Award-winning international photographer Adam Taylor became passionate about photography when he was fifteen. Then, after convincing his parents to turn their storage cellar into a darkroom, he became completely distracted by surfing and snowboarding. At nineteen he suffered a back injury while snowboarding that forced him to rethink his career path. His love of photography re-emerged.
Adam dedicated himself to learning and experiencing everything he could and crafting a vision: He assisted established photographers in Europe for three years, spent a year traversing the India and Asia, and lived with the Bedouin in the Jordanese desert.
Drawn to human interaction and humanity's restless search for a place in the world, Adam works intuitively and creates imagery that resonates with feeling and rhythm.
If you have a degree in what field is it? Fine art with a photography focus.
What was your strangest assignment? Traveling to Seoul, Korea, early in my career to photograph a young woman undergoing breast implant surgery. It was a bizarre experience.
Which photographer would you like to meet? Two immediately come to mind: Patrick Demarchelier’s take on female beauty is simply stunning, and Wim Wenders, whose work seems driven by wonder at the mystery of the world and its peoples.
Which famous person (living or dead) would you most like to photograph? Can I have two? Michelle Williams and Marion Cotillard. Their faces light up the cinema screen. To collaborate and photograph them for a conceptual project would be a beautiful experience.
Aside from your camera and lighting, what item could you not work without? A sense of humor. It that’s not an “item,” then... good coffee.
Is there anything you would not digitally retouch? It all depends on what’s needed for the vision to be realized. Much of my personal work is only given a light grading, similar to what one would have done in the darkroom using various toning methods and the dodge-and-burn technique under the photographic enlarger.
From where do your best ideas originate? During a quick flash or realization while discussing ideas with friends and colleagues.
How do you overcome a creative block? Being in constant momentum—busy in production, traveling and being away shooting—is creatively the best way to be and provides fertile ground. Immersion in the ocean gives me focused clarity on what’s important; the distractions and clutter seem to disappear.
Do you have creative pursuits other than photography? I like to draw and make things. Recently I made a chair out of driftwood and recycled timber. I also approach surfing artistically: collaborating with the surfboard shaper, designing the artwork for it and, finally, riding the wave (very much a form of personal expression).
What music are you listening to right now? The Dawes, The National, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys, Shigeru Umebayashi, Alexandre Desplat, Tom Waits.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? They are intertwined. The trick is to transition between them seamlessly.
What’s your favorite quote? There are a few, but this one by Hunter S. Thompson resonates, “So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Be hungry, be talented, be yourself.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? I wish I’d known some of the wonderful people I work with now.