We had the good fortune of connecting with Tasha Gorel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tasha, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Woof!! Work-life what?! Balance you say? I have to admit, that my work-life balance has always been a tender spot for me. Since I was a child, I have strived to do all of the things, all of the time. Saying no was not an option for me. Which on one hand, instilled a very strong work ethic, but on the other hand, leaves me exhausted? And drained? Yet also wanting to work more? Like, how does that even make sense? I completely embrace work hard, play harder just to keep myself upright most days. However, as I have gotten older (cue my 30th birthday earlier this year) my body quite literally can’t keep up with the schedule that my mind (and maybe heart) wants to keep. The balance has now evolved into something a bit more equitable. I think for me, the key to work-life balance is figuring out the things that bring you the most bliss and prioritizing those things at least once a month. For me, it’s traveling. So once a month, I treat myself to a long weekend somewhere. Whether it’s Chicago, Washington, or the Texas Hillcountry, just to reset, relax, and for four glorious days, forget that I have three email accounts that need checking.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer whose passion for my craft stems from my passion for people. I didn’t get into photography because I fell in love when I picked up my first DSLR camera at 18 (though true). I didn’t start doing headshots because I treasure being a part of the actor’s path to success (also, very true). I started doing photography because when I talk to people, a spark is ignited in me that nothing else can replicate. And I think my clients feel it too.
Most times during a session, I find myself getting into deeply personal conversations with my clients. One second we are talking about the types of roles you’re cast in, the next, we are going into the devastating details of losing a loved one, the next, we’re remembering the first moment you knew your partner was the one. When I hold a camera in front of me and capture these authentic moments, something unique and beautiful happens.
With that said, I am definitely a photographer who learned my craft a bit late. Hell, every day I critique my work and look for ways to better what I do. I didn’t really start using flash in my studio until 2020, and I am just now understanding the intricacies of their settings. Most days, it’s amazing to me that people actually pay me to do this thing…like I went to theatre school. What is actually happening right now? Imposter syndrome is REAL, y’all.
But, after six (omg six) years of doing photos, I think I am finally breaching understanding the mechanics of photography. Recently I have gotten into light sculpting and using gels with my flashes and can’t wait to see where that goes.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ah ha! My best friend IS visiting for a week so this is perfect timing! There are a few no-brainers here. My Thursday night haunt is a MUST, and it’s none other than Liberty Station in the Heights. That kinda gross dude bar is where some of my closest friendships in Houston have been made, and there is no way my friend is getting out of Houston without having to do a night full of cups of whiskey at Lib.
I am a huge fan of 93 ‘Til in Montrose. I am slowly trying to make it my Cheers, albeit, a boujie Cheers, and if any of y’all working there ever read this, just know what my end game here is.
I live in the museum district, so the Museum of Natural Science is a MUST. But to be honest, The Houston Zoo has been SHOWING UP recently! I am a sucker for beautiful outdoor spaces, and our zoo and Hermann Park have some of the most beautiful spots in Houston.
I will definitely be taking him to see my mom and dad in Sugar Land, because let’s be real, they are some of the most entertaining and exciting people I know. And I would probably throw a party with my partner Gabe, and best friends Blake and Theresa to round out the whole week. Because there ain’t no party like a Tasha party…or so I am told.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This one goes out to my Houston community who I owe all my success to. I honestly would be nowhere without the people of this city. To my mom, dad, sister, and boyfriend who have encouraged me to do the dang thing since day one.
To my writing partner Theresa who most days, does all the work and just makes me look good.
To all of my clients who have lifted me, pushed me, and spread the good word of my photography for the last five years.
Natasha Nivan Productions Danya Gorel (for the nature photos)