The girl behind the lens.

ABOUT Tamara

The best reward is seeing my clients come out of their shell and genuinely have fun. My favorite part is after the shoot, seeing them react to their finished images- when they get to see themselves the way our camera sees them, and the world sees them. This is a big reason why I chose to specialize in senior portraits. It is truly rewarding for me.

Many senior photographers prefer to specialize in senior girls. I'll admit that all of the styling and makeup is super fun! However, I love working with both senior girls and guys! It is so gratifying coming up with fun ideas centered around each of my clients and what makes them unique! I'm also a mom of three boys- one of which already graduated high school and my middle son will a 2021 Senior as well - so I have firsthand experience working with senior guys! So feel free to take a look around and if you like what you see, then let's do this!

I really love helping teens see a positive and beautiful side to themselves through their session experience. 

Nice to meet you! My name is Tamara. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA, and now I reside in Wausau, WI! I never would have dreamed this is where I would end up! I'll admit that the winters are long and cold, but I've learned that I am a small town girl at heart. I feel more at home here that any of the bigger cities I've lived in- including Las Vegas and Denver. My husband and I have three sons and our oldest is in the Navy! Our two other boys are 17 and 12 and they keep us pretty busy! With one already gone from the nest, it really puts into perspective how quick the time passes with our kids before they grow up.

Getting a little personal, I grew up in foster care and had a hard time with my self-esteem. The best advice I was ever given was that I needed to learn to love myself so that I could allow others to love me. As a teen, sometimes loving yourself is the biggest struggle.

• I am left-handed and I blame that on the fact that I have an insatiable creative side. I also blame that for my lack of coordination, as I tend to be a bit of a klutz.

• I have a love affair with Mexican food. Being raised in San Diego, I grew up on authentic, delicious Mexican food. I taught myself how to make tamales because after I moved to Wisconsin, they weren't easy to find.

• Snakes terrify me. I will literally run in the opposite direction if I see one. They freak me out! If your session is in a field or by a wood pile, I will be on total snake alert. I usually send my husband ahead of me to scare them off.

• My hero is Anne Frank. Her story inspired me as a kid. Instead of playing house, I would play with my imaginary friend, Anne, for hours. I was so touched by her ability to dream and still want to play and create, even in the darkest situation. I related to her and also kept a diary while growing up.

• I have a Dachshund named Stella Rue. She is my one and only girl, so she is very spoiled! You may even happen to meet her, if you come to my studio!

Fun Facts

about me



a session


Wisconsin high school senior portraits by Tamara Dawn