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Buzzing about Spring

March 22, 2019

Spring is finally here! You know what that means — shining sun, budding flowers, and buzzing bees.

This is the perfect time to re-visit an episode of The reDefine Show: Animal Edition! See it here:>>>Backyard Bees <<<

It’s all about photographing bees. I have always been nervous/terrified of bees while some people are all, like, One With The Bees. As for me, I am pretty much the exact opposite of that. I feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise up anytime I see a bee or hear a buzz nearby, so, to put on a beekeeper’s suit and walk into the same space as 70,000 bees? Well, it was a full-on personal challenge.

This is where photography comes into play because every time I photograph something or someone I am struck by how beautiful they are, in so many ways. I love that my job is to look for that beauty, which is one of the coolest parts of the work, and yet, I was surprised I still felt the same way during this shoot. These little fuzzy bees are intricately beautiful and hard-working and expressive, looking directly at you with head tilts, butts out, wings splayed out & more! My job was to photograph them as well as possible while speaking to what I was doing and using a variety of means to do so, and I got lost in it almost immediately. This was not just a wonderful shoot, it was personally transformative for me. 

Face Your Fear

It’s amazing how spending time with that which you fear can change everything. Oh, and wearing a beekeeper’s outfit helps.

I’d LOVE to invite you to check out our first episode, now on AdoramaTV:

>>>Backyard Bees h<<<

Big gratitude to Miriam MJ Beckman & Rhesa Versola for the fantastic filming, Heather Guffee Burgiss for a beautiful edit and expert beekeeper Mark Powers for the excellent education.

All images shot with Nikon D850 & 105mm f2.8 macro and D500 and 24-70mm f2.8.

These busy female worker bees tend to their duties inside the hive.
Buzzing female worker bees tend to their duties inside the hive.
Close up of the delicate wings of a female worker bee
A worker bee prepares to fly from the hive to collect fresh pollen.
A worker bee prepares to fly from the hive to collect fresh pollen.
This female worker bee wags and dances to communicate with other bees.
This female worker bee wags and dances to communicate with other bees.

Triangle Area Welcomes Its First 100% Vegan Market

January 18, 2019

Triangle Area Welcomes Its First 100% Vegan Market 

CHAPEL HILL — Nested inside a local, family-owned coffee shop, customers will find a rare resource for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area — Coco Bean Vegan Market. This newly-opened 100% all-vegan market is the only one of its kind in Central North Carolina offering a wide variety of plant-based products, including foods, artisan chocolates, and gifts.

Locally Made Goods

The vegan market is a natural expansion of Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Cafe, which opened its doors in September of 2016 and won Chapel Hill Magazine’s 2018 Best Coffee Shop in Chapel Hill. The eco-friendly cafe offers a bounty of vegan baked goods, pastries, and fresh farmer’s market foods like grain bowls, salads, tamales and soups, all made by local bakers and chefs. Many selections are gluten-free, as well.

As a natural complement to this, Coco Bean Vegan Market offers pre-packaged vegan and gluten-free foods, including refrigerated and frozen grocery items, making it easy for customers to grab a basket, stock up and go. Both the cafe and the vegan market provide options for consumers with other food allergies or sensitivities, as well as simple grab n’ go or heat-up-at-the-shop items.

Find More than Food

Inside the cozy and well-stocked market space, customers will also find candles, essential oils, skincare products, sundries and gifts made by local artists. In addition, there are great reads and resources from the mini bookshop, specializing in plant-based living and vegan cookbooks, as well as subjects like mindfulness, minimalism and creative journaling.

“We’ve enjoyed amazing growth in this wonderful community of ours and are so heartened by the kind feedback,” said Tamara Lackey, who co-owns Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Coco Bean Vegan Market, along with her husband, Steve. “The initial response from our customers was even more enthusiastic than we’d hoped for, and we’re delighted at how quickly the market has taken off.”

Plant-based Diets on the Rise

Coco Bean Vegan Market seeks to meet increasing customer demand for more vegan and vegetarian options, and plant-based owners Tamara and Steve Lackey are ahead of the curve on this upward trend in the food industry. Sales of plant-based food increased by 20% in 2018 over the previous year, which amounts to over $3.3 billion, according to data from Nielsen and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA).

