We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara Gruner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamara, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Born in Munich, Bavaria with a German-Turkish heritage I seek to create iconic imagery with an international perspective. I find immense beauty in cultural diversity and feel most at home when I’m surrounded by ancient architecture—perhaps due to my own mixed heritage. My father was a photographer. Because of this, I spent my childhood in Germany studying light—the way it highlights white mountains, brightens deep green forests, and is absorbed by blue lakes. It’s been eight years since I followed in his footsteps to become a professional photographer, and my appreciation for light and nature has only continued to grow…as has my desire to share our world’s breathtaking beauty with others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Drawing inspiration from my European-Turkish heritage and luxury fashion houses alike, I seek to create iconic imagery with an international perspective. I bring an eye for detail, a heart for romance, and a distinctly European touch to every wedding I photograph. As a fine art film photographer, I seek to create unposed yet perfectly styled images that convey a sense of place, communicate your story, and capture your unique beauty. Both science and art play a role in the composition of luxury wedding portraiture. Luckily, I have a background in both worlds…plus a deeply rooted appreciation for travel, beauty, and fashion. While I hold a PhD in Cancer Research from the University of Cambridge, I made the transition from scientist to love story preservationist eight years ago. Details have always mattered to me—my fascination with the framework of cells simply shape-shifted into a passion for capturing people, moments, and emotions in all of their intricacies. I’ve also always been a fashion lover, and it goes without saying that the years I spent working in a sterile laboratory environment only heightened my awareness of aesthetics and beauty. As your photographer, my purpose is to translate your story on film in a way that’s undeniably representative of the journey you’ve shared…and remains that way for a lifetime.
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.
A week or more in Colorado Starting from the Denver suburbs I would take my friends to the mountains, for which Colorado is famous for. Along the drive from Highlands Ranch to Vail we would stop at Lake Dillon to enjoy the lake / mountain views. Stay in Frisco and explore its area alongside Breckenridge, rent a bike and drive along Lake Dillon. We would eat in Breck and stop by one of those wonderful American Burger places in town or at Aurum or Twist in Breck. We would then keep driving to Vail to explore the ‘German-like’ mountain town with all its pretty ‘Luftmalerei’ buildings. Scroll through town, take the gondola up for spectacular mountain views. I would eat at one of those spectacular restaurants of the Four Seasons in Vail or visit the Oktoberfest party at the Sonnenalp in October. From Vail we would drive to the Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs, take an hour hike up and enjoy this magical lake in the midst of the mountains. Then we would keep driving to Aspen. In Aspen we would stay at St Regis or Hotel Jerome and enjoy their spectacular meals. Or if staying around Snowmass we would enjoy the Viceroy with its spectacular amenities. For lunch I would go to the White House Tavern in Aspen to have one of their amazing sandwiches. For desert we would have the famous ice cream from Paradise Bakery & Cafe. While scrolling through Aspen town we would stop by the Aspen Art Museum, check out the shops such as Maja Dubrul Design Jewelry and admire the cowboy hats at Kemo Sabe. The next day I would take my friends to the famous Maroon Bells and explore this beautiful place on earth. Mountains, a lake, moose and many more things to explore here. On the way back to Denver we would take the Independent Pass to enjoy some final impressive mountain views and search for some Edelweiss flowers in the grass in July. Back in Denver I would take my friends to a final shopping tour to Castle Rock Outlet Mall and Park Meadows Mall, some of my favorite shopping malls. You can always find something beautiful and a good deal there! If we had more time I would take my friends to Telluride. It’s a very different and magical mountain area unlike the others. On the way to Telluride we would stop by the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. A very unique place with its spectacular Red Rocks. Lunch we would have at the Broadmoor. There we would wander around and enjoy this serene venue before heading out to Telluride. In Telluride we would explore the little town, go up the gondola and eat at my favorite restaurant on top of the mountain – Allred’s restaurant. It has some fantastic mountain views and their steak is a dream come true. After this tour I am sure my friends would want to come back again to explore more of the beautiful Colorado state!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of all I would like to thank my mom for supporting me my whole life. As a young widow she was there for me no matter how hard her own life was. My dad passed away when he was 34 years old and I was only 3. My mom decided not to re-marry to protect me from those step dads your nightmares are made of. She was there for me through my hard years as a PhD in Cancer Research in the UK and supported my crazy idea to found my own wedding photography business in the US afterward. In fact, since my father was a photographer himself she is now very proud of me to have followed in his footsteps to become a professional photographer. Second I need to thank my husband, Bala. He was there for me from the beginning when founding my own photography business. And as all business owners know it takes years until you can stand on your own feet. Throughout those starter years he had to go through all the up and downs with me. He started my business with me and worked with me as a second shooter. He still comes to weddings with me when I need him! He is proud to see how far I came. I am grateful for all his support. Last but not least I am most grateful to certain people in the Vail and Colorado wedding community. It’s been wonderful to see the support from my dear friends Jennifer Pletcher from Gemini Weddings and Isabelle Kline from Isabelle Kline Design as well as Meridith Lowe, Rebecca Steffen and Katie Shay throughout the past 5 years. In addition, I want to thank more people from this wonderful Colorado community – Jessica from White Birch Weddings, Casey from Pink Diamond Co, Kelsi from ZG Aspen Events, Christine from The Soiree Studio, Heather and her lovely ladies from Calluna Events, Emily and Samantha from Go Bella Design, Kelly from Kelly Karli Events, Lindsey and her lovely ladies from Bello and Blue Events, Kate and Chelsea from Gold Leaf Events, Heather from Table 6 Productions and Amanda from Slater Events, Marguerite from Events By Marguerite, Ashley from Ashley Nicole Events, Nicole from Grace and Gather Events, Ann & Brittany from Cloud 9 Bliss and Amy from the Sonnenalp. I also need to mention Kelly and her wonderful ladies from the Little White Dress, who always supported my styled shoots with their gorgeous wedding dresses. Not to forget the talented florist and photographer community – thank you for all your gorgeous flowers and second shooter support! Thank you to everyone I haven’t mentioned here – you are in my hearts. Internationally I would like to thank Stephanie Fayolle from WEP Events, who supported me in my crazy ideas from styled shoots to workshops in her native area Provence in France. Also, a shoutout to SposiamoVI and its wonderful Italian wedding planner ladies, who always think about me when it comes to European weddings. Without all these lovely ladies I wouldn’t be where I am today. Hence, I want to give a big shoutout to everyone on this list and to those I haven’t mentioned here – it’s so important to know where you come from and never forget about it no matter where you end up. Never forget your roots. I thank you all for your support!
Other: The Knot: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/tamara-gruner-photography-highlands-ranch-co-848912
Tamara Gruner Photography