About

We show you how to take photos that stand out from the crowd.

My name’s Michael Taylor and I’m a photographer and photography trainer based in Sydney. I’ve designed and delivered successful photography training programs for a range of leading businesses and organisations, from the United Way to Intrepid Travel to the New South Wales Government.

Since 2006, I’ve trained over 1000 people throughout Australia, of all levels (and all cameras!), from the top staff at major companies to families and groups of friends, from marketing managers to farmers, librarians to veterinarians. Aged 5 to 85. In boardrooms and living rooms, at festivals and farms.

Some just want to take better pictures, others need to create images that tell the story of their organisation’s work. No matter what they’re looking for, my goal is always a relationship built on trust, communication and support.

It’s been a privilege working with every one of them, and their results have been showcased at successful photography competitions and exhibitions led by course participants, and in publications across Australia. It’s been a joy to watch them blossom as photographers, and to help them create pictures that communicate, connect- and inspire.

My Photography

I’m a freelance travel photographer and I shoot stock images for Lonely Planet and Getty Images. Over the past 20 years my work in over 40 countries has been featured in publications from the New York Times to the Sydney Morning Herald, and in magazines, books and billboards around the world.

I also write and shoot for publications both in Australia and the US, covering events ranging from US presidential elections to the Sydney Olympics to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

I’ve had my fair share of adventures, misadventures and magic moments along the way- from deep in an ancient mine in Bolivia to under the stars in the Serengeti, blues shacks in Mississippi swamps to pubs in far-flung desert outposts. The silence of Himalayan villages to the energy of New York City streets.

But for me photography is about capturing a moment, telling a story, and above all, connecting with people. And it’s the same with my courses.

Your Photography

Enough about my photography- it’s really about your photography!

Like the people in my photos, the people in my courses – you – are what it’s all about. And whether it’s a shoot in a village in Nepal or a course in a conference room in Sydney, the openness and respect you show people, the relationship you cultivate with them- is far more important to the results than any gear or camera settings.

I firmly believe that just as everyone has a story to tell, they’ve got a picture (or lots!) to share. The reality is we’ve all got some amazing images in us ready to burst out. It’s just a matter of nurturing that inner photographer, of building confidence and breaking down clearly how it’s done.

So my approach, both in my photography and my training, is very much hands-on, down-to-earth- and fun!

Instead of jargon, we’ll concentrate on the practical meat and potatoes of becoming a better photographer: getting to know your camera- and your subject, and how to use light, composition, your head, heart, and feet- to take great pictures, consistently.

“The heart is the real light-sensitive medium here, not the film nor the digital sensor. It is the heart that sees an image and wants to capture it.”

- Wim Wenders tribute to photographer James Nachtwey

OK really – who is this Michael Taylor guy?

I grew up in a town called West Caldwell, about a half hour from New York City, and spent lots of my early summers with family in Brooklyn.

I was a typical Jersey kid, playing Star Wars with my brother and sisters (if they could be bothered), watching Yankees games, listening to Springsteen- and dreaming of being a, um, paleontologist. Ok, not totally typical, but you get my drift.

It all changed when I hopped on a plane to London in 1991. As part of a Journalism Honors degree at Syracuse University in New York, I successfully applied to study photography for a semester at Central Saint Martins College of Art in London. I had no idea what life had in store for me.

First time on a plane. Dad’s old Minolta XE-7 in hand. Really excited. Totally clueless.

Realising there was a whole world out there to discover did the rest. I was hooked.

20 years later I consider myself blessed to be able to do what I love- travel the world taking pictures and helping people do it themselves. Photography is a bridge to the world, and the people I meet in my travels and my courses are truly what I’m most grateful for, and inspired by. And as my Grandfather used to urge me- I don’t take a day of it for granted.

Mission Statement

My Purpose in life is to be a conduit for the beauty and preciousness of life- in my images, my courses, and all I do.

The Values that are at the heart of who I am are Generosity, Courage, Compassion, Love and Inspiration.

What I can be counted on for is:

  • Real acknowledgment being present in the lives of everyone I meet.
  • To listen without judgment.
  • To nurture, and honor, the divine spark in everyone I know.

Communicate. Connect. Inspire.

Photography training that shows you how.