In 2002 I was teaching political science at Penn State. My second child, Ethan, was born, and a few months later I defended my dissertation and earned my Ph.D. I wanted to reward myself for working full time while having two young kids and finishing my degree, so I took an evening course in photography and the rest is history. Well, not quite.
I had always loved photography, but now my juices were really flowing. My best friend from the army (I had served as a tank instructor in the Israeli army) was living in NYC. I visited her and learned that she too shared a passion for photography. She introduced me to a correspondence course - The NY Institute of Photography. I enrolled and started spending all of my spare time (and then some) learning and practicing my new craft. Within a year I told my husband that I wanted to quit academia and pursue photography full time. His first reaction was to beg me to get tenure first and then do whatever I wanted, but he quickly turned around and supported me fully. I quit my tenure-track job and took an instructor’s position instead (think - more teaching for less money). It gave me the freedom to start building my business - Tamar London Photography.
A few years later I had another life-altering event. I was contacted by a photographer from Altoona. She invited me to lunch and Tammy Wolfe and I became fast friends. Tammy was the one that pushed me to enroll in professional photography organizations, get my certification, submit my work to photography competitions and do whatever I can to improve my art. We started traveling to conventions and conferences together and had more adventures than I can count. We started talking about partnering and in 2008 London Wolfe Photography, LLC was born.
Tammy and I watched our business grow and succeed. We were asked to speak at a photography meeting. That led to more requests for speaking engagements. We began traveling around the country speaking at photography schools and conferences. We continued to compete with our prints and we each earned our Craftsman degrees and Master Photographer degrees. In 2010 we won Kodak’s “Photographers to Watch” award.
In 2011 we decided to start slowing down a little. I was getting tired of commuting to Altoona and Tammy wanted to pursue other artistic and creative endeavors. We ended our formal partnership (though we remain partners in crime and best friends). My family built a home studio/sunroom that has turned into everyone’s favorite space.
I am grateful every day that I was brave enough to pursue my dreams. I love meeting new people - from newborns to high school seniors to young couples getting married - and making friends for life. Watching a father choke on tears as he watches a slideshow of his newborn baby girl or a mother laugh at a photo that I considered an out-take but she considers the exactly-the-face-he-makes photograph are the moments that inspire and sustain me.
I look forward to meeting you!