I don’t think an introduction is required with Tara Whiteman because you will have undoubtedly seen at least one (if not more) of her dreamy travel photos across your social feeds. Tara (aka @TaraMilkTea) has easily become one of the most influential travel bloggers in the industry and one can’t help but be happy and filled with good vibes whenever you see one of her colourful images.
I always feel like Tara lives in some parallel universe to us – she just makes everything look so picturesque and straight out of a fairy tale. So let’s spend ten minutes today and get to know the girl behind @TaraMilkTea and her journey!
Ten Minutes with Travel Influencer @TaraMilkTea
Tell us about how you got started in the industry – what were you doing before all of these amazing travel adventures?
I started focussing on creative projects while studying in university. In my first year of study (2013), I picked up an internship where they asked me to manage their social media and creative content, which was all very new to be honest! This really ignited my passion for creative projects and photography, and I guess it’s all been magic since then!
If you hadn’t discovered your calling for creating amazing travel content, what do you imagine you’d be doing right now?
I think I’d be doing something creative or working my own business (in anything!). I’ve always been working on side creative projects since I was young, and always interested in upskilling and learning how to channel my work into many different mediums.
What does your family think you do for a living? Do they understand the online/digital world?
In the beginning, they didn’t really understand when I was always rearranging my house and styling my own personal shoots for the purpose of my blog & social media.
But my parents have always been supportive with everything I do, and totally get it now! They both like all my photos, and my friends work too, and they give me their feedback, which is honestly so great to hear things from their perspective!
Tell us about a pinch me moment that you’ve had.
One of the best trips I’ve been on was when travelled to India in 2016 with Beautiful Destinations. It was ten days spent with the most amazing group of creatives, who were so genuine and also insanely talented. I appreciate it so much because everyone was collaborating every day of the trip, and sharing so much knowledge about their work. It was the most inspiring trip I’ve been on, and oh, India is truly an incredible country – I am dying to go back. I’m forever grateful for the friendships I made on that trip and how it inspired me to get to where I am today!
How many countries have you crossed off already?
Somewhere over thirty, but I can’t be sure on the exact number! I use the app BEEN to keep track, which my friend recommended over a year ago. It tells you what percentage of the world you’ve visited – cool, right?
Which one was your favourite and why?
I think all my readers know that my favourite is Japan! I’ve been over 5 times in the past two years and have a few trips planned there this year. I just love everything about it! I’m definitely a city girl, but have also experienced the softer side to Japan like Koyasan and am obsessed with it all! The people, the culture, the food, the list goes on.
If you could pack your bags and move to any city right now, where would it be and why?
Tokyo – oops! Or New York City. Like I said, definitely a city girl!
Who takes your images and what level of creative control do you usually give to the person behind the camera?
My partner Damian takes all of my images when I’m in them and we’re travelling, and I take the rest when I’m not featured. He used to be an architect so he’s already got creative juices in his bones. I will generally have an idea of how I envision my photos, and he pretty much knows what I like. So we do see eye to eye a lot. I love working with different photographers, & have over the years, I’m generally pretty happy for people to have free reign when shooting me!
What camera do you use to shoot your beautiful images? Or if you have a few – which one is your go-to/favourite?
Canon 5D Mark IV is my go to, but I do have a few for different purposes.
Favourite app that you like to use to edit your photos? Do you prefer to do most of your editing on the computer or on your phone?
Lightroom for sure! I do most of my editing on my computer, and a little bit of tweaking in phone apps like Snapseed and VSCO.
Tell us about a tough moment you’ve had since starting this journey of digital content creating. How did you overcome it?
I try really hard to ‘do it all’, and know that I definitely can’t, and that’s okay, but I only really figured that out the hard way. I find one of the best ways to overcome stresses or creative blocks is to switch off. As much as I love the online world and my community, detoxing is one of the best ways to cleanse yourself – as cliché as that may sound!
What is the best advice you could give to an aspiring travel blogger?
I think that if you want to work in this industry, you need to figure out your purpose and direction. Setting yourself foreseeable goals is one way to start. I also think skills and education are so valuable in everything! Knowledge is power, for sure!
Describe yourself in three words. (Bonus points if you can alliterate 😉 )
Tenacious, thankful, thriving (I might have tried hard to alliterate! – I guess that makes me tenacious?)
If you were stranded on an island – name five things you’d bring and who (aside from your partner) would you want to be stuck on the island with?
I don’t super idolise anyone, really.
I’d probably want to be with my mum because as I grow older I don’t get to see her as much as I used to, so why not be on a island together?
Tell us something about yourself that other people might find quirky.
I have slight OCD. I once told my boyfriend that if I could have a superpower, it would be to make things instantly tidy. (I’m lame but that’s a dream)
My first job was working in Lincraft, and I loved nothing more than sorting every section by colour. Especially the buttons! Maybe I’ll go back to that once I retire – haha!
What can we expect from you for 2018?
You’ll have to wait and see!
- Coffee or tea? UMM, Tea – how is this a question!
- Pizza or pasta? Pasta
- Dogs or cats? Dogs
- Paris or New York? New York
- Summer or winter? Winter
- Chris or Liam Hemsworth? Liam
- Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus? Miley (I used to love Hannah Montana – maybe that’s my quirk)
- Dior or Chanel? Chanel – I share the same birthday as Coco Chanel so I will forever be biased.
- Sneakers or heels? Sneaks
- Favourite colour? Blue (basic)
- Favourite fragrance? I love everything Chloe and all mists from & Other Stories. How can you make me choose!
- Favourite show? Currently – Black Mirror! I just started and it’s bloody good.
- Best filter on Instagram? I can’t rememeber the last time I used one.
- Favourite social media platform of choice? Instagram
- Favourite store to shop in? Urban Outfitters
- Favourite book? Pride and Prejudice
- Favourite city in the world? Tokyo (so far)
- Best Disney film? Assuming you are exluding Disney Pixar, probably Aladdin!
- If you could be a Disney princess who would you be? Elsa because of the ice stuff.
- What super power would you like to have? Making things tidy. Just kidding! Probably teleportation so I can see the world faster!
- Favourite Marvels superhero? I really enjoyed the new Spiderman – so probably him! Don’t hate me! Spidey is just so genuine y’know?
- If you could swap bodies with one person (anyone you like) – who would it be? If this is temporary, I would swap with a guy because I’d love to live as a guy for a few days! (Freaky Friday vibes). If you’re talking about forever, I’ll stick with my own (thankful for my own skin).
You can check out my other Ten-Minutes with series here.