We recently came across the lovely work of Jan Taylor, from Hampshire UK. Originally inspired to become a photographer because it was in her blood (her father was a wedding photographer), her sons and partner helped give her that extra little nudge to pursue her passion by presenting a gifts that would change her life - cameras. Jan is a member of the British Institute of Professional Photographers and The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. I think it's high time we had a spot of tea and sat down whilst reading our interview with Jan!
Your Name: Jan Taylor
Your studio/business name: Essential Images
Location: Hampshire UK
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? Natural and fun photography, portraying people the way they are and recording life the way they live it! People always say they are nervous about being photographed! After their photo shoot they tell me that they really enjoyed it, I made them feel relaxed and they want to do it all over again! :)
Are you self-taught or classroom trained? A bit of both! My father was a wedding photographer. It is in my blood. However, I did go to college to learn how to use Photoshop and I also gained a qualification with the British Institute of Professional Photographers before I began charging for my work!
How many years have you been a professional photographer? 8 years
Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I would love a huge studio with large comfy sofas where I could display my work entertain clients with tea, coffee or even a glass of wine! I love what I do and feel absolutely privileged that people want to share their most memorable moments with me. I would love to have a lovely welcoming space where I could invite them in for a chat. No, not for selling to, just a chat!
Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? Several really, I love the photographs of Audrey Hepburn by Vincent Rossell. In my early days of becoming professional, I attended workshops with Damien Lovegrove who has definitely been an influence in my style of photography. I love his work!
Favorite location to take photos? The great outdoors! The beach or the forest! I am so lucky living in The New Forest – close to the forest and close to the beach!
Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere in Cornwall! I love the peace and tranquility and the relaxed pace of life, but wherever I am I take my camera!
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? Oh goodness me – I have always loved taking photographs because of my Dad! Unfortunately, I got on a treadmill of working for others and it wasn’t until my sons bought me an expensive camera for my birthday that I started taking it seriously! Then my lovely partner bought me a digital camera and encouraged me to do what was in my heart! I have never looked back and my photography is definitely from my heart!
What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Networking and more networking! And now social networking with Twitter and Facebook is an absolute necessity!
What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? Don’t think I can think of anything surprising really? Maybe it takes a lot to surprise me? :)
Favorite print lab? Loxley Colour and fabulous printed backgrounds from Wall2Wall Images.
Are you Canon or Nikon? Nikon through and through!
If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? My 70-200 f2.8
What brand bag do you carry your camera in? Tamrac
What gear would we find in your camera bag? Nikon D700, Nikon D200, Nikon lens 70-200 f2.8 Nikon micro lens 105mm, Nikon lens 50mm 1.8, Nikon 24-70 and SB900 Flashgun – but hardly use it. Wherever possible I use natural light and reflectors! Spare batteries and memory cards. Tissues, sewing kit and torch!
Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light always
Are you PC or Mac? PC
Your Tips and Tricks
What post processing tools do you use? Lightroom and Photoshop CS5
Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? RAW always!
Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Shoot from the heart – stop worrying about what everyone else is doing!
Best advice you would give a new photographer? Practice, practice, practice! Understand your camera and understand light!
What site do you use for your photography and why? My main website is http://www.essentialimages.co.uk but I also have specific sites for baby photography and wedding photography so that if someone is only interested in baby photography they are not bombarded with hundreds of images of other things, and weddings likewise!
My Facebook page is invaluable to me http://www.facebook.com/essentialimages and Twitter too http://www.twitter.com/essentialimages
What Else Should We Know?
What was your worst photography experience? Doing studio photography for the first time! All those lights were daunting! Happier now, but still prefer one light, the sun!
What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? Everyone thinks I am confident – I am not – only when behind the camera! :)
Tell us something else you’d like us to know: I treat each photo shoot as if it was my first ensuring that it gets 100% of me!
And just because we want to know you, fill in the blanks
Three things I can’t live without…. My family, my camera and my books!
I wish I had more….. TIME! More than anything I wish I had more time to photograph my grandchildren!
The best thing about being a photographer is… the lovely people I photograph, the fantastic job satisfaction you get when you have made someone feel special in a photograph. And when someone phones to tell you they love the photos so much they bring tears to their eyes. That is so special!
The most important lesson I ever learned was…. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
My favorite time of day is…first thing in the morning with my first cup of tea and I know I have another fabulous day ahead!