What is Brittanny Taylor Photography’s origin story?
The origin story of my photography isn’t that glamorous. It actually started with me getting laid off from my job working retail at a local photography store. Someone mentioned to me that I should take photos of models, which at the time I thought was a ridiculous idea. I went to Rhode Island College and got my degree in Film Studies and wanted to be an editor of sports documentaries so taking photos of models wasn’t on my mind. I owned a DSLR camera and everyone always asked me to take their photos anyway, so I tried my hand at taking photos of models and eight years later, I haven’t stopped. My career has morphed along the way from taking photos of models, to fashion bloggers, to influencers and small business owners.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to young professionals looking to make the leap from day-job to business owner / entrepreneur?
- Social media is important but don’t get caught up in the comparison game. There is a lot that does not make people’s feeds so don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
- Never think you know everything. Always be learning and find a mentor if you can.
- Patience is key. Go out to play the long game. There is no such thing as an overnight success. I’ve been a photographer for over eight years and there is still so far for me to go.
Tell us about the role of collaboration in your career.
Photography is a collaborative process, especially for me since I photograph people. Depending on the shoot, I could be working with my subject, a wardrobe stylist, a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a set designer, an art director, and assistants. We all have to be on the same page so communication is key so we can come up with the best final product that we are all proud of. I couldn’t do what I do without the help of others.
What does a typical workday look like? Do you have a daily routine or ritual that you swear by / that helps you stay focused as you build your business?
When people hear that I am a fashion photographer, they picture something very glamorous. The reality is I stare at my laptop in my apartment most of the time. My daily routine leaves a lot to be desired to be fully transparent. I wake up and check out social media on my phone. I typically skip breakfast because I’m never hungry in the morning. I head to my laptop to look at my email and attend to any work that needs to be done. The thing that keeps me focused is using the Pomodoro method (breaking up work into 25 minutes chunks with five-minute breaks in between) and listening to podcasts. Listening to other people working hard on their businesses gives me much motivation.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that inspires you?
“Legacy is greater than currency” – Gary Vaynerchuk
I chose those quote because making money is important but I want to leave a larger impact on the community, which is why social activism is very important to me.
As a professional photographer who has mastered the art of social media to both build your business and make meaningful connections, what is one social media mistake that you feel too many young professionals make and one thing they can do today to improve their social media presence?
Not using proper grammar is probably the biggest pet peeve I have. I’ve received emails with poorly structured sentences with typos and not a punctuation mark in sight. It is hard for me to take you seriously when you couldn’t be bothered to proofread your communication with me. When it comes to social media and especially Twitter with a 140 character limit, people have been trained to keep text short and it’s permeating through all communication. It is definitely possible to be succinct and professional. Visual communication is dominating over written communication but a well-worded message will always impress me the most.
Follow Brittanny here:
Brittanny Taylor is a fashion and lifestyle photographer and social media branding consultant working in New England and New York. She was born and raised in Providence. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in Film Studies. She also co-founded The Branding Edit, a boutique visual storytelling studio that specializes in helping passionate entrepreneurs refine their brand, expand their presence online & off, and connect on a deeper level with their audience.