The Economist and Forbes magazines published articles declaring 2019 as the Year of the Vegan. Uber Eats reports vegan meals as the most-ordered trend of 2018. And, Grub Hub reports vegan burritos as the most popular food in 2018. The food industry continues to see a steep rise in demand for eco-friendly, plant-based, meat-free diets nationwide. 

For more details, contact Kim Pollard or Anna-Rhesa Versola at 919-883-9003 or hi@cocobeanmarket.com.


Dinner for 40 Orphan Children in India

January 10, 2019

OUR NEWEST PROJECT — Dinner for 40 at The Joy Home Orphanage in India

We created our Dinner for 40 Project to provide nutritious dinners to 40 children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old for the next four months. Dinner will include lentils, chapatti flour, oil, semolina, rice, vegetables, and fruit. We hope to do more over time, but we want to have an impact as soon as possible! Your contributions to this effort will go a long way to help support this orphanage. And, with your support, these children will know someone cares for them because none of these orphans can actually be adopted, due to current government restrictions.

An estimated 20 million orphans live in India alone. It’s a country that has the largest child population in the world. That is such a staggering number, 20 MILLION children. Many are homeless, living on the streets and resorting to begging for food. It is almost impossible to envision it. Orphaned children in India are in great need of care and protection, too, being susceptible to not just poverty and illness but also child labor and child trafficking. Even worse, current projections show that number to grow to 24 million orphans by 2021.

We are working to support The Joy Home Orphanage, located in a village called Madhapur, near Hyperdad. Their orphanage facilities include accommodation, food, schooling, healthcare, clothes, and an initial counseling session with children who are entering the orphanage. 100% of all donations to The Joy Home Orphanage go directly towards meeting the needs of these children.

You can make your tax deductible refund here:
https://beautifultogether.org/project/dinner-for-40/Donate to help Beautiful Together provide dinner for 40 orphans in India

Tamara Lackey Speaks at CES 2019 on the Power of Personal Projects

January 7, 2019

CES 2019 Welcomes Tamara Lackey and the Power of Personal Projects

From Tamara: I am heading back to the GIANT Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) in Vegas on January 8th, and I am thrilled to be speaking for Nikon again! AND I will join a panel of incredibly talented photographers, Jen Rozenbaum and Stacy Pearsall, led by the amazing Mike Corrado, to discuss the power of personal projects.

Personal projects are a powerful way for professional photographers to focus on topics that are most important to them. It’s a way to fuel their creative spirits and explore another source of inspiration. My focus will be on my work with Beautiful Together. Jen will be speaking about her experience with breast cancer – and some powerful resulting imagery. And Stacy will be sharing her striking work with veteran portraits.

If you’re not going to be in Vegas with the million+ other CES attendants (bejeebus, it’s big), you can tune in to watch my program and panel discussion via nikonusa.com/live.  Plus, you can watch ALL of these seriously amazing speakers — some of the top photographers in the world — via nikonusa.com/live. 

You can check the speakers schedule below to find out when Nikon will livestream globally!

Here’s part of the line-up:

There are so many speakers to choose from, like Joe McNally and Jerry Ghionis. Also, you can catch multi-speaker panels where they offer insights through interactive conversations. For example, if you are just starting your career in photography, you can watch Taylor Gray, Kiamarie Stone, and Nicolas Bruno share their experiences during On the Rise|Getting Started in Photography.

Just don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to listen to Nikon’s photography experts!

Tamara Lackey, CES 2019, Nikon, Speaker

CES 2019 Schedule of Speakers

Nations Photo Lab Fall Photography Contest Winners!

November 7, 2018

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Announcing the Fall Photography Contest Winners with Nations Photo Lab – and Honorable Mentions!

I teamed up with Nations Photo Lab, who I have partnered with on previous contests, and we launched this new one together. I am excited to now announce the photography contest winners!  This brand new photography contest which was opened for submissions, and we were excited that so many of you shared your beautiful fall images. The winners had a chance to win $50 with them, and there were multiple prizes to win and a lot of submissions to judge. I was inspired by all of your contest submissions, as I got to judge the contest, alongside the team at Nations Photo Lab.

