tess irene photography » Blog

About Me

Hey Everyone!!  Welcome to my website and welcome to my about me page!  As I am sure you can guess…My name is Tess Ware and I am a lifestyle photographer here in Cedar Falls/Waterloo Iowa. I am originally from a little town close to Des Moines, Perry Iowa.  I have been living here on and off since 2005 and I graduated from UNI in 2010 with a degree in Sociology and Family Services.  Photography has been an interest of mine since high school, and I’ve just been rolling with it ever since! Below photo credit below goes to my friend and fellow photographer Amy Guenther.

Outside of taking photos, I also work part-time at the Boys and Girls Club of the Cedar Valley.  I have been there for over five years, and I am currently the Teen Director at the Waterloo site.  I love my job, and I am so thankful that it found me! I work with some pretty amazing kiddos, that I love, that have taught me way more than anything I have learned in college.  If you are looking for a local organization to volunteer at or donate to, please consider ‘The Club’!

One of my assistants that comes with me to most sessions is my friend Shun. She’s amazing with kids and really helps sessions go smoothly. She also works for the Waterloo Community Schools and The Boys and Girls Club. When I tell you she is amazing, I promise you that is an understatement! Not only is she one of my assistants, she happens to be one of my very good friends! She gives me the best life advice, sends me to the corner when I get out of line, keeps me in tears laughing, and always up for a good margarita! Some days, I truly don’t know what I would do without her!

My other assistant is my “baby” Lay’Money…aka LayLay. She is currently a sophomore and a straight A student. She is a hard worker as well as one of the sweetest and strongest people I have ever met. She makes me so proud everyday. For only being fifteen, she has taught me more than she will ever know. I love having her at sessions as well, she’s great with keeping me on track and making sure your session is seamless.

I have a pretty small family whom I don’t get to see too often who still live back in my hometown.  My mom is the assistant director of a local daycare, and she is also the mastermind behind many of the props and bonnets at the studio. Don’t tell her this picture is on here..she hates it! My dad is half retired, but he still works for the school driving the bus and when he’s not doing that he can be found outside walking, riding his bike, camping, or anything to keep busy!

I have a pretty amazing group of friends. Sadly everyone is all over the place and some I don’t get to see too often. But regardless, when we are together it’s like we were never apart. I love them all to death and they keep me put together!

I also have a pretty awesome tribe of photographer friends! I think we keep each other sane!

I absolutely love my church, and finding them back in 2014 has been one of the best blessings. Not only has it brought me closer to God, it has also provided me with an incredible church family, and friends that I could not imagine my life without. Below is one of my favorite images that is part of a project that is a work in progress. This one is “Take Me to the Water.”

Below, is my absolute favorite image to date. In a semi random photoshoot, I completely brought Shun out of her comfort zone and it was so worth it. I haven’t completely settled on a title, but for now I will call it “Beautiful Imperfections.”

In 2012 I submitted this following photograph to the Iowa State Fair and I received the Superintendent’s Choice Award.  This is still one of my proudest moments in photography.


When I am not busy between working at the Club and taking photos, I like to enjoy my time with family and friends!  I love movies, award shows, and re-runs of Roseanne. That show is what gets me through hours of editing…I’ve seen the same episodes more times than I can count! This page is pretty much me in a nutshell! Anything you want to know? Just ask!

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