Today I am featuring the lovely and talented Taria Reed here on my blog! It's been a little while since I did a feature and this is the first time that I have featured a non-author. Taria is the creator of many stunning images. Taria created the cover for Sienna Mynx's SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME and the cover of ZOE which Mynx wrote under her nom de plume T.A. Ford. Taria is also responsible for the cover of new author Harper Miller's book THE SWEETEST TABOO which made my favorite reads of 2014 list. I'm not going to lie, the cover and teaser along with the beautifully provocative photos created for THE SWEETEST TABOO is what first grabbed my attention and made me get a case of the gimmes.
They say that you can't judge a book by it's cover but a professionally and beautifully designed book does nothing but improve the overall reading experience. Many of us avid readers have picked up or even bought a book solely on a beautiful cover. A skilfully designed cover is often the first introduction that a reader has to an author. I, for one, am definitely guilty of passing a less than appealing book over and picking up an attractive one instead. I have perused many a book because of cover lust at first sight.
I admit that I haven't given a whole lot of thought to the process that goes into what it takes to achieve a beautiful final product. However, after having visited and clicked through Taria's website and Facebook pages I now have a better understanding of the talent and the amount of work it must take to get a good final product. If you would like a small peek behinde scenes and see what the befores and afters of a few covers look like check out Taria's professional Facebook page, Taria Reed Cover Artist click on Photos, then Albums, and then Misc. Stuff and you'll be able to see the before photograph and the beautifully digitized and altered final image looks like. It truly is amazing! Also don't forget to stop by her website Taria Reed to get a look at much more digital art by Taria.
1. How did you get started in photography?
I got started in photography as an adult by a total accident. My dad is a videographer and asked me to come with him to a wedding so he could have still images to put in his video. Well it turned out the couple liked my images way more than the photographer they hired so things just snowballed from there.
2. Was it a natural progression from photography into becoming a digital artist as well?
Yes and no. I always used photoshop to edit my images for my portrait clients but I only knew basics to make an image look good. Once I saw what photoshop could REALLY do I stated teaching myself how to create effects I liked. I would spend HOURS reading tutorials and working on my early art pieces. An indy author saw them and asked if I could do her book cover. The rest is history…lol.
3. Describe one of your most memorable moments as a professional photographer/digital artist.
Hmmmm tough one, but I’d say I have two. The first time a publisher saw my work and approached me instead of me approaching them to design, and getting a call from St. Martin’s Press with a cover assignment. AWESOME FEELING.
4. How would you like to see your business grow over the next few years?
I love designing and taking photos so I’d like for more people to realize that I’m here offering this great service. My business has grown a lot since I started but I know there is no limit to what I can do or where I can go with it.
5. What are the most difficult and the most rewarding parts of your job?
The most difficult I’d say is having someone stifle my creativity because they want what’s in their head and nothing else will do. The most rewarding part is knocking a design outta the park and having the author tell you it brought tears to their eyes to see their “baby” come to life.
6. Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing photography/digital arts professionally?
I’d say practice practice practice. In todays flooded market just being ok isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. People need to be talking about your work (in a good way) and your work needs to stand out. I’m amazed each time an author asks if I designed so and so’s cover because they recognize my style.
7. What’s your next project?
I always have dozens of balls in the air. I have a few custom shoots coming up as well as a few conventions.
8. Are you a romance fan?
Abso-freaking-lutely!!!! I devour romance novels, but I get teased a lot because I only listen to audio books….lol.
9. Who is your favorite author romance or otherwise?
I honestly would rather cut off all my curls than to pick just one as a favorite. My top authors all have something unique to bring to my TBR list. I want paranormal; I go there. I want historical romance; I go here. I want an erotic thriller I look and see what this author has. Authors are like a candy store to me, it all depends on what I’m in the mood for.
10. Is there an author(s) that would be a dream come true for you to work with?
I have a list…lol. I’d love to design for Larissa Ione, J.R. Ward, Beverly Jenkins, Maya Banks, Jennifer Ashley, and Christine Feehan to name a few. But believe me there’s a list a mile long for each genre I like.
My name is Taria (Maria with a T) Reed. I'm a trained photographer specializing in children and family portraits.
In early 2011 I felt the need to expand creatively. I started photographing adults for stock websites. In my mind I was shooting for book covers. I'm a romance audio book junkie so I love looking at all the beautiful covers. I've always used photoshop to edit my portraits but I wanted to go further. I started devouring any and all artistic tutorials. I would practice for hours and turn photos into covers or art. I was approached by a few self published authors who asked me to create covers for their e-books and I jumped at the opportunities to learn even more.
After some time I started stalking publishing houses to see the covers they were putting out. I worked hard until I felt what I could do was up to snuff. Once I was comfortable with my skills I started emailing publishing houses with cover artist inquiries. I got a great response to my sample work and I'm looking forward to getting even better.
Being a photographer professionally I quickly married my love of photography and my growing love for cover design. I became known for shooting my own images for my covers. In August 2013 I opened up my own stock house called "The Reed Files". It's been a wild ride but I love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else for a living.