Interview with Taylor Dorrell

Please introduce yourself

My name is Taylor Dorrell, I’m 20 years old. I was raised in South Carolina and moved to Columbus, Ohio when I was a sophomore in High School. I am currently living, working, and going to school in Cincinnati. I’m a sophomore at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.


How did you get interested in photography?

I first started taking pictures with a little point and shoot that I got for Christmas in 5th grade. Going into High School I’d always take photos of my friends BMXing and skateboarding since I wasn’t any good. Then my dad showed me his 35mm film camera and I fell in love with the idea of film photography.


Do you have an artistic/photographic background?

My Dad was always into photography and did a lot of video work before having kids. I was always into drawing when I was younger, but once I got older I started getting into photography/video.


Which artist/photographer inspired your art?

If I had to name one person that inspired my work the most, it would have to be a friend of mine Terry Ratzlaff. His style and the subjects he documents have an aesthetic that I find very inspiring.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?

I am constantly looking at other photographer’s work, so I always have images in the back of my mind going into a shoot. But other than that, it’s usually pretty in the moment. I carry a flash and a tripod just in case. But I rely a lot on the natural environment that I’m in and try to take advantage of what is available.

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Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?

I primarily shoot on film and as of recently I’ve been shooting on a Mamiya 7. Before that I was using a Graflex 4×5 view camera, Hasselblad 500c/m, and a Nikon FA 35mm camera. I hand develop all of my film and scan it. If I ever shoot digital I use a Nikon d7100 with a 50mm f1.8 lens.


What do you do in your life besides photography?

In the winter I like to play pond hockey and snowboard. But I usually have my camera on me and I’ll shoot the whole time. It seems like anytime I try to do anything outside of photography; it ends up not working out. I used to play drums in a band and would play various instruments, but I was more interested in photographing things.


What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I would really like to move either to New York or somewhere out west in the near future. If I had more money, I’d spend a week photographing my hometown in South Carolina and photograph the people that live there. I have a lot of projects in mind, but don’t have the money or time to shoot them. I started two new projects here in Cincinnati and hope to spend more time on those. Ideally I’d like to be shooting projects for a publication of some kind, so hopefully my new work will attract some photo editors.


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