Amanda Taylor

Amanda Taylor

How did you get started in photography?

I discovered Instagram when I saw a couple of friends posting

their photos on Facebook and I decided to join. I saw some incredible photography on there which gave me the motivation to start taking photos.  

What role has your iPhone and Instagram played in it?

If it wasn't for Instagram I would never have got into photography. Before then, I never imagined it was possible to take such great photos with an iPhone. I've always loved the discretion which an iPhone provides, and this gave me the initial confidence to start taking photos in public which really helped to build my confidence. If something interesting happens on the street, the chances

are I'll be able to instantly capture that moment with my iPhone; and that's what prompted my love for street photography. 

How has London influenced your perspective? 

There's such a vast array of different things to photograph in this city; from underground stations to tunnels, from street art to green spaces. Not tomention the interesting characters. This has often encouraged me to stray away from my comfort zone and photograph things I wouldn't normally be comfortable with. I recently went to a photography exhibition at the Barbican called “Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age.” It was incredibly inspiring and has made me want to photograph

more architecture. I've always been obsessed with having people in my photos as I thought it brought a photo to life and gave a certain sense of scale. But I can see now that if you have all the right elements, such as good light and composition, you can bring a sense of personality and humanity to an architectural photo without having people in them.   

Where are your favorite places to go in London? 

One of my favorite places to shoot is in the East End of London, particularly Shoreditch, for the street art and interesting characters. The art changes

from day to day, so it always provides fresh opportunities, which I find really exciting. I also find tunnels appealing as there's something so captivating about vanishing points. Woolwich tunnel is a favorite of mine as it's almost always almost empty, apart from a few people, which I love to photograph in the distance.  

What are you inspired by? 

I take a lot of inspiration from other photographers; it's looking at other people's images that inspire me to try and take better photos every day.

One day, I'd like to have my own original style, but I feel like I've still got a really long way to go, and a lot to learn. Bruce Gilden and Vivienne Myers are two photographers I admire greatly but I also take a lot of inspiration from the people I follow on Instagram. 

What are some of your favorite shots? 

There's a street art piece called “Shouting Heads” by Ben Slow. Back in 2011, I wanted to capture it with a person walking by. I remember the excitement I felt as I waited across the road and feeling the rush of adrenalin as I took the shot of a woman walking past. The composition and edit could be so much better but it's one of my favorites as it gave me the confidence for

the first time to be more bold with my photography.   

I took a photo of a woman dressed in black walking passed an advertising billboard in Milan. I was with my mum at the time and when I saw the opportunity I ran back to take the photo. I was just so lucky with the timing as I usually have to wait a long time for this kind of shot. It ended up placing

third in one of the categories in the 2013 iPhone Photography Awards and I was so proud of that.  

Another favorite shot was one taken in Rome of a boy holding his dad's hand and pulling a toy car behind him. You can't see either of their faces as it was taken from the back. There was something I found

really tender about the scene and I like the composition; you can only see the man from the waist up which gives it a sense of ambiguity. The light was amazing at the time and I thought it worked really in with a low contrast black and white edit. 

What made you start the people walking past walls account? 

I'd been taking photos of people walking past walls for a while. They were, and probably are still, my favorite type of shot to take. There was already a peoplewalkingpastdoors account, so I used the idea to start my own tag. There's something so exciting about finding the combination of a perfect backdrop, good light and then waiting for the right person to walk

by. You'll often have to let a few people go by before catching the ideal person with the right clothes. I have waited for almost an hour before for the right person, but it's so satisfying when they do come along and you catch them mid-stride.   

How has becoming a mother changed your work and your life?  

Becoming a mum has been the most incredible experience. Having

Mia has given me the motivation to do something more creative. I haven't had as much time for photography as I did before she was born, but I've invested the spare time I've had into starting a greetings card business using my photography.  

Being able to spend more time with her and be around if she needs me has given me that push I've always needed to do something for myself. It's

also something she could get involved in when she's older if she wants to. My husband Mike is also into photography, and I hope that one day it will be something we will be able to enjoy as a family. 

Interview by Jack Sommer

Kevin De Los Santos