As a teenager, Tate Tullier wasn’t interested in playing sports; he was fascinated with taking photos—and often could be found studying the glamorous images of women and fashion in People and Vogue magazines.
Years later, the 2003 Gallaudet University alumnus (who is deaf) is following his passion as a professional photographer—taking a waterlogged leap into “a little risqué, but fun” signature exhibition called “Tub Time With Tate.” The show runs from Feb. 17-April 7 at Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
An artist talk with Tullier will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, followed by an opening reception at 6 p.m.
Tullier started his photography business in New York City and then moved his company to Louisiana in 2005. During relief efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Tullier served as lead photographer for the Ruby Slippers Cookbook, which raised thousands of dollars for the restoration of coastal Louisiana.
When he’s not covering special occasions like weddings, Tullier is on the road shooting pictures of everyday life. It was through social media that his business really took off after he posted photos on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there was one photo in particular—a picture of himself bathing in the tub which he posted as “Tub Time With Tate.”
“Tub shots became my thing,” said Tullier, “I could be creative with the water, reflections on my body . . . it could be interpreted any way you want. As a result, I was getting more and more requests for tub photo shoots.”
Tullier, who hails from Gonzales, La., is excited to head north to RIT for the opening of the exhibition. “It’s a huge honor to have been asked to show my ‘Tub Time With Tate’ artwork at such a well-respected university, especially with a huge deaf community.”
And he has two words of wisdom to inspire deaf students of today and tomorrow. “Do it. It’s simple advice, but the truth. Build your confidence, work on your people skills and do your hardest to build a business out of it. I have a good number of years of experience but am still learning things every day about my work, and continue to find things I need to improve. Again, do it.”
The Dyer Arts Center is located at 52 Lomb Memorial Drive and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by request. For more information, go to www.rit.edu/ntid/dyerarts or call 585-475-6406.