I went to school with Lynn, but we weren’t friends then; I didn’t fit in—she did. She has fond memories of school—me not so much. There’s an adage floating around the internet, attributed to various people, as happens these days, that states—People don’t remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel. When Lynn sent me a friend request on Facebook, I gladly accepted, remembering her as a quiet, sweet person, and looked forward to getting to know her better. A couple years ago, she started taking pictures for fun and found out that she loved it. So she started her journey to become a professional photographer, and she is well on her way! It’s been exciting to see her grow in this career. I have thought from the beginning that she has natural talent, and I can see the stories expressed in her photos, whether fine art or portraits. She’s already done quite a few projects, a few of which are listed at the end of the interview. She works primarily in her new studio that she shares with a few partners, shooting people for senior photos, weddings, and other events. Sometimes her work takes her outside; she lets her clients lead her. This recent quote tells you how she really feels: Wedding number one for the week is in the books, and I can’t wait for wedding number two this Saturday. Of all the regrets I have in life picking up a camera will never be one. Love my life!
Model: Ashley Hopkins (click name to connect with Ashley!)
First of all, tell me about your journey—what prompted you to move from a 9-5 to a career of creativity? And, would you share pictures of your studio and how you came to it?
I still have my 9-5, but photography takes up the other half of my life. It started as a hobby, but the more I challenged myself, the more I wanted to learn and turn it into a career. I love that photography is a field of endless possibilities. It has led me to a lot of new places, and to meeting a lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I find it fascinating that several photographers can take a shot of the exact same thing in the exact same light, but each one will have a different result, whether it be because of technique or a different point of view. It’s a never ending opportunity and challenge.
Last year, I was fortunate to be asked to share studio space with some friends I met in a photography class. It’s a pretty awesome space in a renovated warehouse in Kansas City’s Historic West Bottoms. I love the rustic feel with the old wood floor and brick wall. The area around the building is also full of potential spots to shoot, so it’s a win-win whether you want to shoot inside or out
Senior portrait: Sue Oneslager
I love that your work tells stories—your clients are smart to choose a photographer with this inherent magical ability. Describe your process: determining location, timing, lighting, angle, etc…also, in your fine art pieces, how you choose your subject matter and understand the composition.
This is a tough question to answer! A lot of it depends on what type of shoot it is and what the client wants. Photographers are always chasing the light, but the golden hour before sunset is by far the best time to shoot. I will help clients pose, but overall I try to catch people as they really are. Sometimes people visibly relax when they get over the stress of knowing I don’t expect them to know how to pose, and I’d rather they feel like they can be themselves. In that sense, I’m a bit of an opportunist. I am constantly shooting during a session, and some of my favorite pictures end up being the ones when I catch a person slightly off guard and completely relaxed. One client told me I had captured her son in the way she had hoped the whole world could see him. That was a huge compliment, and it told me I’m doing something right when it comes to telling the story of who a person truly is.
For me, fine art is a lot of trial and error, but sometimes I see something either while I’m shooting, or when I’m editing, that just pops out as something I could potentially turn into fine art. That’s the short answer, but more often the not that’s the way it happens
What is your support system like—online and IRL; how do you connect with other photographers / artists and potential customers
I’ve made a lot of really great connections and friendships through photography classes, workshops, and group shoots. The talent in the Kansas City area is truly amazing, and I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with some of the best of the best, from hair and makeup artists to fellow photographers. One great thing about the circle of friends I have made is that there is no judgment. They are all there willing to support, help and give advice to others.
Facebook has been my way to connect with potential customers. I look back at some of my first pictures my friends raved about, and I feel pretty sure that they were just being kind, but the constant support made me strive to do better. I still feel like I’m struggling when it comes to shooting as well as some of my mentors, but posting images on Facebook has led to senior and family shoots as well as weddings. One client surprised me this year, and made me over the moon happy, when she nominated me for The Best of Lawrence!
How does your art and work and life intertwine?
I don’t get nearly enough sleep. My life consists of work, shooting, and editing. It’s kind of funny that I don’t consider the time I spend shooting and editing as work. It’s my life. It’s my addiction. I’m pretty fortunate that I have found something I love to do that also brings in extra income.
What do you love most about your creativity?
I see things differently than I used to, and I feel like I have a greater appreciation for light and color. There is always an opportunity, whether it be in nature or with people. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. But the fun is in trying. There is a certain sense of excitement when I watch pictures upload and know I got the shot(s) I was hoping I would get. The very best part, though, is being able to share my work with others. It makes me happy to know a landscape or sunset shot made someone else happy. That feeling is tripled when a client loves the results of a shoot. Picking up a camera, and really learning how to use it, is by far one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Connect with Lynn:
Facebook: Lynn Taylor Photography
Majestic Car Club
Model: Clara Simkins
Designer: Coral Castillo
MUA: Mitsu Sato Hair Academy Hair: Roseanna Pollina Garrett — with Clara Simkins, Mitsu Sato and Crystal Avena Soria.