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Taneane Twele Photography

Meet Taneane Twele… one of Mission’s top and most adored photographers.

Taneane’s love of photography started back in high school and it was actually her photography teacher that encouraged her to continue with it.

Knowing that becoming a photographer was a way to put an entirely new perspective on everyday life, Taneane enrolled in the Western Academy of Photography. Learning the skills necessary to turn almost anything beautiful into a work of art, she graduated two years later with flying colours.

While in attendance, one of the course requirements was to develop a complete business plan for starting your own photography business. With the arrangement already in place to move back to Mission, Taneane designed her entire project as if she was already living back in our little community.

“I did extensive research with surveys and statistics,” she explains. “I networked with people living in the community to figure out exactly what was needed.”

When the time arrived to move back to Mission Taneane had a fully completed and comprehensive business plan ready to present. In 2003, she walked in to Community Futures North Fraser with the hopes of making her photography business in to a reality.

Able to utilize their program, she was successful in obtaining funding and Taneane Twele Photography was born.

“They were fabulous,” she tells us. “They offered assistance with different courses, marketing, bookkeeping and even networking.”

Intrigued by her previous mention of extensive research, I had to ask what it was that her surveys revealed that our community really needed in regards to photography.

“It was a lot of weddings at the beginning,” she admits. “But after I had my first baby, I stopped that and decided to concentrate mostly on business head shots and family portraits.”

Working out of her home for the first few years, they eventually built a photography studio on their property that gave Taneane the opportunity to have clients come to her as opposed to choosing location.

Taneane threw herself in to the community, joining organizations such as the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters and the Professional Women’s Group.

She won a couple local photography contests, as well as 2003 Entrepreneur of the year, the Derek East award for Business Excellence and was voted the Mission Times Readers Choice award in 2011 and 2012.

With a newly designed website up, Taneane realized that the majority of her traffic didn’t come from there.

“It was my involvement in the community that really helped my business grow. 100% word of mouth and networking.”

Recently, Taneane went back to school and obtained her diploma as an educational assistant. Although photography has and will always be her passion, unfortunately it had to take the back burner and she is only operating on a part time basis presently.

Imagining that photographer must see a large mix of cool, uncomfortable and unusual things, I asked Taneane about the funniest part of her job.

“During a photo shoot, I tend to alter people in to a pose that is more flattering, yet not always straightforward or easy to maintain.” She laughs thinking of all the awkward moments she’s experienced trying to mold the position. “Sometimes it’s quite humourous because they feel like they’re in a yoga class. Often I will run in to people at a later date and they always try to strike that pose for me once again.”

Lean on to your hip!

Chin up!


Turn this way!

Forward and down!

Body to the side!

Shoulders back!

Front angle!

I did a little of my own research in to reasons why it makes sense to become a photographer and this is what I discovered.

  1. Become a part of a community - You are suddenly thrust in to a world filled with an eclectic array of characters. Some are kind, some are brilliant and some are just plain fun to be around.

  2. Share your vision - Sharing your photographs can help you improve and can push you to challenge yourself.

  3. Always something new - Never really get bored? Get a new lens, try a new technique. In our ever-changing world, all you have to do is look around.

  4. Teach - Photography is a skill that can be passed on.

  5. Help others / Give back - If photographs get ruined, you have the ability to help create new memories or restore old ones. With all the negative in the world, it feels good to do something positive.

Sounds like we should really embrace our local photographers!

The love is strong!

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