Here are the three photography contest winners and three honorable mentions:

First Place: Kristin Hoag with The beauty of Fall

photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Second Place: Kimmarie Keane with Beauty Beneath the Bridge

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Third Place: Marie Schmidt with Stocking up a few peanuts for Winter

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey


First Honorable Mention: Monita McCool with Be still and know that I am God:Psalm 46:10

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Second Honorable Mention: Jimmy D. Baker with 8 Point Buck on a Cloudy  Fall Morning

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Third Honorable Mention: Erin Lamirande with Miko’s Lion King Moment!

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

I didn’t enter the contest, hah, but I did photograph this fall image at the base of Reflection Lake, at Mt. Rainier National Park, in Washington. Woke up before dawn to watch the sun rise and capture a near-perfect perfect reflection while the water was still … well, still. Shot this with the Nikon D5 and 24-70 f/2.8 lens. (If interested, you can see a lot more images, with information about gear and camera settings, on my instagram page.)

fall photography contest winners, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey, Nikon Ambassador


Photographing Alpacas with Personality: ReDefine Show – Animal Edition!

October 31, 2018

Photographing Alpacas with Personality: ReDefine Show – Animal Edition! with Tamara Lackey

I believe some animals are just better at loving each other than we are. Join me on this episode of reDefine Show – Animal Edition! and learn about photographing alpacas on location at Perry Farm Alpacas in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

When you walk into the large pen, curiosity brings the herd together. Soon, I am surrounded by furry bobble-heads with the most expressive eyes. 

For this photo shoot, I used some of my favorite gear like the Nikon D850 & 105mm f/1.4, with fill light from the SB-5000 flash.

You can see this adorable shoot on the latest reDefine Show – Animal Edition, on Adorama TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scVXm_9Ge6c

Alpacas kissing in the field

Alpacas kissing in the field

An alpaca inspects my camera

An alpaca looks closely at the camera while photographing alpacas with personality

A herd of freshly shorn alpacas gather together

A herd of freshly shorn alpacas gather together

Photographing Pigs as Pets: The reDefine Show – Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey

October 31, 2018

Photographing Pigs as Pets With Tamara Lackey

In this episode of reDefine Show – Animal Edition!, Tamara Lackey is photographing pigs as pets inside the home of a veterinarian who specializes in pot-bellied pigs. Tamara learns about how pigs are adopted as cute pets, but later, as they outgrow their space inside a home, the pigs are dropped off at shelters or simply let go.

For some ridiculous reason I simply cannot fathom, my husband doesn’t want us to have a couple of pet pigs live in our home with us. But, at least I had an awesome time photographing THESE two rescue pets in THEIR home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcgIUsMp-aw

While feeding them oatmeal cookies and petting them, I share photography tips on finding great angles while, most importantly, getting those *perfect booty shots*. Check it out live on Adorama TV now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcgIUsMp-aw

All images shot with Nikon D5 & 24-70 f/2.8.

Tamara shows her excitement for photographing pigs as pets

Use architecture to help you compose an impactful imageDon't forget about detail shots to round out your photo story Always look for different angles for great compositions Use treats to get your subject to cooperate Change your angle for an optimal composition Tamara gets up close and personal with a pet pig

PhotoPlus Expo in NYC!

October 23, 2018

It’s an absolute honor to join this BRILLIANT lineup of photographers and filmmakers on the beautiful Nikon stage at The Photo Plus Expo in New York City this week!

In addition to my presentation, I’ll be photographing a couple of live shoots with the D850 and new Z7 at the newly-designed Nikon theater, as well. If you check out the lineup, you’ll see a number of fantastic presentations and some very cool photography panels, as well. (I’m particularly interested in the Masters of Photojournalism one with fellow Nikon Ambassadors Carol Guzy, Ami Vitale, and Lynsey Addario.)

And if you are unable to be there in person, you can still tune into the global livestream at http://nikonusa.com/live.

