Tara Donne Travels to Adult Dream Camp
Tara Donne is no stranger to travel. The seasoned photographer and motion director is known for photographing the finer things that make up a lifestyle: food, travel, family, and fun. In her latest project with Travel & Leisure, Tara takes her talents to the Adirondack Mountains to capture all it has to offer, from the rustic cabin scene to the luxurious lakeside resorts.
The Adirondacks has a special place in Tara’s heart. Having spent her early years near the mountain range at school in Syracuse, Tara was already keen on all the natural beauty the area has to offer. “I feel like people don’t know about the Adirondacks. There’s a bunch of different things I love about it. It’s just totally my vibe up there, big trees, big mountains. I’ve been there at a bunch of different times of year – in the winter with friends, renting houses and just enjoying the nature and snow around Lake Placid. I always really love it. There’s great hiking and a lot of outdoorsy activities. But I’d always look and look and I could never find really cool places to stay. In a way, it was sort of lovely and refreshing because there was nothing trendy - there’s not a million pre-curated instagrammable things. It’s just really beautiful, natural and raw. As an aesthetic person that feeling was always both underwhelming but in the same way a little bit refreshing.” It feels fated that Tara, who at a time craved more intentional beauty from the unchartered Adirondacks, was selected as the photographer for a multi-night adventure in different luxury accommodations, dubbed Adult Dream Camp.
Tara and the editorial team of Travel + Leisure stayed in a plethora of hotels throughout the Adirondacks for the Adult Dream Camp journey that each had their own unique feel. From affordable cabins deep in the mountains to properties along Lake George, to finally one of Rockefeller’s properties turned luxury resort, the photographer had no shortage of picture-perfect moments throughout her stay on the four-day shoot. Tara’s favorite stay, “hands down”, was The Point, which she refers to as the highlight of her trip. “It’s a really nice and beautiful property, but everything feels like authentically from when it was built - in the early 1930s. It has that Adirondack cabin feel but with a luxe twist. But it’s not like they did this cheesy over the top renovation that feels inauthentic to what the Rockefeller property originally was. It feels like you kind of get to go back in time,” explains Tara. “Before I arrived, they asked if I had dietary restrictions. I said yes, I can’t eat gluten, so when I arrived there was a plate of fresh baked gluten-free cookies. They make you feel taken care of. It’s also not so posh because you’re still in nature. You can take the boats out and go swimming and hiking. You can totally unplug. There were even top-shelf bars that you could just help yourself, set up in five different places.” Tara took those cues and made herself at home, going as far as to make a fire in the fireplace that was pre-stationed in her room to photograph and capture the full luxury of the moment.
Although The Point made Tara feel more than comfortable, the other areas of the Adirondacks evoked more familiar feelings of nostalgia, fulfillment, and family that Tara showcased in her images. “I think the range of accommodations that were part of this story was perfect for what I thought were the most exciting, interesting, beautiful, authentic to the place kind of summery moments and things that happened at each spot. The Sagamore is a beautiful island that’s in Lake George and it has all this coastline that’s so beautiful to enjoy and it has all these tubes and kids in the lake. It feels like a family place,” Tara notes, referencing the outtakes of images of children and families wading in the lake and walking along the lake with their tubes. “I think a lot of the inspiration was wanting to tell a story. When you’re shooting a travel story, it has so much to offer and there’s so much about it that makes it a wonderful experience. I just felt like I wanted to spend more time there, not just because I wanted too, but because I wanted more time to photograph everything that happened there. It was such a good place to just shoot an inclusive story from food to things there growing the garden to the people who work there. I wanted to capture that.”
B&A's Seven American Photography Winners
Each year American Photography releases their compendium of images from the last year that they found to be most arresting. This isn’t an award delivered to a photographer for the work they did that year, instead this is given to particular photographs regardless of who was behind the camera or what else that photographer achieved that year. Each image is chosen for what fits between the edges of the image, without the drag of reputation or expectation.
This year, nine images from seven B&A photographers earned the distinction to be featured in AP32, the thirty second collection of these accolades. Please join us in congratulating Chloe Aftel, Jamie Chung, Tara Donne, Marco Grob, Steven Laxton, Joe Pugliese, and Michael Turek.
Chloe Aftel’s attention grabbing shot was for Billboard Magazine. Shot on location at Ms. Brownstein's home in Portland, the image was paired with a short interview. The Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney rocker offers a dozen looks at her characters through her creative ventures, but catching Carrie at home is something her fans are always hungry for. Chloe’s portrait shows us the woman behind the characters and music, displaying a quiet readiness that exudes with the creative generosity we’ve come to expect from her.
One of the biggest stories from this past year has been the incredible rise of Donald Trump as a political figure and how he’s galvanized a section of the American electorate. Jamie Chung’s incredible visualization of this stratospheric rise graced the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a unique image that saw Mr. Trump as a balloon. Jamie was particularly careful with how the placement of the balloon in the composition of the image. Balloons rise and fall, but it’s up to you to decide where Trump’s balloon is in its journey.
This fall Tara Donne shared with all of use her recipe for Hazelnut Pumpkin Tart and it caught enough attention that AP had to include her photograph in AP32. Don’t let the sumptuous look of the dessert fool you: this is for all of our friends, including those who are gluten free. Tara’s ‘Wild Apple’ project is an ongoing online magazine that proves a gluten free lifestyle isn’t a taste-free lifestyle, and invites you to find out for yourself. Dig in!
It’s been half a century since the Beach Boys recorded ‘Pet Sounds,’ but the story of the band’s front man, Brian Wilson, will live on in infamy. His complex past is the subject of the upcoming biopic ‘Love & Mercy,” and the subject of a illuminating portrait by Marco Grob for Variety Magazine. Marco’s image finds the musician in a haze, considering the piano keys at his hand, opening a window for us into a private moment before his story becomes ever more public.
Kathoey cabarets are a popular tourist destination for travellers in Thailand. The ‘ladyboys’ that perform are one of the country’s brightest international delights, but under the glitz and glam is a highly choreographed puzzle that keeps the theaters running and holds the hopes and reams of the performers. Steven Laxton got access backstage to the world that supports this movement in a series of images that was featured by The New Yorker.
Joe Pugliese has three different photos featured in AP32 this year.
When he sat with Christopher Walken for a Saturday Night Live anniversary issue of The Hollywood Reporter, he found a man so at the top of his game that Joe was merely an audience for what Christopher had to offer that day. And it was exactly what Joe wanted.
His portrait of Dr Dre came as a part of a Beats cover story for Wired that examined the history of the brand from its inception to its acquisition by Apple and how it operates under its new identity. The unique story allowed Joe to explore color and play with light in new ways.
Leading up to the Oscars, Joe sat down with six A-List actors to discuss the state of Hollywood and where they fit within their craft. Samuel L. Jackson brought with him his signature energy that thundered through the portrait session, delivering the Sam Jackson the public has come to love. But there was one moment of stillness that Joe was able to capture, catching Jackson in a unique instant and catching AP’s accolades.
As athletes feel called deeper towards nature, open water swimming has taken off all over the world. Michael Turek teamed up with a group of mataeur swimmers who take a five day aquatic trek over twenty miles of ocean that separates the British Virgin Islands. One of Michael’s images for this commission by British Airways High Life was tapped for AP32.