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Behind the lens

12 Mar 2015

Behind the lens Image

By Louis Blake

By her own admission, talented Southbank local and Photography Studies College (PSC) graduate Taylor Morris says she never saw herself as being the one behind the lens.

Having dreamed of being a professional ballerina from the day she started ballet classes at the age of 8, it seemed to her that her life was heading in only one direction.

Seemingly destined for the stage, Taylor hit a rather hard bump in the road. The year she was supposed to graduate from the prestigious Australian Ballet School she suffered a cracked hip.  

“Although I could have kept going,” she remembered. “I thought this was clearly a sign that I was supposed to do something else”.

Unlike many artists who have a long-standing love for their chosen medium, Taylor fell into photography more by chance than anything else.  

“I live just across the road,” she said. “I walked past PSC everyday on my way to ballet and I’d just received a camera a few months before for my 18th birthday.” With only two weeks left to put in her university preferences, Taylor went out on a limb and started the application process for PSC.

This last-minute, almost random entry to the photography profession does not reflect at all in Taylor’s work. The striking colour, powerful lines and fantastical themes that are signatures of many of Taylor’s photographs appear to be the hallmarks of someone who has been working with a camera for a much longer time.

Since her graduation from PSC in early 2013, Taylor’s burgeoning career has gone from strength to strength. Highlights for Taylor include interning with dance magazine Pointe in New York and a trip with digital artist and fine art photographer Alexia Sinclair, who happens to be a major influence on Taylor’s own photographic style.

“In 2013 I saw on Facebook that she was going to Sweden,” Taylor said. “I thought that I would just ask if she wanted an assistant.”

While not really expecting a response, after sending Alexia her portfolio Taylor soon found herself on a plane to Europe bound for six days of shooting with one of her professional heroes.

Taylor may have left the world of elite dance behind, but her years of training continue to influence her work in more ways than just the obvious aesthetic composition of her pieces.

“For me dance is my point of difference,” Taylor said. “My background helps me understand how a body works, I understand what the body can, and can’t do. I also understand the angles it looks good and how to set someone up in a frame. It’s also really helped me with the discipline required and it taught me how to take constructive criticism in the right way.”

Having come to PSC without prior experience, Taylor is a shining example of the skills that one can learn there.

“It’s amazing, I love it here,” she said.  “It’s all photography based, so you can really immerse yourself in it.”

For Taylor the best part about studying at PSC is that “the tutors are extremely supportive, they know you by name rather than a number, and they’re there for you every step of the way.”

For aspiring photographers Taylor has these simple words of advice: “If you ever get overwhelmed just leave it all behind and go back to why you enjoy photography, always keep shooting.”

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