Celebrating Women Photographers: Mariah Tauger

Mariah Tauger, Taylor Arthur
·4 min read
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: Luis Moreno, left, and Author Bernal, both employees at Flaco's Tires on Thursday, March 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. Moreno, who lives with his girlfriend and their 5 year old son, agreed to a pay reduction as business has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. "We normally do at least fifteen cars a day" said Moreno, "Now, it's maybe four". (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
Luis Moreno, left, and Author Bernal, both employees at Flaco's Tires, on March 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. Moreno, who lives with his girlfriend and their son, agreed to a pay reduction because the business has been hit hard by the pandemic. "We normally do at least 15 cars a day," said Moreno, "Now, it's maybe four." (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Los Angeles Times photography department would like to highlight our award-winning female staff photographers.

Originally from Colorado, Mariah Tauger has spent her career dedicated to many facets of visual journalism. This includes photographing such diverse subjects as professional sports like the Olympics, celebrities, celebrity chefs, lifestyle and features. Her work has been featured in almost every major American publication.

Since joining the Times photo staff in 2019, she's been even more concentrated in food and lifestyle photography.

My favorite part of my job is engaging and meeting interesting and colorful people.

Mariah Tauger

Kat Von D poses with Nietzsche, one of her three cats.
Kat Von D poses with Nietzsche, one of her three cats on Feb. 27, 2020. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Behind the photograph

When I took this photo, I remember thinking, "Oh, my gosh, I love these two!" Nietzsche, tattoo artist Kat Von D's cat, was a total ham and the sweetest.

Before the shoot, there were discussions with photo editors, designers, etc... as to the overall look and feel we hoped to achieve. The collaboration and communication beforehand helped me as a photographer to execute our team's overall vision.

Of course, Kat Von D's kickass personality, authenticity and energy (along with her incredible cat Nietzsche) made this photo what it is.

I hope this photo's impact is one of power, softness, strength and love

Mariah Tauger

Hands hold chopsticks with noodles and a spoonful of shrimp above a bowl of House Special Noodles.
House Special Noodles from Phnom Penh in Long Beach on Aug. 21, 2019. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
A man crouches on a cement wall with a sky full of clouds above him.
Local rapper and actor Jonathan Park, a.k.a. Dumbfoundead, in Koreatown on June 26 in Los Angeles. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
A man looks through the window of a door of a taco truck.
Taco trucks are just one of many facets of the food industry being hit hard amid the pandemic. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
A knife is about to cut into Radicchio with Radicchio XO.
Radicchio with Radicchio XO at Angler restaurant in Los Angeles on Sept. 3, 2019. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Behind the photograph

One thing the viewer might not know about this image is I used a chair in the restaurant for the background.

When approaching how to take this photograph I remember thinking that it needed to be simple and elegant.

Mariah Tauger

Two layers of a bento box filled with food with chopsticks nearby
Bento box (2-layer) from Kinkan on July 9 in Los Angeles. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Jorge Alvarez squeezes liquid on cooking meat amid steam.
Co-owner of Tacos 1986, Jorge Alvarez, a.k.a. El Joy, turns up the heat as he prepares some meat Jan. 30, 2019. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Faustino Martinez with a pushcart.
Faustino Martinez in his South L.A. neighborhood April 21 in Los Angeles. Martinez owns a pushcart business, Bolis El Oaxaca, which sells mostly ice cream treats, but since the Safer At Home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Martinez has seen a devastating decline in sales. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Auburn sommelier Rick Arline sits on a ledge near a set table.
Auburn sommelier Rick Arline on Jan. 31, 2020. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Behind the photograph

Outside of showing up with my camera and lighting gear, I spent time talking with Rick Arline and getting a feel for his personality.

What came across was that Rick is an extremely joyful and kind person. When I took this photo I remember thinking, "What an infectious smile!"

I hope this image comes across as one of joy.

Mariah Tauger

A vegan pisco sour.
A vegan pisco sour from Yapa restaurant Jan. 22, 2020. o (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Man poses with an arm resting on an upraised knee on a white block with a picture of a headless statue behind him.
Bar Restaurant general manager and beverage director Pierluc Dallaire on Feb. 11, 2020 . Behind Dallaire is Sara Vanderbeek's "Roman Women III," 2013 digital c-print. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Marcus Gladney and his bike in front of a multicolored wall.
Marcus Gladney and his bike off Abbot Kinney Boulevard on Aug. 20, 2020, in Venice. Gladney is the founder and organizer of the Venice Electric Light Parade, a fun-filled LED bike ride. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Kung fu boiled beef from Xiang La Hui in Alhambra
Kung fu boiled beef from Xiang La Hui in Alhambra on Feb. 7, 2020. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Behind the photograph:

Before taking the photograph I positioned myself above the bowl before the pour began. I remember thinking that it was a beautiful, interesting dish.

I hope this image encourages viewers to try the dish.

Mariah Tauger

Julie Newmar in her colorful garden.
Actress and dancer Julie Newmar in her colorful garden on July 18, 2019. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Tabitha Brown poses over a reflection of herself in a body of water outdoors.
Tabitha Brown at her home in the San Fernando Valley during the pandemic on May 14, 2020. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Two men each hold a glass of wine. One stands, one sits.
Teron Stevenson, left, and Khalil Kinsey, two of the co-founders of Natural Action Wine Club on Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. (Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.