It’s a happy coincidence that during this Collaboration-theme month here two of my friends were cooking up their own inspiring collaboration. Angie Dornier and Tara Romasanta are collaborating all month on a project that is Lyrically Inspired. You may be familiar with Angie and Tara’s work, both of them have been featured guests here on Mortal Muses. Last fall Angie introduced us to her Jar of Inspiration project and shared how each month she chooses a theme to inspire her in her 365. When the Lyrically Inspired theme cropped up, Angie seized the opportunity to ask Tara to join in for the month. I’m pleased to be able to share with you some of what they’ve created and their thoughts behind the project.

On the logistics of the project

Angie: “Before February began, we each chose a list of songs. Tara went through my list and chose about 10 and vice versa. It was fun to see the differences in our choices and get exposed to some new music. From the combined list, we choose songs a day or 2 in advance and we choose whatever lyric strikes us”.

On the relationship between music and photography

Angie: “Music has always been an inspiration for me. When I hear a song I visualize images to go along with it and I wonder how I can achieve those images with my camera”.

Tara: “I always seem to have song lyrics stuck in my head and sometimes I’m really lazy about coming up with captions or titles for photos. Song lyrics can be really helpful. …Pairing music with an image can really add to the power or emotion or playfulness of an image; it just adds a dimension.”

Wings (by Birdy)

Angie’s lyrics:

I’m in a foreign state
My thoughts they slip away
My words are leaving me
They caught an aeroplane
Because I thought of you
Just from the thought of you

Day 3

Tara’s lyrics:

Sunlight comes creeping in
Illuminates our skin
We watch the day go by
Stories of all we did
It made me think of you


On how they are finding the project, just over half-way through the month

Tara: “For this collaboration, I’m really trying to let the mood or lyrics of a song guide me. It is pushing me to be more conceptual than I usually shoot, and is, honestly, taking me to some brand new territory. I happen to be working on 100 self portraits over the next year (or so). I figured this collaboration would be a good push. I was right. On day six I had a minor freakout, mostly from publishing too many self portraits back-to-back. I just felt a little over-exposed. I’m stubborn enough to stick with it, though I will probably take a little breather from self-portraits when this month is done.”

Angie: “I am loving the topic. It’s been challenging and exciting and I’m always looking forward to seeing what Tara has done and what lyric she’s chosen. I feel like there are already songs that I’ll go back and re-visit when there’s more time or I have a better setting or props”.

On doing it together

Angie: “I have known Tara for a few years after meeting in California for a photo retreat. When I saw that she was one of the moderators for a group called Lyrically Inspired, I actually squealed with delight. It made perfect sense to ask her to play along and I’m so thankful that she was willing.  I especially enjoy having someone else playing along for this month of my Jar of Inspiration project. It’s renewed my interest in learning new techniques and has caused me to push myself a little harder so that Tara doesn’t think I’m slacking off on her. She has such an amazing and creative eye and she executes the shots with precise focus. She routinely wow’s me and inspires me with her work and it’s made the collaboration one of my favorites topics so far”.

Tara: “I’ve admired Angie’s work since Tracey Clark’s Big Picture classes where we would shoot a prompt each day. Angie was in a different league. I always know she’s going to produce compelling images that will raise the bar. Shooting the same song as Angie is also really freeing for me because it somehow makes it less personal even though I am shooting all self portraits“.

Flowers in your Hair (by The Lumineers)

Tara’s lyrics:

When we were younger we thought
Everyone was on our side
Then we grew a little bit
And romanticized the time I saw
Flowers in your hair
It takes a boy to live
It takes a man to pretend he was there 

So then we grew a little and knew a lot
And now we demonstrated it to the cops
And all the things we said
We were self-assured 

Cause it’s a long road to wisdom
But it’s a short one
To being ignored 

Be in my eyes
Be in my heart
Be in my eyes ai yai yai
And be in my heart 


Angie’s Lyrics:

Be in my eyes
Be in my heart
Be in my eyes ai yai yai
Be in my heart

Day 16

I am a big admirer of both Tara and Angie’s work and I’m inspired what they are creating this month. As an observer of their work, and a lover of music myself, I’m really enjoying how each of them are interpreting through their photographs the lyrics of many songs that I know well.

Thank you so much to Tara and Angie for sharing their thoughts on the project and their gorgeous photographs with us. You can follow along on Flickr here: Angie & Tara

Debra ~ Manifeisty