By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Brittany Dawn Short
Photo Shoot at Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge
Being a professional photographer in the time of COVID-19 wasn’t easy for Jared Tennant. He saw several months of corporate bookings disappear overnight. Luckily, he had recently started a new business designing and prototyping medical device accessories, which was very successful during the lockdown. That business has allowed him to cherry pick the photography projects he’d like and only shoot the things he enjoys or the people he enjoys working with. Since starting his Instagram page for his photography in 2012, Tennant has photographed a wide array of subjects and places, such as monkeys in Spain, scuba diving in Mexico, Mayan
ruins, Brazilian beaches and so much more.
How did you get interested in your Instagram niche?
“I’ve always loved photographing mundane things and finding the beauty in them. I started photographing the Austin city skyline and then transitioned into international travel. I started building drones from scratch before you could buy them commercially, just trying to get angles I couldn’t get from any building. That was a game changer for me.”
How do you feel about being considered an influencer?
“I’ve never really felt like an ‘influencer.’ My intentions aren’t really to influence. I just want to share the beauty that I see with other people and hope they’re inspired from it.”
Is there a time you loved a post you shared, but people didn’t respond to it as much as you thought they would?
“This happens more times than not. I’m always surprised by the photos I post that go viral. It’s never the images I think that will do well. It’s always a random photo I post and it gets blessed by the Instagram algorithm Gods. I think most photographers will agree.”
How do you balance your life with your relationship to Instagram?
“I don’t have any issues with Instagram dominating my personal time. I honestly don’t put a lot of time into my posts. I have spent some time traveling with other Instagram influencers, and their phone just dominates their life.”
Why is Instagram so important to a photographer?
“Instagram gives photographers a platform to share their work with so many different people from all over the world. It’s also a place to gain inspiration from photographers that you have followed for years.”
What goes into getting the perfect shot for you?
“The perfect shot for me takes years of preparation — getting ready for that one moment of luck where ‘the everything’ comes together perfectly.”
Favorite Austin spots to shoot?
“I’m partial to the Austin skyline shots taken from Auditorium Shores or from one of the three to four bridges that cross Lady Bird Lake.”
Where are you dying to photograph but haven’t yet?
“I have flown my drone in over 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica. But I haven’t been to Iceland or New Zealand. Those are on the short list.”
What piece of equipment can you not leave home without?
“Honestly, my iPhone 13 Pro Max has such an amazing camera and it fits in my pocket. Sometimes I prefer to use it over my professional Sony cameras. If you know how to use it, shoot in RAW and nail your composition, your photos will be great. The best camera is the one you have with you.”