Hey there! I’m Tia, the creator of Filtercrave. I’m a retoucher, digital artist, and photographer. And I created Filtercrave to help photographers, creatives, and bloggers streamline their photography and editing workflow. I enjoy creating trendy creative Lightroom Presets inspired by the editing styles of popular Instagrammers which you’ll find in my shop. I also love sharing my photography knowledge and resources through my blog.
My creative backstory
My creative journey began with illustration and drawing cartoons when I was ten. Around age 15, I became super fascinated with digital art, and got my first Wacom Bamboo Tablet and copy of Adobe Photoshop 7.0. This version was already old by then haha, (I believe CS3 was released that year), but I didn’t care I was just happy to finally have my hands on the illustration program I’ve been wanting for years. I taught myself the ins and out of Photoshop through tutorials on DeviantArt and YouTube. I mainly used Photoshop for illustration until I discovered that there was a whole industry and trend for photo editing, retouching, and photo manipulation. Around 16 my focus began to focus from cartoon and illustration work, to photo editing and manipulation work. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, that I decided to embark on a creative career path.
I attended Savannah College of Art and Design originally majoring in Animation. Although I had a huge interest in photo editing and photo manipulation work, I felt I should stick to my original passion in animation and character design since I thought I’d never be good at photography. I avoided shooting photos until a friend showed me how nice my iPhone’s camera was. I gave photography a try, and in 3 months I already had over 3k photos captured on my phone. I started to realize how much I liked photography, so my mom bought me my first DSLR for my 19th birthday in 2011. I still considered photography to be a hobby, until I landed my first paid internship as a nightlife photographer for an nightclub/event marketing company at the beginning of my sophomore year. I remember my first night ending with horrible pictures haha. I was still learning my camera and photography in general, but I literally had no clue how to shoot in low light. Since it was an internship, it was okay for me to start with no skill. My first few shoots was shadowing the company’s director of photography so my photos weren’t crucial to the projects. After about half a year of crash learning photography, I became pretty good at nightlife photography and started offering freelance photography services myself. I decided to make photography my minor by the end of sophomore year. But later swapped my major to Photography and my minor to Animation. I continued doing nightlife photography and freelance photography work throughout college and graduated in 2014 with a B.F.A. in Photography and Minor in Animation.
When I graduated, I suddenly realized I was burned from offering photography services, I wanted to take a break from it. Besides I always enjoyed the post production aspect of photography more. So, I chose to shift my focus to retouching, even though there were little to no retouching jobs in my city. By luck, I found my first full time retouching contract job at a children’s clothing company. The pay was great, however, after a year the workload became overwhelming so I decided become a freelance retoucher full time. This is also when I started my first blog, RetouchingBlog, where I shared retouching and photo editing tutorials and resources. Shortly after, I created Filtercrave as well. I started investing more time into managing both blogs and the Filtercrave shop. Once I realized how much success I could gain from affiliate marketing and selling digital products, I have shifted most of my focus on Filtercrave and content marketing. I still accepting retouching projects from time to time, and I also do a lot graphic design work for my boyfriend’s video production and creative marketing company. Although, I don’t shoot photography as much, I still enjoy sharing my photography knowledge and resources with creatives. And maybe one day, I revisit offering professional photography services again. Until then, I’ll keep making awesome digital tools and helpful content for you! :)