Better Know a Vendor: McKenzi Taylor of Taylored Photo Memories

I still remember the first submission I got from photographer McKenzi Taylor for LVW- the elopement of a bride in a blazing blue dress and her husband out in the desert of Red Red Canyon. I think it stuck with me because of the colors and the intimacy captured in the photos.

Since then she’s contributed a few of what I think are the more memorable weddings I’ve had on the site, including one at The Gun Store, a wedding on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and the warm walk in the woods wedding on Mt Charleston.

You always hear writers say “write what you know,” and if that’s the case, McKenzi shoots what she knows – adventure! She’s a runner, rock climber and all around outdoorsy woman, so I think she has a real handle on how to best photograph adventurous and outdoorsy weddings. And yet, that’s not all she does. But, I’ll let her talk about what she does best in today’s Better Know a Vendor interview!


Are you originally from Las Vegas?
Nope! I’m originally from a very small town (last time I checked population was 437) called Presho, South Dakota. Moved to Orange County, California for about 4 years before moving to Vegas.

How many years have you been in business and how did you originally get into photography?

I have owned Taylored Photo Memories since 2008. I have always been into photography. My first work in California was for a small newspaper, then for a photography agency (Zuma Press) then I moved to full time staff photographer at Chapman University. I was also running my business on the side through all this :)
McKenzi working hard editing on location

McKenzi working hard editing on location

In five or less words, how would you best describe your shooting style? 
Vivid, sharp, adventurous, clean, fresh.
What were you doing before you got into photography?
Photography! :) But I also love to run, cycle, rock climb and do other active outdoor hobbies!

What is your preferred way to work with clients – e-mail, in person, telephone?

I prefer e-mail correspondence, but know that is not always the preferred communication for my clients! I’m starting to love Skype too!

Do you have a favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?
The romantics or the first looks!
What do you find inspiring these days?
Nature, people, life… it’s all so awesome! In particular though, I do find those with active lifestyles and those that tend to be vagabonds, and live an adventurous life to be super inspiring! They often have amazing photographs and stories of all their travels as well :)

Have you noticed a change in what couples are wanting in terms of photos for their weddings? Do you see any big trends popping up for 2013?

Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to trends. I do what each of my couples wants and desires… They normally come to me with their own style, ideas and inspirations. I just go with that. I have noticed an industry emphasis on capturing the details of their days (their cupcakes, their guest labels etc). I also like to  focus on how much fun the guests are having. Couples really like the idea that they are having a fun party for all their friends and family and they love the fun details and emotions they get to see in the images from that event!
Do you like to work with “shooting” lists – when a couple comes to you with a long list of poses, people, places they want? 
I like a list to some degree. I will say I like a short list of “must haves”. If a list gets too long it becomes very stressful for the photographer (in my opinion). It limits our creativity, we stress about marking ticks off our list and we may miss an important “moment”! I do like a general list though listing who they want for their posed family photos. I would really hate to leave Uncle Bobby out of all the posed family photos :)
Where has been the most challenging place you’ve had to shoot at so far? 
I think photographing in hotel rooms and suites can be a challenge. Not a bad challenge by any means, just a new challenge each and every time. I also think they are pretty rad when you get it all figured out and can make a creative scene in them. Something to also keep in mind if you are planning to do an in-suite wedding is to clean it up! :) I have done a few weddings and the rooms can be flattering in many ways, but I have to spend my time cleaning up the corners and removing any distractions from the scene!
Some of McKenzi's range of work, from the Wynn to Red Rock to Mt Charleston

Some of McKenzi’s range of work, from the Wynn to Red Rock to Mt Charleston

You’re really into working with adventurous couples, and seem to find yourself in all sorts of crazy locations in and around Las Vegas. You don’t have to divulge any trade secrets, but do you have any favorite outdoor location for portraits?

I love walking into a scene and finding a spot that “from the naked eye” seems ugly and transforming it into something awesome. I love meeting people in a strip mall or coffee shop and making a portrait of them right there! They get the image and think “that doesn’t look like where we were at all!” That’s one of my favorite things to do. I try to avoid stressing so much about the location and just enjoy the entire process of making a photo.  I do really love shooting at Lake Las Vegas and Nelson, NV. Beautiful scenery and props. I’m looking for someone that wants to get in a wedding dress and harness for some rock climbing photos in Red Rock Canyon though – any takers?
Are there any vendors in the Vegas area you particularly like to work with, or would like to work with? 
I love working with Rev. Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions and All About Catering Las Vegas. I am looking to get a solid makeup/hairstylist and also someone that I can recommend for flowers though!
What is the one thing you wish couples wedding in Vegas knew? 
Technically we can’t prance around the Strip using the casinos as backdrops, they are private property and while many photographers do it, we could get kicked off the property at any time. And if you are willing to be adventurous and want this sort of thing, don’t wear your stilettos cause I walk fast and far and you’ll be uncomfortable!
As a photo nerd, I have to ask: Canon or Nikon?
psh! Canon – fo sho! ;)
And of course, the fun questions I always ask…
On a typical Sunday I am photographing awesome people, couples, families or rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon or traveling
If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d probably be: using my masters degree in organizational leadership by working with organizations, probably non profits, to increase their productivity & employee morale!

Thank you so much, McKenzi! You can see more of her work on her brand spankin’ new blog and website just launched last week. She is also always posting crazy awesome photos of her climbing exploits on Instagram, too: @mckenzitaylor

 

I sure hope she finds a bride willing to do a rock climbing bridal shoot. How amazing would that be?

 


 

2 Comments on Better Know a Vendor: McKenzi Taylor of Taylored Photo Memories

  1. Alexis Amity
    February 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you so much for the mention! Working with McKenzi is a real treat- she rocks! If you are in need of catering for your special day, we specialize in catering Las Vegas weddings! We have wedding packages or a la carte options available. All receptions require a $500 minimum please visit our website for more information or call us at 702-300-7102 to book your event!

  2. Kelly
    February 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks Alexis!

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