportation. hard to pick just one.

What do you think of the current state of the wedding industry? Uh, that’s a loaded question. Can I pass?

If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you? Likely is would be one of those talking head movies that would only play art houses like the Brattle. ;) Not sure who would play me, but could Robert Altman return to this life and direct it?

What are your pet peeves or interesting things about you that you dislike? Things that drive me crazy: images that are clearly generic stock photos decorative shutters how I can’t just have one gin & tonic

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours. Since they are my quirks, I don't find them, um, quirky?

If you had to describe yourself using three words, they would be… Open, aware and . . . quirky