I will also be photographing an additional live shoot for Westcott Lighting on the Expo Floor and am presenting a 90-minute seminar at PPE at the giant, always-busy Javits Center (details, registration & 15% discount to the show: https://l.feathr.co/PPE18_Tamara-Lackey-I).I’ll ALSO get to play with ON1‘s new Photo Raw 2019 software release, broadcasting some fun demos of it from the show floor.

And, lastly, since this will be in New York, I will also be eating at every vegan restaurant I can get to over the course of 5 days. That may end up being 7 meals a day, but sometimes what needs to get done just needs to get done.

If you’re one of the estimated 40,000 people who will be at the show, please say hi : )

Should be quite an event!

Tamara Lackey Giveaway – Coupon for 30% Playbook Bundle

This bundle contains all three of Tamara Lackey’s Playbooks, which together will comprehensively walk you through, from start to finish, any children or family portrait session. Learn what to prep for, what not to forget, posing ideas for all children and family types and what to do after the shoot is over. Use code PPE2018 to get 30% off the bundle!

For 5 Days: A fraction of the cost for TONS of Software, Education & More!

October 11, 2018

Save, Give, Learn and Create with Contributing partner Tamara Lackey benefiting Beautiful Together

5 Day Deal of Tons of Software, Education & More PLUS 100% Match to Beautiful Together

For the next FIVE DAYS, I will be offering my Portrait Shoot Playbook, valued at $99, as part of an overall huge amount of products, software and more for a fraction of the value. I am thrilled to be a part of this because the partners of 5 Day Deal are also donating 100% of the purchase of this deal through my link to Beautiful Together, working to improve the lives of children waiting for families and those living in extreme poverty.

Along with my Portrait Shoot Playbook, there are fantastic offerings from Zack Arias, Lindsay Adler, Trey Ratcliff, Amanda Diaz, Brian Matiash, Nicole Young, Zach & Jody Gray, Skylum Software, F Stoppers… and on and on and on.

Click here to buy the deal!



Tamara steps you through every aspect of a portrait photography session in this 250+ page book, packed with information, examples and illustrative photography!

In case you aren’t familiar with the Portrait Shoot Playbook, offered as part of this overall bundle, here is more detail:

Love portrait photography, but don’t know where to start when it comes to shooting a portrait session?

Or have you already been shooting photography sessions but feel like you could use some clear guidelines to follow, so you don’t miss a thing?

Want to improve your exposure, focus, lighting, posing, interaction style and the authenticity of expression in your portraits – while also spending less time editing, so you can spend more time shooting?

If so, this fully downloadable book is your comprehensive Start To Finish guide!

Beautiful Together100% Match from 5DayDeal
Beautiful Together works to improve the quality of life of children waiting for families.

We work to identify and complete specific and measurable projects that tangibly improve the lives of orphaned children in the United States and Africa. We also shine a light on children living in extreme poverty, foster care, or orphanages through a combination of on-the-ground work, professional photography, video and social outreach.

Photographing Snakes, reDefine Show Animal Edition

September 20, 2018

Photographing Snakes, reDefine Show: Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey

On this episode of The reDefine Show (Animal Edition!), I photograph a boa constrictor on location at the Museum of Natural Sciences of North Carolina in Raleigh. We set up a full portable studio, including a seamless backdrop and most of my Westcott studio lights. Most important of all, I used my favorite gear like the Nikon D850 and a combination of Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 lens, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 lens and Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens.

I got some surprisingly great photographs (at least, for me, when it comes to photographing snakes!) while sharing tips and techniques on how to photograph an unpredictable subject from capturing colorful contrast to macro shooting and more. Whew!

The photographs in the video range from wide shots to macro images – and pretty much everything in between.

Check out the entire shoot here, live on Adorama TV:

Photographing Snakes, Boa Constrictor, Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, reDefine Show, Adorama TV

Photographed by Tamara Lackey


Photographing Snakes Boa 1

Photographed by Tamara Lackey


Photographing Snakes Boa 1

Photographed by Tamara Lackey


Photographing Snakes Boa 1

Photographed by Tamara Lackey

Photographing Snakes Boa 1

Photographed by Tamara Lackey

Photographing Snakes, Boa Constrictor, Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, reDefine Show, Adorama TV

from The reDefine Show: Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey