Tara Violet Niami


Photography is a [means through which] I can express the inner workings of my mind. My fears, my dreams, the things I can't put into words, I realize into my work. Sometimes, for me, taking a photo is an escape from reality, a way of transforming it and making it a set, a fantasy. I tell fragments of stories; the still image captures a glimpse into mysterious happenings. Other times, it’s a way for me to exorcise my demons. My self-portraits are a way for me to move outside of myself and reflect. They are a coping mechanism; I'm in a trance, silently acting in front of my lens. I have been making self-portraits since I was 14, traversing the awkwardness of teenage years, and they have captured my development into adulthood. My most recent self-portraits are rawer, less theatrical, and honest. 

Born in 1993 in New York, Tara Violet Niami is a photographer and cinematographer from Los Angeles. She seeks to perplex and unsettle viewers with her work creating visual poetry. Tara is inspired by the films of Andrea Arnold, Terrence Malick, Wim Wenders and Michelangelo Antonioni, and work of Emmanuel Lubezki, Francesca Woodman, Sally Mann, and late 19th century Pictorialists.  

Tara holds a BFA in photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Tara is currently a Cinematography Fellow at the acclaimed American Film Institute Conservatory.

Tara has directed and shot short films Mirrors and Ghosts, The Sin, Liquid Damage, Impaired, and Destroy My Beautiful Wickedness. The music video she directed for “Worth the Wait” by The Life of Riley (for the release of the film Shirin in Love) premiered on the Huffington Post. She has photographed for Rookie Magazine, headed by Tavi Gevinson and Anaheed Alani. She has been a still photographer on feature films Babe's and Ricky's Inn and Shirin in Love as well as on Burn Brightly a short film directed by Lauren Ludwig as a part of American Film Institute's Directing Women Workshop. Her work has been shown in group shows in London and Berlin been published in such publications as Elle France, Vanity Fair Spain, VICE, Le Monde, the book If You Leave covered by Dazed & Confused, and more.