The Humanity in the Workers

A construction photographer focuses on the builders, not the buildings

Tara Garner spends her days on construction sites, her favorite tool always close at hand. She walks the site, inspects progress, greets the workers, chats with them, surveys the scene, takes it in from all angles. And then she shoots—beautiful, stunning, and impactful pictures.

Garner has carved out a niche for herself in Southern California and along the West Coast as a construction photographer, a position she essentially created for herself after working at a desk job for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for a few years. Garner, who comes from a family of ironworkers going back generations, had just lost her father, James Garner. After his passing in 2012, Tara was looking out the window one day and spotted a construction project across the street. She felt a sense of closeness to the workers there—workers who, like her father and brothers, toiled in the elements to bring buildings to life out of mere drawings. And that’s when she started taking pictures.

Since then, Garner, owner of Under Construction Photography, has taken thousands of pictures and gained notoriety across the industry and online. Companies often hire her to take photographs of their people and projects, her Instagram page (@ucpbytara) has thousands of followers, and she’s gained the trust and devotion of construction workers everywhere for her dedication to shining the spotlight on the people who construct our world.