We had the honor of chatting with 2020 Elite Award Winner, Taylor of T. Rayne Photography on Instagram live last week! Not only is Taylor a true winner, but her love for her craft makes her shine bright. If you missed our interview, there’s no need to fear! We have the full interview below for you to read. So get comfy and get ready to meet your new favorite wedding photographer!
Q&A WITH TAYLOR
What initially got you interested in photography? How long have you been doing it?
I first picked up a camera when I was 3 years old and became obsessed with taking pictures. I would always have a disposable camera with me and would even set up backdrops with blankets and pose my dolls and stuffed animals for photoshoots. When I was 10 I saved up enough money to buy a cheesy point and shoot camera. Then in high school my mom gave me her old kodak camera and that’s really where I began exploring what I could do with the camera. I started taking photography electives in high school to learn more about it and advanced to where I was the only person in the highest photography class the school offered. They put me in class with the beginnersand pretty much let me just play. My senior year I won first and second place in the senior art show for the photography category and I will never forget my teacher telling me she knew I would be going far with this. During college while I was getting my Bachelors in Marketing I began taking pictures as more of a hobby until I had someone ask me how much I charged for sessions. Truthfully I laughed at the idea of ever being a photographer for a living. I told myself I would NEVER do it. I didn’t want to ruin my love for it by making it a job. I knew I wanted to do some sort of art for a living, which is why I got my Marketing degree. Also, when I was little, I always dreamed of being at weddings all the time, I thought I would be a wedding planner or coordinator, which is funny now because on top of taking photos for weddings, us photographers are pretty much the coordinators of the day! So after I graduated college at 22, I began applying for a bunch of marketing positions and just could not find anything. I had been praying about it and praying about it and one day was reading in my bible and there was a devotional on following your gifts and passions to do works for the Lord. I began to sob and just “Okay God, I will take the leap” and I told my now husband who had just become my fiancé at the time that this is the leap of faith I needed to take, but that I needed him on board because it would mean the only income I would have was what I made from photoshoots. He had to take on a huge financial burden for me to be able to do this. We decided that we would just re-evaluate after a year of being in business. As that year went on, I became very ill. We spent most of the year in and out of doctors and hospitals trying to figure out what was going on, but I continued to really push the growth of T. Rayne Photography anyways. Once we hit that one year mark, I was hit with news that I had cancer. At that point it was a no brainer for me to continue doing what I loved most. With all of the unknowns, I did not want to be stuck in a job that I hated. So I kept going. 3 weeks after surgery I was back out shooting and then I spent radiation editing wedding galleries. Nothing was going to stop me from chasing this wild dream of mine. I have now been in business for 4 years in January and it just continues to grow more and more each year!!!!
Why do you love it so much?
I have a couple of reasons why love photography so much. The first reason being I love that in a photo, time stood still. No matter what bad happened in that day, there was at least one small moment worth clinging to. My life has been a long journey of facing storms and photos always reminded me that life is still great. My second reason has to be the reaction from clients when they see the final product. I have told their story in aperspective they would have never seen before. I create real memories with these souls and then freeze them. It is my way of storytelling.
What influenced your natural, organic style?
My grandma would always have us taking family pictures and I always remember how miserable it was to awkwardly smile and be super posed. I like to work with other photographers and put myself in the clients position to be able to see what makes me comfortable and what makes me uncomfortable. I also just love getting to hear about peoples lives and what makes them who they are. I want my sessions to be fun and worth remembering. I want you to want to keep coming back over and over again for theexperience.
What is your favorite place in NM to take photos (venue or outdoor/indoor location)?
This is a tough one because New Mexico is full of stunning scenery. I love adventuring, so I really cannot narrow it down. I love the Sandia’s though, so really anywhere with a unique view of the mountains!
Do you have any crazy/amazing wedding photography stories worth telling?
My all time favorite wedding moment was in February this year, before life was flipped upside down for the world. It was a couple who was supposed to get married at Noah’s and with 10 days until their big day, Noah’s closed unexpectedly. Unfortunately, I was the one to break the news to them and we all immediately began searching for a new venue. One of the photos she wanted the most was a first touch around a corner of a brick wall. If you have been to Noah’s, you know how beautiful the brick there was. They ended up getting married at the Canyon Club and the only brick wall that would work for the first touch was in the parking lot…where all the guests had already begun arriving. I started to panic on the inside, but then I had this idea to use the groomsmen secret service style create a barrier around her to escort her and then build a wall behind me to block them from guests while we got the shot, then they escorted her back. Right as they started walking her out it started raining. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I captured them covering her from the rain to keep her dry and it was priceless. It will forever be one of the most epic wedding moments for me!
What can couples expect when they choose you to be their photographer?
Weirdness. Laughter, a lot of laughter! Comfort and ease while taking photos is really the biggest service I strive to provide. Pictures can be a chore if the experience is stiff. I really try to make it feel like the camera isn’t even there and we are just out on an adventure making memories.
What advice would you give both wedding photographers first starting and couples first working with a photographer?
For wedding photographers starting out the best piece of advice I have is to just be yourself. Always meet with clients before deciding you are the right fit for them and them for you. Don’t feel like you need to have every single client out there. Photography is a growth process where you never stop learning and improving, be patient with yourself and never stop learning. Also, if the client is not a good fit for you, be sure to know others in the photography community to be able to give referrals for someone who may be a better fit. For both wedding photographers and clients, it is super important to choose someone you get along well with. Your photographer spends the most time with you on your day, you DO NOT want to spend one of the best days of your life with someone you are not comfortable with and can be yourself around. For couples looking for a photographer, choose based in the style you like and how well you click with the photographer. DO not choose someone based on price and then expect them to provide work that is not consistent with other galleries they have delivered. We each have our own style and way of doing things and not everyone is going to prefer our way.