AsiaWPA Competition Winner Interview : Tracey Taylor
Tracey Taylor is one of the creative forces of 37 Frames Photography and named one of the Most Sought after Destination Wedding Photographers of the world for 2017. With studios in Tokyo, Japan & now Australia, Tracey is a multi-award winning wedding photographer worldwide.
Tracey is one of the Top 150 International Photographers in the World by SLR Lounge & named in the World’s Top 30 Wedding Photographers by Signature Weddings.
She is a WPPI Double Master – educator and judge. An AsiaWPA Master and judge and 2017/2018 Top 20 Photographer of the Year. Tracey & 37 Frames have been featured in worldwide publications including VOGUE magazine & have had TV features filmed about their business, including ABC’s BizAsia.
Tracey is equally at home photographing high-end celebrity weddings or small intimate celebrations, epic pre-wedding adventures & treasured family portraiture. Tracey & the 37 Frames team spend their lives telling life’s most beautiful stories.
A : What are your reasons for becoming a photographer?
T : In a world that can be very divisive, this is a job of unity and togetherness. Whether I’m photographing weddings or families or couples, the stories we tell with our cameras are of love and humanity. I feel like I became a photographer to tell these stories and record people’s beautiful lives.
A : What are your views regarding photography competitions, and what have your gained from that?
T : Competitions can be really beneficial. They’re great for business (we use them for marketing). They’re also great for learning and improving, as learning from others in the industry let’s us develop a more mature eye in regards to our work. And lastly, the competitions are a great gauge for us to make sure that we are giving our clients world-standard quality. We are 100% focussed on our clients at 37 Frames. On making sure that we give them the best experience and quality possible. We don’t chase awards. We make sure we do our very best for every single client that hires us. When we focus on our clients and do our best for them, then we believe the awards will follow.
A : How do you maintain your passion in photography?
T : I think we’re very lucky. We’ve been based in Tokyo for 20 years now. But every year we get hired for a lot of destination weddings and pre-weddings. From Italy to Iceland, from New Orleans to Croatia. Just last week we had a wedding enquiry from a couple in Cyprus. Photographing people of all nationalities, all cultures and religions, in new countries and exotic locations – that is how we keep our passion alive. It’s incredibly hard work. And it’s been decades of dedication to get our business to this level. But definitely traveling to new locations being hired by amazing couples and seeing light and love in new ways is aways inspirational.
A : Please share about your thought process when shooting your AWPA award-winning photos.
T : We LOVE seeing all the award-winning images from the AWPA. The creativity is mind-blowing. I know that every year there’s going to be more and more exceptional talent coming up with amazing ideas. However for us, we only enter real clients into the competitions. We want to see how our work holds up under the pressures of a real wedding day with real clients. With the pressures of a 10 minute couple shoot, or the pressures of a demanding wedding planner. Can we create award-winning images from real-weddings? Single capture? Real life pressures? That is our challenge. That is the goal we have set ourselves and our team of photographers. I believe both ways of approaching the competitions (both creatively, like some photographers, and client based, like us) can be a great goal-setting tool.
A : Any new shooting style you would like to try? Any new methods or new shooting location that you would like to explore?
T : We would love to try some more cinematic color grading of our images in post production. I have just invested in courses learning these techniques this year. We’re excited to start.
A : Which photographer(s) inspires you most?
T : Usually the travel and landscape photographers on Instagram. I have many I love and follow. Seeing the world through their eyes is always inspirational.
A : What are your plans for the future?
T : We are growing 37 Frames. Getting contracts with the big venues. We are hiring photographers to work here in Tokyo and training them up to be the best wedding photographers they can be. Many beginners don’t know how hard they have to work to become a master at something. It’s years of hard work and professional development. There are so many that want everything overnight. But we’re training all our photographers to understand every part of this industry. Shooting skills, client care, lighting, post production and a love for what we do. So our plans for the future are to expand globally and acquire more contracts with fabulous venues and planners.
A : What do you feel you need to improve or learn more?
T : I never stop learning. We always need to improve. Every single day.
A : What do you think your clients value most about you or your work?
T : Our clients come to us from around the world because we deliver an experience. Not just a photoshoot. The whole day (the whole experience) is memorable. Not just he finished product.
A : Any best tips for other fellow or new photographers?
T : Learn from the best around the world. Learn from photographers from many countries and styles and cultures. Travel and train your eye to see things differently. Know that with any skill, a master chef, a maestro, an olympic athlete – none of this happens overnight. But from years of dedication and commitment. We want new photographers to understand how amazing this industry is – and there are no shortcuts to excellence. Just be great. Be unique. And ALWAYS keep learning. No one is you – and that is your power.
Master Photographer (WPPI)