Photographer Spotlight: Lianna Tarantin’s Sensitive Imagery

Lianna Tarantin

It was her love of rock n' roll that first inspried Lianna Tarantin to pursue photography.

'"Growing up I would study my father's Rolling Stone books and was mesmerized by the photos of Patti Smith, Keith Haring, Pete Townsend, Tina Turner," says Tarantin. "I realized a single image could tell a whole narrative about its subject. I wanted to do that."

Of course, Tarantin makes it look easy. A natural photographer since grammar school -- when she would stage elaborate photo shoots with friends ("I was also the stylist and makeup artist; kind of a renaissance woman at 11") -- Tarantin has since developed an impressive body of work that is both hyper-realistic and gritty, her subjects at once unaffected and imbued with a tangible "cool factor" that only Tarantin's lens can lend.

Citing photographers Lee Freidlander, Elinor Carucci, Tierney Gearon, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia among her influences, Tarantin has a similar knack for making the mundane seem surreal or even magical, be it in a series of shadowy portraits of her grandmother or shooting backstage at Timo Weiland. We can only imagine the startling images that her dream of some day shooting "nude family portraits" might yield.

"My mother, best friends, and those I'm closest to are my inspirations," says Tarantin. "They are also pretty good about doing the craziest and most intimate things you ask them to ... They are very patient." That may be so, but we're eager to see more from this new talent in seasons to come.

See more at Lianna's online portfolio or personal blog,

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