We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Ethridge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I could start this interview by saying Hi I’m Taylor, a type-A, classic enneagram one, the planner, the detail oriented person, the over communicator. However you will quickly come to see that for yourselves. I firmly believe that the role of a wedding photographer is much more than the final digital or printed photos. When a couple hires me to photograph their wedding they are actually getting an entire experience that encompasses before, during and after the wedding day. My approach is getting to know my clients and what they value. Then to craft an individual timeline that accommodates who they are and how they would like to enjoy their wedding day. For example, I had a bride and groom who were nervous about being in the center of attention for the entire day. So the solution we came up with was planning the last 15 minutes of the cocktail hour, while their guests were still enjoying drinks and appetizers, where the couple could go take a moment to be completely by themselves and soak in time together while not being the center of attention. That meant starting the portraits earlier in the day to make time for what would be most memorable for the couple, and it was a success! I am a steward of the little details like letting the mother of the bride know when to be ready to help her daughter into her dress, letting bridesmaids know to dry off their bouquets before the ceremony, or making sure we get the bustle just right before the bride enters the reception. During the day I am constantly checking in on the couple to make sure they are happy, keeping us to our photo timeline, and interacting with family members and guests. After the wedding day I get to refine and deliver the heirlooms that will help them relive their wedding day memories for years and years to come. Everything that goes into my brand strives to give beautiful and timeless photo heirlooms to my clients along with a personal and encouraging experience and support throughout the whole process.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I gather my inspiration from my clients and their stories. I interview my clients to get to know their stories before their wedding day. I love seeing how a couple interacts together and I strive to take portraits that show off their emotion, interactions, and the story and location of their wedding day. I personally love navigating difficult lighting scenarios. Example- I love lighting indoor ceremonies or night portraits. My end goal however is not about creating my own art at all. I think this is at the core of what sets my apart. I aim to give my couple’s timeless heirlooms. These are the photos of the beginning of their story as a couple, and they will show these to future generations. I hope that in 30 years they can show their wedding portraits to someone and the first thought that comes into that person’s mind is ‘Wow you looked great on your wedding day!’ Not ‘Oh wow, that was the photo trend in 2020…’ Obviously our own styles and trends will age, but in giving bold, well executed, true to color portraits to my clients I hope to keep their photos as timeless as possible. I have photographed over 140 weddings, but what still gets me excited about my work is that I am constantly reminded what a once in a lifetime event this is for everyone involved. For each couple and their families. I work hard to make every part of their photo experience unique to the couple, strive to make their family members and guests feel valued, and help the celebration keep going before during and after portraits! I am honored that so many sweet clients have invited me into these once in a lifetime days and that my art gets to become their heirlooms.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So I would absolutely take them to the Denver Central Market and then for a walk around the RINO art district to see the different murals. This is my favorite area of Denver by far! Going from Denver to my little corner of Northern Colorado I would show them around Downtown Greeley, my home. Getting local coffee from the Blue Mug and browsing the boutiques and alley art downtown. We would then make the trip to Loveland and stop by my favorite bakery, The Cupcake Gypsies. Best gluten free cupcakes in Colorado in my opinion. The last place that I’d love to show a guest is Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes. I photograph up in RMNP around 20-30 days out of each year so it is a place close to my heart. I’d stop for Kind Coffee in downtown Estes then drive them to all of my favorite scenic views and paths in RMNP that I have explored and come to love while working there over the last 3 years.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many fellow wedding vendors I’d LOVE to thank! This year I’ve worked with Dora Grace Bridal, Palmer Flowers Loveland, Barnwood Events- wedding planner, The Cupcake Gypsies, The Lucky Onion, Krysta Klinzmann HUMA, The Wanderbus Story, Sabrina Deemer Makeup, Trista Skinner- wedding hair stylist. Each of these outstanding vendors has inspired, encouraged and helped me grow while working weddings alongside each other! Even in the midst of covid craziness the support of these vendors has been amazing!
Photo of me- Tallie Johnson Photography