Los Angeles’ Laura Taylor excels at taking beguiling photos that quietly demand your attention. Lending her talents to an exciting storytelling project called The Smartest Thing She’s Ever Said, Taylor’s mystique draws you in slowly but surely. You end up a little lost in her world, in the best of ways. Here, we talk to Laura about her approach to photography and end up with a craving for cake.
What’s your name and what’s the story behind the first photo you ever took?
My name is Laura Taylor and the first photo I remember taking was of my beloved cat, Comet, with a disposable camera when I was 11. He was laying in a streak of light on the hardwood floor and I thought it was really pretty.
Something that I find striking about the photos on Art She Said is that you seem to play with perspective in a way that heightens the sense of intrigue in the image. Is this a conscious goal? Am I just reading too much into ‘pretty pictures’?
I definitely put a lot of thought into this project and the approach I wanted to take. The goal was to create a story that developed at a steady pace so I was very conscious of how much information I was including in each frame. I also didn’t want to have any interaction with the two subjects I was shooting. I want the viewers to feel as if they are secretly peering in on these separated lovers on their journey. I think by shooting wider shots, it creates that feeling of spying.
You have a posse called the Wetshirts… tell me the who, what, and why behind it.
The Wetshirts consists of Lou Noble, Sam Humphries, Ian Broyles and myself. As Ian puts it, “The Wetshirts is an inside joke that got out”. Essentially, we are friends and photography enthusiasts living in LA who get together with the common goal of taking pretty photos in the midst of hanging out. One day we just photographed each other being sprayed in the face with a hose in Lou’s front yard. This is how our fake band name, The Wetshirts, was coined. We created a Tumblr to share with each other the photos we get from our shoots.
What motivates you to take pictures? And, what demotivates you? When you’re not in the mood, what does it take to get back into the swing of things?
When I’m taking photos, my brain kind of goes quiet and I stop overthinking things. I have one little square, and that little square is my whole world for that moment. I can make that world be as magical and calm as I’d like. I don’t get that sense of peace from anything else – it’s intoxicating. Like a lot of folks, I’m my own worst critic. I’m blissful taking the photos but not always satisfied with the results. There are an overwhelming amount of talented photographers sharing their work on the internet right now. It’s very easy to feel like your voice is small and ordinary. But the feeling that photography gives me keeps me coming back for more. Taking photos is like eating cake for me… why would I ever want to stop eating cake? It’s delicious.