State / Region
Since I was a child, I have been a lover of the arts. I would draw, paint, sculpt, and even write. With all of that in my background, I like to incorporate these different types of mediums in my photographs. Taking the time to get to know who I am photographing is important because I want their personality to shine in the image as well as mine.
Taylor, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
Showing the world's and my inner beauty and taking it to another level through images is my passion in life. To have people see a different side to a person that they didn't know existed and fall in love is my aspiration. I have always struggled with expressing myself verbally, which is why art became so important to me at such a young age. My grandmother loved taking pictures and when she passed away while I was in high school, being able to look back at those pictures and see the world the way she saw it brought me comfort and a new found love in photography.
Who is your inspiration in life Taylor? How do you keep inspired?
One of my biggest inspirations in life is my older sister. She pretty much raised me growing up and showed me how to overcome any obstacle that comes my way. She is constantly pushing me to do better whether that's by giving me advice or leading by example with her success. Another one of my inspirations is Tracee Ellis Ross. She is so fearless when it comes to her style and expressing her opinion. Her personality is so unapologetically her and has such a pure heart. The way I keep inspired is to get out in the world. I can stay in a bookstore for hours looking through different magazines and art books and listening to so many different types of music to put me in different moods. I also like to drive to places I've never been and watch how different people move about life.
We all make mistakes Taylor; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
There was one time a person had reached out to me to do a photo shoot for him. He was managing aspiring models. After communicating with him for a little bit, the situation seemed a little weird, but he was offering a lot of money for me to do this particular shoot. The time was getting closer for me to do this shoot and I still felt funny about it, but I had already booked the studio and gave the location to him. I later found out after doing a background check that he was a criminal with a serious record and that I could have put my life at risk. From then on I learned to always go with my gut feeling and that if something doesn't seem right, it's probably because it isn't and not to be so quick to take just any job offered to you without the proper research.
Taylor, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
Staying organised and on a schedule is key. Planning ahead of time before the shoot it happens is very important. If I know exactly the type of look that is being sought out before the shoot, then it makes the shooting a post-production process a breeze. I also give realistic time frames and stay very transparent with clients throughout the entire process.
Please tell us, Taylor, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
When going to The Art Institute you don't just have your typical graduation, you have a portfolio show, where everyone has a booth where they display their body of work. On top of getting ready for the portfolio show, I also had to prepare for my exit portfolio review where I had to go before a panel of judges and have them critique my work. I also had final major projects that had to be completed for a few classes. While all of this was happening, I had to also go to work and deal with the death of my father. That was a very stressful time for me where I had to manage my time and sleep wisely. At the end of it all, I managed to survive and just so happens to be awarded best in a show at the portfolio show and get the highest achievement award. That by far had to be one of my proudest moments.
Taylor, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I use to work as a photo editor for living social. My team and I were trying to figure out the best way to display a particular theme for our social content. I have an idea, but it was overlooked. I felt very strongly about the idea so knowing that expressing myself verbally is a struggle for me, I sketched out my idea then proceeded to make a mock-up of my idea to have everyone see what I was thinking. By the end, my idea was on all of our social networking content.
Taylor, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
There was one radio personality that I enjoyed listening to. I followed her on social media and thought hey why don't I reach out and see if she wouldn't mind shooting with me. Much to my surprise she responded and was impressed with my work, so she agreed to the shoot. I was very anxious and kind of nervous to shoot her because this would be the first time I had ever shot anyone this well known. After taking the time to get to know her, I was comfortable and in my zone. After receiving her pictures, I was so relieved to hear her say that those were some of the best pictures that she has ever taken and she then, later on, reached back out to me to do another shoot because she felt more comfortable with me. That was one of my proudest moments as a photographer.
Taylor, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I had to get surgery one time which forced me to be immobile for a bit of time. I was unable to go out and shoot, but I felt like I needed to put out new content for my social media pages still when it comes to my work. I then gave myself the task of taking some of my old work and creating new masterpieces from them. I would take an image and either draw or paint over it to make it something completely different which was slightly difficult to give an already existing image a whole new life.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Always stay true to yourself, don't overthink the process, trust your gut instincts and make sure you're having fun while doing what you love because it makes it so much easier.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love to work with different modelling agencies and fashion stylists.
Photographer: Taylor Renay @taylorrenayphotography