Interviewing Photographer Brandon Taelor-
You take a lot of beautiful photos, everything you shoot seems to have a character to it, beyond just a pretty image.
–Thank you. A lot of the time I have an emotional connection to the photographs, that’s why I take so many, to hold on to moments I think are beautiful.
Is there a favorite image or set of favorites?
-I have too many favorites, has to do with the different emotions attached to each shoot.
A lot of the pictures you post are black and white. Why black and white?
-Black and white strips away all distractions for me and gets to the essence of what I’m trying to capture easier, which you could say is a cop out sometimes. Color is one of those things that humans are intrinsically sensitive to, we have a lot of hidden associations with color so it’s tricky.
Is there a dream job or dream person you would die to work with?
-Hard to say. A dream job would be any creative job where I’m working with really talented and good hearted people that are also passionate about what they do. It all comes down to passion.
Why photography? What sparked an interest in young Brandon to pick up the camera and make it a career?
-When I was really little, my mom let me use her film camera. I used to take pictures of just any random thing I saw that struck my interest, nothing fancy. Then, as I got older, I started taking portraits of my friends instead. I would post the pictures I took on Flickr and got a pretty decent sized following- people would comment and like my images, which would encourage me to get better and start shooting more, I loved it. I then went to FIT to study fashion photography and that’s sort of where it all started.
Do you remember your first big job post school?
–Well, my biggest secret is that I never graduated. I only went to FIT for 3 years. The darkroom assistant there (Rex) and I connected, he saw a lot of potential in me and pushed me to assist and got me in touch with this incredible modern dance photographer who took me under his wing for a few years until he passed away- he was 86 and still shooting for big dance companies like Paul Taylor. I learned more from him in 3 weeks than I did in 3 years of photography school. He had Parkinson’s disease so he’d have me use the camera and he’d direct what the dancers were doing.
So you kind of got thrown right into shooting. Can you imagine if you were stuck at an office job every day?
–Well, yes. After working as an assistant I started working for Gilte Groupe as a digital tech and was quickly promoted to manage the whole digital department. Then they promoted me to senior fashion photographer and I had to hire, train and manage a team of 8 fashion photographers, some of the people were 10 years older than me at the time. Gilt was a corporation. In its startup stage, when I first joined, it was great- I didn’t feel the corporate bullshit until a year and a half or so in when they started cutting people’s rates, promising raises and never delivering… so I quit and went freelance.
Is it all as glamourous as it seems? The business that is.
–“Sometimes,” he said with a wink.