The person 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- two of which already graduated high school and my youngest son will be a 2026 Senior!  I have firsthand experience working with senior guys! 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 and is stationed in Norfolk, VA! Our two younger sons are here in Wisconsin. With two sons already gone from the nest, it really puts into perspective how quick the time passes with our kids before they grow up. I am so grateful to have ensured we had family photos each year, and I continue to take the time to get photos each time we are all together!

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 and be kind to myself. As a teen, sometimes loving yourself and granting kindness to 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 two Dachshunds. One named Stella Rue. She is such a good, sweet pup that I had to get her a sister from the same parents! They are a few years apart. Her sister is named Hazel Sue and she is the polar opposite of Stella, but in a fun and playful way!

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Wisconsin high school senior portraits by Tamara Dawn