Interview: Marianne Taylor
Marianne Taylor is a photographer with a love for creativity and product photography. I was lucky enough to interview Marianne about her recent project and career plans.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
Thank you for having me! I’m well, although trying to fight some winter blues. The lack of light always affects my light & colour-loving mind.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m Finnish but have been in the UK since the late 90’s. Back then, I had my first little business doing some photography and graphic design. Once in the UK, I worked as a magazine designer for a decade, keeping photography as a precious hobby until I decided that life was too short and started shooting full time. After years in London, I now live by the Atlantic Ocean in Cornwall and shoot mostly in my little home studio.
Describe your style in three words.
Colourful, fun, cheeky.
I adore your work. What inspired you to start taking photographs?
I’ve always been an observer, and I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was 11 years old. Taking pictures helps me make sense of the world, and it also allows me to make visible some of the world inside my head.
How has your creative process changed since the start?
It really depends on the type of photography (I’ve done a few different things in my life). But in terms of the commercial photography I do now, my process is pretty similar to when I used to conceptual stuff as a hobby. Although since I create images for someone else, I always start with a chat with the client about what their vision is, what their customers are like, and how they want to use the images. For each image, I start with a sketch, mainly to plan the compositions and props, so when I shoot I have a clear plan and then just need to figure out lighting and the colour palette.
What equipment do you use for your work?
I use a DSLR and studio flashes.
What equipment would you recommend for someone who wants to get into photography?
That’s a bit too open-ended a question. It really depends on what type of photography and many other factors. At the end of the day, it’s the image that matters, not the equipment.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Social media helps keep you in front of potential clients. There are so many options and so much noise these days, that if you don’t keep putting work out there, the right clients won’t be able to stumble upon you.
Who inspires your work?
Many different things. Movies, music, art. If we’re talking specifically photographers, my all time favourites are Miles Aldridge, Bettina Rheims, Sally Mann and Tim Walker.
Why is photography important to you?
It allows me to express the ideas and images inside my head. For me, it’s about connection.
Why did you get into product photography?
I was a photographer of people for a long time (I still also do this), but I had a few years of ill health and I needed to figure out a way to do photography without having to travel too much. Having my own studio at home allows me to work when it suits me. When I got going I fell in love with the process, and I now feel like product photography is one of the most creatives fields I’ve ever been in.
What makes a good photograph?
That’s very objective. I think everyone reacts to different things in a photograph, but I guess as a general rule a good photograph is one that grabs attention and makes you either think or feel something.
What are you currently working on?
I have long-term clients for whom I shoot monthly, so I’m always thinking of new ways of shooting their products. I also have a magazine commission on my mind, one that’s a true creative challenge, which I really enjoy.
What's your typical working day?
I don’t really have a typical day. If it’s a shoot day, I’ll spend it in the studio (or on the beach!). If it’s an admin or editing day I spend it in the office. Sometimes I need to travel further afield for jobs, but I try not to travel too much.
What are your career plans?
At the moment, just building on the business I have now. Hopefully working with my lovely long-term clients for as long as possible, and signing new ones to find creative solutions for. I’m also open to bigger commissions that might challenge me in a different way.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Advice from a dear friend which applies to not only life but the flow of creativity.
Life is tidal. Some days we are invincible and others, fragile. And both are always true.