Taylor Gillis: Visual Poetry in Black & White Photos

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Photography

Taylor Gillis fondly remembers a past instructor saying, “good poetry can be like good photography in that it can tell a story with an economy of means.” Now, as a professional photographer, he lives by those words every day.

Although trained as a graphic designer Taylor always found himself drawn to photography more. Eventually he left the design business and devoted himself fully to the art of photographic narrative.

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Taylor’s website currently showcases two photographic series. One series highlights images taken with his Holga (a plastic, low-tech camera that produces square negatives) and is aptly named Holga Work.

The image below demonstrates how Taylor and this no-frills camera can create an almost imaginary, poetic scene out of an everyday location. The lighting effects are enchanting. . . yet a little eerie at the same time.

Picnic (Gillis)

His second series is titled Stems, Leaves, and he describes it as an “exercise of trying to see a common object (a cut flower) as simply a collection of parts which could be rearranged to create a new object.”

Taylor’s goal was to look beyond the flower, and encourage observation of the finer details in the photo. He further explains that these photos “illustrate the potential which exists within us to look for, and find beauty and inspiration everywhere.”

Flower (Gillis)

It’s fascinating to see how these simple subjects have been transformed into fresh, innovative images and captured on film. (I’m still trying to figure out how he made the petals in the last photo below fly, twist and twirl.)

However he does it, Taylor’s photographic process and inventive staging, paired with his desire to capture a story, continues to draw me into his work. I especially love how in this last series, the delicate dismantling of his subjects creates captivating movement and visual poetry.

Petals (Gillis)

To see more of Taylor’s photos or learn about recent and upcoming exhibits, please visit his website at www.TaylorGillis.com.

You can also purchase prints of his beautiful photos at TaylorGillis.imagekind.com.

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