Hi Taylor! For our readers who aren’t yet familiar with you, will you share a bit about how your path led you to photography?
Hi! Of course! Here’s the short version- I was an Art History major at Baylor University and had to take a black and white film class as a prerequisite for graduation. It was my last semester of school but I fell in love with it. I had never even considered photography as a career! A good friend from school saw some of my hobbyist work on Facebook and asked me to come assist her at weddings! I soon fell in love with weddings- the dynamic schedule during the day, getting to know people and their families, the photojournalism and the fine-art of it- the entire thing! I knew it was what I was meant to do!
What would you be doing if you weren’t a photographer?
If I weren’t a photographer, I would either be in fashion doing something like design or editing, curating in the modern art world, or maybe a doctor (varied interests, I know!).
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in independent films. I really am so inspired by directors, directors of photography and cinematographers in how they make a vision come to life. Specifically Terrence Malick and the way he views and incorporates light into his work; it’s almost like a character in itself. The world of fashion is also very inspiring to me to take risks and think outside the box. Alexander McQueen was such an artist; I feel like no one compares to him and I am greatly inspired by his risk-taking.
Will you describe your ideal shooting scenario?
An ideal shooting scenario for a wedding would be great light where the sun never sets, and if the sun HAS to set, there would be a draped tent to end the evening. 🙂
How would you describe your style? How has it evolved over time?
I would say that my style has always revolved around the use of natural light. The evolution of it is primarily based on the medium I have used. I started off shooting film, and then used digital, and now I’m back to medium format! I think the type of camera will affect how you shoot and ultimately impact your portfolio. It wouldn’t be wise of me to try and use a very slow-focusing, heavy, medium format camera for those really fun photojournalism shots during a reception. There are things digital cameras do well, and things that film cameras do well. Right now I feel really connected to my medium format camera from an artistic perspective, but that could easily change someday! I think as an artist it’s important to keep exploring all the time.
What have been some of the most challenging aspects of creating and running your own business and what have you done to address or overcome them? The most rewarding?
Running the financial side of a business is really tough. I think this is probably something every creative struggles with. When it comes to determining profit and loss, margins, overhead expenses, and so much more, it seems so easy to “wing it.” I wasted so much money in the beginning on things I never needed, whether it was an advertising system that I didn’t gain anything from, packaging materials, cameras or lenses I don’t use…you name it, I probably purchased it thinking I needed it. Now that it’s been five full years, I’m really passionate about helping and mentoring new (and seasoned) business owners with those things, along with client relations and building confidence in your brand and product.
What advice would you give for someone looking to get into photography or just starting a small business in general?
The best advice I received was from a realtor in Galveston, Texas, and it was to treat every client as though they were your first. I try to remember that. 🙂
What do you love most about your job?
I love all the friends that I’ve made through being in the wedding industry, truly. When running a business seems overwhelming or it’s tempting to stop working because maybe I feel burned out one week, I think about those friendships. The camaraderie on those long Saturday nights where we all work so hard together as a team to create something beautiful for someone keeps pushing me forward.
Images: Taylor Lord Creative