Nina Tisara majored in sculpture at the High School of Music and Art in New York City but didn’t pursue her art until many years later when she took a photography class at Northern Virginia Community College to reward herself for passing Economics. A fellow student told her about a possible freelance photography job at the Port Packet (now the Alexandria Gazette Packet) and that was the start of a 30-year-plus career as a photographer.
While freelancing for the Port Packet, Tisara continued working full time for a national association on Capitol Hill. She incorporated Tisara Photography in 1985 and quit her full time job. In 1990 she opened her photography studio in the newly developing King Street Metro area. Two of her children joined her in the business endeavor and her son Steven Halperson, now runs the studio.