I fell in love with Andrew Scott Taylor’s Instagram feed. I can't remember if I followed him because he used the hashtag “Hoboken” or because I was following photographers and he showed up as someone I should follow. Either way, his work is amazing and he does a lot of it on his iPhone. While I feel I have some iPhone photo skills; Andrew definitely is up there with the best taking photos with minimal adjustments (contrast, brightness, etc) to get us the photos we see. To top is off he has done photography as a hobby since he was in high school, but he knows how to use an SLR and DSLR like the best of them.
How did you become interested in photography?
It started with my dad who was a shutterbug and always photographed their (his parents) travels before I was born. There are these huge albums throughout the house. And back then we actually had photos and albums that we flipped through which I always liked. He had this old camera in a bag in the front closet with lenses and gels. Even before I knew how to take a photo I loved the aesthetics and mechanics of the camera.
When I got to high school, they offered photography classes in the art department. I took photography all 4 years of high school so I am formally trained. After that, I always had a camera in my hand.
In college, I studied art history which has a focus on academics, aesthetics, composition, contrast and color. Visual arts intertwining with society and history and how that was all reflected was of huge interest to me. I also took a lot of photography art history classes. Then I minored in film and media studies.
What is your “day job”?
I work with a boutique independent agency; our clients are film distribution and production companies. I started in visual arts PR and as I grew into myself, I became captivated by film. It was also a release to go to the movies and not be surrounded by galleries. Then a sibling of someone I worked with worked at Fox Searchlight and passed my resume along and it all fell into place. This visual medium definitely plays into my overall love of aesthetics and composition and telling stories through images. I also get to travel with this job, which allows for some awesome photos.
What is your favorite type of photography?
I like candid street photography the most - something that happen in the moment.
My biggest influence is Henri Cartier-Bresson. He pioneered street photography in black and white. He said taking a photo is that decisive moment where something about the moment clicks for you, so you click. To me, this is something when captured is very fleeting and ephemeral. I love to keep my eyes open and if something strikes me then I capture it.
What camera do you use?
I use my Iphone 6s for instagram. I do use light filtering with the contrast and brightness but I don’t use the present filters.
And then I have a Digital DSLR Nikon D3300. It is a mid price range camera that is in a good price range for a photographer who does not do it professionally or full time but wants to elevate something above a snapshot.
What would be your dream with photography?
When I was younger I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. My dad had a subscription and our garage had shelves of them. I would be captivated and read through all of them. Plus it combines photography with travel; being able to go to all these parts of the world that you would never necessarily get to see otherwise. I am also interested in exploring night photography and long shutter speed and time lapse. I have never seen the milky way and I want to be able to share that as well as the Northern Lights.
What made you chose Hoboken as your home?
After I graduated college in 2009 I had an internship in NYC. I was commuting back and forth from central Jersey. I did this for a year and it segued into the full-time position in art PR. I was also commuting with a friend from home and we decided together we wanted to move somewhere. Hoboken seemed like the perfect spot being so close to the city but still in New Jersey and close to home. So we moved here and have been here since 2010.
What is your favorite thing(s) about hoboken?
It is a beautiful small city that is young and family oriented. Every street and walk brings something new and interesting to find and it is extremely walkable, which is important to a photographer. Of course there is an abundance of bars and restaurants that are always popping up to explore because food is something I am also passionate about. It is a magical city that you can make home. This is especially true in the morning, when the city is still waking up and you can walk along the water as the light comes up in the east, over the Hudson River. You get more involved and invested and I think Hoboken allows that more than Manhattan.
And favorite restaurants?
It is hard to say because there are so many choices! Mario’s is my go-to for pizza; Precious for Chinese; but I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out some of my favorite individual dishes like the Espinaca y Remolacha salad at La Isla and the Ecuadorian-style Creamy Corn soup at Cucharamama.
Where have you explored in Jersey City?
My former roommate just moved to Jersey City so as she explores i get to explore too. I have tried Third and Vine and Skinner’s Loft is a go to place. There is definitely a lot to do and see.
All photos are provided by Andrew Scott Taylor