It is such a pleasure for me to write this post about Taylor Loftin. I met him on Flickr, and I really esteem him. Taylor is a photographer, traveling around the world. From street photography to staged self-portraits, he's able to do anything he wants with any kind of camera, and the result is always incredible. He also experiments a lot with pinhole and Polaroid cameras. I'm sure you'll hear about him in the future. Here are his answers:
1. Can you tell a little something about you?
Taylor Loftin: I’m seventeen, I’m from Jackson, Mississippi, but I live in Slovenia, and I’ve been taking pictures for a little under two years. I like folk music and making pancakes.
2. How did you get into photography?
T.L.: Well, when I first moved to Russia, about two years ago, I didn’t have many friends and I was too scared to go outside or talk to people. I was pretty bored. So, I found my moms camera and started taking pictures of things just to have something to do. And as things progressed, I realized I was really enjoying myself. I think I’ve always had some kind of underlying photography influence. My dad used to take pictures when he was younger, and I always enjoyed looking at them. Maybe that’s where I got an appreciation for the art. Just needed the right amount of boredom to get me started.
3. What does photography mean to you?
T.L.: I’ve been trying to figure that one out for a while. It means a lot of different things to me because it’s used for so many different things. To document, to influence, to show, to remember. I guess for me, it’s a way to stop and notice where I am. It’s taught me to appreciate the little things that are going on all the time. And at the same time, it’s a way of self expression. “This is what I see.”
4. Do you use/like Photoshop?
T.L.: I’m not against it, but I think being able to take a photograph that doesn’t need any enhancing takes skill and you become a better photographer not relying on digital post processing. I avoid using it. However, scanners can take a lot out of a photo, so sometimes I try to retain the look of the original print with some touching up. Nothing you couldn’t do without a little darkroom knowledge.
5. Are you a self-taught?
T.L.: Yes, I am.
6. How would you describe your work?
T.L.: Umm.. I don’t think I have a consistent type of work, so it’s hard to describe everything I’ve done and what I’m doing with just a few words. Sometimes it’s conceptual, sometimes I just carry my camera around and keep my eyes open. I like to photograph those things that are different. Stand out in a subtle way. Things that are unusual and sometimes go unnoticed. It changes a lot, so I can’t really say.
7. What inspires you?
T.L.: Really just the everyday. Waking up, walking down the street, deer in the driveway, old women sitting on their porches, children playing, fruit falling from trees, eyes meeting, street musicians, saying “good morning” in another language, taking your time, café sitting, sunrises, sunsets.. As well as Russian Orthodox churches, Life magazine photojournalism, a number of French films, and of course, my Mississippi roots.
8. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
T.L.: 20’s? 40’s? 50’s? 60’s? 70’s?
I can’t make up my mind, so I’d try them all out.
If you like pancakes too, take a look at Taylor's wesbite!