Q. How did you find out about getting a gold medal? What was your first reaction?
A. I was at home and a group text was sent out among my Syracuse photo friends. I didn't have my phone on me at the time and so my roommate saw it first and broke the news to me, which was then followed by a lot of "What! No! Are you serious!?" responses. I then called Gena's mom, Sue, to put Gena on speaker phone to share the news.
Q. Can you tell us something about making the winning story?
A. I started photographing Gena Buza in October 2012 when I needed a "successful student" to photograph for the Syracuse Fall Workshop. An instant connection was made and I have continued documenting her story through still and moving images ever since. The winning set of images were made the first two weeks I met her and her family. I made the decision to submit a smaller time frame because of the fluidity in the edit of those eight images.
Q. What got you first into photography?
A. Being the youngest sibling of four children there was always a lot happening in my family. My mom would hand me a camera at every basketball game, graduation, holiday function and I would always be eager to photograph everything happening around me. My earliest memory of photography was in the first grade at a high school basketball game with my purple 110 camera.
Q. Do you have a photographer you admire/ inspires you? Can you tell us something about that?
A. Lynn Johnson is one the most inspiring photographers to me. Lynn's images are ones that stick in my head and leave a feeling in the pit of my stomach to do more. She inspires and reminds me that images can change lives and bring awareness to stories right in our own backyards or in the farthest corner of a country we may never see with our own eyes. I was lucky enough to be apart of a group of Syracuse master's students who worked with her this past summer and saw first hand the impact she makes when working with the people around her.
Q. Do you have any tips for other college photographers?
A. Find a good balance between listening to yourself and exploring the unfamiliar. Throw yourself in the stories that you connect with and are passionate about and then take on project that makes your expand your comfort zone. And remember that "if you're dreams don't scare you, you aren't dreaming big enough."
To see more of Taylor's work, click here
Interview by Hany Hawasly