SpinSpinNYC Spotlight Feature: Taylor Flash

Jared_Fullerton_Photo_of_Taylor_Flash_SpinSpinNYCPhoto credit: Jared Fullerton

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer? How long have you been taking pictures?
I didn’t really know that I wanted to be a photographer when I first started. I just really enjoyed taking pictures and editing them. It wasn’t until I started hanging around Occupy Wall Street and documenting things that I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

What equipment do you prefer to work with?
I am a fan of fixed “prime lenses” like the 85 1.8/ 50 1.4 and 8mm f3.5. I normally use the Nikon D7000 for work, but for the last 6 months I have been using the Canon 60D to shoot photos as well as video. I sometimes shoot with a Canon XTI as well. I’m using the Mamiya 645 / Canon Ae Program 1 for an upcoming portrait / landscape project that will be completely on film.

Do you prefer studio work or capturing events?
I actually prefer capturing events. There’s a certain raw emotion that you can capture from people when they are protesting or belting their heart out on stage. The best part is capturing someone at the height of their performance, or while they are fighting for what they believe in. Also, I specialize in black and white photography.

Gowanus_Brooklyn_SpinSpinNYC_Taylor_FlashGowanus Brooklyn captured by Taylor Flash

Are you self taught or did you attend school?
I’m self taught. I learned how to use my camera manually and strobes manually by lots of trial and error while I was a raver. I read books, articles, anything that I could grab. For the first year I also refused to look at any major photographer’s pictures because I wanted to develop my own style. I recently just started an internship with a fashion photographer a week ago, so this is the first time that I have been following someone else.

Name an album / artist / mix you enjoy listening to while you edit photos.
It depends on what material I’m editing. If I’m editing rave material, I tend to listen to Tom Bulwer’s 2Deep Podcast, and the Deep House Cat podcast. If I’m editing shoots, it can range from Raekwon and Little Brother to artists such as Disturbed, Sevendust and Opeth.

How much does music influence your work?
Music influences my work a lot. If I want to edit or go for a darker mood, I tend to listen to Minimal/Deep House or Metal. If I want to go for something that is more vibrant, I’ll listen to various different forms of upbeat music. In certain events, I time my shots with the beat of the music that I’m hearing. It all depends.

Where you do derive inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from the moments when I see people/friends down on their luck, or my own personal struggles. In my studio shoots, a lot of times I’ll direct people to reveal who they really are behind their mask. On concept shoots, however, I tell people to move and act in such a way that reflects and embodies my inner feelings.

What are some of your most ambitious or favorite photographs/exhibits you’ve completed to date?
The most ambitious set of photos I’ve taken is definitely my set on Occupy Wall Street during the first “Day of Action” which took place on November 17, 2011. I put my camera and my freedom pretty much on the line to capture some of the shots that I have from that collection. They can all be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62334701@N08/sets/72157628035099059/

Where can people find you?
and my portfolio can be found at: http://taylorflashphotos.wix.com/astoryofakid

If you are interested in prints (between 16×24- 24×36 inch sized prints, on various form of Kodak Supra Endura Paper, mainly lustre and metallica), you can contact Taylor Flash at taylorflashphotos@gmail.com or swing by the next SpinSpinNYC event and talk to him in person.


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