Get to Know Me - The Ohio Photographer, Teacher, and Family Man!
Before you hire a photographer, you probably want to know a little about them. So I’d like to create a little re-introduction post and invite you behind the scenes into my life and business.
I’ll introduce you to my family, show you behind-the-scenes of a shoot inside my studio, and explain how being a full-time high school teacher has helped me be relatable to my senior photography clients.
And before we go any further, I’m sharing this photo of me because I don’t take life too seriously, and I think that it’s important to know right off the bat!
Meet the Taylor Family!
These people right here - they’re the backbone of my life and business. They’re my biggest supporters, and I couldn’t do any of it without their love and support.
My wonderful wife, Megan, and I have been blessed with three beautiful children. Xavier is 9, Violet is 7, and Avi is 4. Xavier was my first test subject when I began my photography journey, so you’ll find lots of toddler photos of him in my older blogs. These days, he’s pretty much over it!
Megan and I are both teachers. I teach high school English at Westerville North High School, and Megan is a Transition Coordinator in Special Education.
Our mentality as both teachers and parents is to treat our students as if they were our own children. We come to each school day with love and care, and we hope for the best each day. When we see our students (and past students) outside of school, we always say hello. More often than not, they’ll see us first since we’re juggling three kids and come to say hi to us first! I can’t tell you what that means to us.
How My Teaching Career Benefits My Photography Clients
I know it’s cliche to say a lot of high schoolers don’t like their teachers, don’t like school, and generally think school is lame. But that’s not the case with me or my students.
I embrace the dad jokes and don’t try to “fit in” at school. I know it’s their world, and I’m merely existing in it.
I teach high school English students and mainly photograph high school seniors. Because I spend so much time with kids that are my clients’ age, I’m very familiar with their world. I’d even say I’m fully immersed in it 40+ hours a week!
Because I feel like a mentor to my students rather than just a teacher, they actually do enjoy stopping by my class to say hi. I think it all comes back to me being relatable to them without forcing myself to fit in.
Teacher of the Year Award
In the 2021-22 school year, I was awarded Teacher of the Year at Westerville North High School! It’s an award voted on by staff (and heavily leaned on by students' input) for the overall impact a teacher has had on the school and students.
It’s always been my goal to make an impact and be a good role model for my students. To be recognized for this achievement by my peers felt amazing!
So how did I go end up being a full-time teacher and photographer? Great question!
My Photography Career
My father was a photographer when I was growing up, and I was always curious to learn the craft. But my love for photography really evolved when we relocated from Maryland to Ohio.
When we moved to Ohio in 2016, I had a tough time getting a teaching job. Someone with my experience was just too expensive for most schools.
Thankfully, my wife took on a full-time teaching position, and I was a full-time stay-at-home dad for two years. During that time, I learned as much as I could about portrait photography, lighting, and flexing my creative muscle.
While my business had begun in Maryland, I truly devoted myself to my craft and education when I was home with my kids.
As I transitioned back into teaching, I wanted to find a way to juggle my teaching career and photography business. They both bring me so much joy, so I couldn't imagine giving one of them up.
So now I teach full-time and photograph clients on the weekends or after school hours.
My In-Home Photography Studio
When you come to my photography studio, I’m also inviting you into my home because my studio on the first floor of my home.
You can see from these photos that my studio is small but cozy. It lends itself beautifully to having small talk with my clients, so they feel comfortable and at ease. This is especially important with my senior clients who have typically never been professionally photographed before.
Just outside my studio walls, you’ll see a gallery wall of my family photos and studio samples of printed products available.
Here’s my perspective as a teacher and parent:
Your kids are in safe hands with me. I treat them as I would if they were my own students or children - with respect and care.
When we’re doing senior photos, I only create photos I’d be proud to share as