• US@UO: Taylor Saya

    Our US@UO Artist Series Candles are a one-of-a-kind collection of candles for your home, adorned with photography from UO’s very own in-house creative team. We talked with each artist about their creative practice and the image they submitted for the series. 

    At a young age, US@UO artist Taylor Saya began shooting videos on the family camcorder in upstate New York, peaking her interest in creating images. With an eye for dramatic light and rich color, she now aims to create photos that evoke a sense of nostalgia and emotion. 
    Photos by Colin Kerrigan

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? 
    I was born and raised in upstate NY and moved down south to NC as a teenager. Both places have contributed to my expert karaoke skills and love of eating! 

    How long have you been working for UO? What do you do here? 
    I’ve been working at UO for a little over 3.5 years and am the Senior Editorial Post Production Manager.

    Did you study photography in school? Where did you go to school? 
    I received a BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. Savannah Rules!

    When did you get your first camera? What kind of camera was it? 
    First I started shooting little videos with the family camcorder which peaked my interest in image making in general but, when I got to high school I began taking  photography classes and my dad let me use and pretty much take over his Canon 35mm film camera.  

    What sorts of things are you drawn to when you’re taking a photo? 
    I’m really drawn to dramatic light and rich colors whether they are in nature or being created in the studio.

    Is there a philosophy or worldview that runs throughout your work? 
    Overall I hope my work evokes emotion and nostalgia. Even if it just reminds you of somewhere you’ve been or of a song you’ve heard. I like to photograph places or people that I felt connected.

    What are your goals for the future when it comes to your photography practice? Eventually I want to do the great American road trip with a few friends and a lot of film!

    Do you have any particular projects you’ve been working on lately that you’re excited about? 
    Over the past few years Ive been collecting school portraits from the 60s and 70s from garage sales and flea markets. Ive been curating a specific set and have recently scanned them in and am going to add text and scanned waiting and graphic elements accompany them and their story!  

    Can you tell us about the photo you submitted for the US@UO Artist Series candle? Where was the image captured? 
    I took this image while exploring Griffith park when I first moved to Los Angeles out of college.  The Hollywood Sign is just to the left of where this image was taken. Its can be such a touristy place but that day there was really no one around. Perfect spot for a Lone Wolf!

    Are there any particular photographers or other artists that have inspired your work the most over the years? 
    A huge inspiration over the years specifically has been the David Lynch film Blue Velvet. A professor suggested I watch it and other David Lynch films based on what I was was producing for class. The drama, lighting, and specific color schemes in a lot of his films are exactly what I gravitate toward in photography and film making. 

    What advice would you give an aspiring photographer who’s just starting out? 
    The most important thing for an aspiring photographer is to always be shooting and creating. You’ll probably take a lot of images that aren’t that great but you’ll also have a bunch of gems too! If you’re putting in the time and learning from other experienced photographers or artists you’ll certainly be in a great spot to succeed. The coolest thing about photography to me right now is that the industry has changed so much; you don’t have to assist for 10 years before you get to shoot an image or touch a camera. There are so many opportunities now to make a living being a photographer or an artist. 

    Shop the US@UO Artist Photography Series Jar Candle