If Taylor Scott’s photographs had lungs, they’d be super: super vivid, super saturated, super dreamy — just incredibly super!
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Taylor Scott. I’m 23 and recently graduated from The University of the Arts where I studied photography. I’m currently living and working in Philadelphia.
How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?
Well, I guess I was about nine or ten when I asked for a Polaroid camera for Christmas. After opening the camera, I remember using up all of the film very quickly taking pictures of my cats. I think I still have those pictures somewhere. A couple of years later a friend and I bought a bunch of disposable cameras and orchestrated a few very theatrical photo shoots in my backyard. There was even one involving fireworks. My dad gave me my first SLR , which was a Pentax ME, when I was fifteen or sixteen.
Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
I would describe my style as being more expressive than documentary. I’m interested in how a photograph feels. I try to take photographs that make people feel something different than what they were feeling before.
The major theme in my work is nature. I grew up in a rural area and moved to Philadelphia to attend college. The change in scenery sparked my interest how people relate to their natural environment.
Another important element in my work is color. The more saturated the better. I almost never shoot black and white. I absolutely love cross-processing, and I do it all the time.
I would say my most often used subject is Jim. He is a major source of inspiration for me.
Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
It’s really hard to choose one single photograph, but I suppose this one is my favorite. I like it because I took the photograph in the Caribbean ocean, but it looks rather cosmic, like it could have been taken in the waters of Europa.
What is the soundtrack for your series of photographs?
There would definitely be some Tyrannosaurus Rex on that soundtrack. Along with Bowie, specifically the Ziggy Stardust album, The Byrds, a couple of tracks from The Beatle’s White album, some George Harrison, and last but not least Neil Young… A whole lot of Neil Young.
We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to?
Locally, I’m going to have to say David Graham. He was my professor at The University of the Arts, and he’s just amazing. You can see his work at the M.O.M.A. and lots of other fine locations. Some other photographers I enjoy are Les Krims, Duane Michals, and Wolfgang Tillmans.
If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
Most definitely Marc Bolan’s. His early music, the Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff, has a simple freeness and creativity that I admire. Plus, he was incredibly good looking. No one has ever looked better in glitter. I would use my Canon AE-1, because it makes magic happen.
Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
I say analog! I’m very happy that there are a lot of other people who prefer analog too, because I’m not sure I could live without it. The whole process is very enjoyable, loading the film, feeling it wind around the spool, taking a nice walk to the photo lab, etc. I think the excitement is in the waiting process, because you never know which photo is going to come out with a crazy light leak or color shift. That’s the real fun. Digital can be a bit too perfect if you ask me. When I work digitally I’m tempted to Photoshop out all the dust and blemishes – just because I can.
Do you own Lomography cameras? Which is your favourite?
I have the Diana+, the FishEye, the Holga, and the Oktomat. My favorite by far is the Diana+ – I absolutely love it. Cross-processing Diana shots always yield interesting results. I’ve had my eye on the Sprocket Rocket for some time now. I feel like I could do really interesting things with a really wide angle lens like that, and it would be great for shooting people with landscapes.
A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
Keep shooting. Bring a camera with you everywhere, and buy new cheap cameras all the time to keep it interesting. Experiment as much as possible, and don’t follow any of the rules. They’re silly and boring rules anyway. Leave the dust on the scanner, let your negatives get scratched, and never worry whether or not your camera is light tight.
Do you have any ongoing/future projects?
I’m shooting like crazy these days, because I’m entering the 2nd Annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition for the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and the deadline is fast approaching.