Featured Photographer: Taran W



"My goals in life are constantly changing, but overall I want to create a family of intellectuals and producers."

Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.

How did you get to where you are now in your career?

Well, I'm not too sure you could call it a career yet, as I am still in high school, but I attend a very artistic school, which inspired me to produce creative work alongside my peers. As a freshman, I searched for a medium that suited me by signing up for every art class I could. Having never tried anything before, I decided to try as much as possible - sculpting, drawing, digital design, painting, et cetera. I went for pretty much any kind of studio art I could get my hands on, and although I tried to register for photography the class had already filled. Because of the size of my school I had to wait a full year in order to take photography. At the time this was disappointing, even disheartening, but now I feel that the circumstance only percolated my interest in the subject. As a sophomore I got stuck on photography. Something clicked in my mind with this medium that didn’t with the others. I acquired a dusty Nikon D70, which eventually led to a Nikon D5500. Since that first intro class I have slowly been adding pieces of equipment to my bag and have continued to practice independently.

What is your opinion on modeling education?

Body language is one of the most basic and instinctual forms of communication, and I think that everyone should learn to “speak” it as best they can. One reason why I think portraiture has such a strong draw and relevance is its ability to not only express an emotion but to convey a story with details and characters. I think models are often resented for their physical beauty rather than celebrated for their unspoken communication. For many, models are more beautiful which therefore makes you less beautiful. For me, however, I see myself. I see that they are telling me what I posses through themselves. They are showing me who I am, who they are, and how we are the same. Without saying a word, I feel beautiful. I want everyone to learn how to express this beauty without speaking.

What person has been your inspiration in life? Who is your hero?

I have many inspirations that I would like to mention, but generally speaking I see them all as genuine people. I am inspired by authentic individuals.

Do you feel like you've met your goals?

My goals in life are constantly changing, but overall I want to create a family of intellectuals and producers. With them I want to support our lifestyle through our production. My path to achieving this goal is just beginning, but I hope to get into the business side of things by the time I graduate high school. And as far as the creatives go, I am already surrounded and will continue to gravitate towards like-minded individuals.

If you had to do it over again, what would you change?

My goals in life are constantly changing, but overall I want to create a family of intellectuals and producers. With them I want to support our lifestyle through our production. My path to achieving this goal is just beginning, but I hope to get into the business side of things by the time I graduate high school. And as far as the creatives go, I am already surrounded and will continue to gravitate towards like-minded individuals.

Do you have any tips?

Well, being young, and not quite sure what my “position” really is I can’t say that I have the most valuable advice out there. But I can say that whatever you do, you can’t stop. There were several months between my sophomore and junior year where I never even touched my camera, and the thought of that spiraling even further down is more than frightening to me. Overtime I’ve realized that if I don’t continue to produce content than I can’t even remain relevant to myself, let alone the rest of the world.

How do you stay inspired?

I guess it depends. Sometimes, I listen to music and think about what comes to mind. If a particular thought or emotion feels strong enough then I try to make an image from it. My inspirations can vary quite frequently, due to a certain combination of visual cues seen in media or life around me. Writing is another way that I might form the base of an image. Whether it be a creative writing piece or a sketch of a photo concept, I find a way to stay inspired.

What photography related things do you recommend?

When I first began photography I often looked at the rules rather than the image. This was a big distraction and limitation for me. Rather than seeing an image with alternative composition I saw a missing rule of thirds. Over time, I have learned not to set any rules for myself or my creations and have seen a different side of my work because of it. The point I’m making is that I have been limited by rules so much more than I have ever been by a failed concept, and listening to a “No Trespassing” sign has never produced an image for me. As well as this, I wish I knew that almost all of photography (in my experience) is just having a good understanding of light and composition as well as having an artistic eye, which comes naturally to some, but can be developed.

What's your favourite camera?

Right now, I would say my Nikon D5500, but I’ve just received a Yashica 44 that I am very excited to start working with.

What is your most memorable moment so far?

About 3 weeks ago I took a photo which involved wrapping my head in some fabric with another friend next to some hay bales. As soon as we started doing this a man walked out of his house and approached us. He asked us what we were doing and continued to lecture us on being in places we shouldn’t be without permission. He told us we appeared quite suspicious due to our walking and the fact that we were carrying a tripod, camera, and fabric with us. He then continued to accuse us of being on drugs and told us that we shouldn’t be there. Being determined to get at least a couple of shots, I tried to reason with him and asked if he owned the property or knew the owner. He told us that he neither owned or knew the owner of the land, so I asked him if it was alright if we used the space. He said, “Well, it’s not my property so it’s not really up to me. I just think you guys should be more careful.” To this I responded with a skewed, “Okay”. He finally left and we took our pictures. I just found it kind of strange that nothing had changed from the point of him walking to and from us. I guess I just thought it funny that he felt the need to fixate on something that had nothing to do with him.

Booking information:

Instagram: @taran_w

Email: taranwmedia@gmail.com

Flickr: Taran W

SmugMug: Taran W

Photo Credits:

Photographer: @taran_w

Model: @_oatis

Makeup Artist: @calwilke


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