We had the good fortune of connecting with Teferi Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teferi, what do you attribute your success to?
With most brands that are successful, there is an emphasis on customer service and on delivering a quality product. For Tektography, I think that our approach to working with our clients and aligning our vision with the one they present is essential to creating a quality product. My favorite quote about photography comes from Robert Frank which says, ” There is one thing that the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” At Tektography, we are obsessive over trying to capture the humanity and special feeling our customer feels whenever they look at that picture. Whether it was an impromptu photoshoot, an engagement photo, wedding day, or a birthday, we want our customers to feel happy about the product as well as remember how they felt when they look at that picture time after time. The devotion to that as well as a focus on customer service, I feel, will continue to propel Tektography to be among the great names in Atlanta for photography.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think the things that set my work apart from others is my perspective and composition. When I approach any creative project, I look for ways to make that project stand out. A couple of years ago, I worked on a series of photos about levitation. The goal was to create images that made me, even objects around me, appear to be levitating. It required me to learn new tool suites within Photoshop, but also gave me a keen eye for making the photo appear realistic. I remembered watching YouTube clips from Phlearn to create light sources within my images for dramatic effect and combining these elements into a final composition. I was really proud of the series because it expanded my range from just streetwear/sneaker photography and portraits into another realm. I still consider myself as a growing artist, meaning I’m always hungry for new ways to expand my skills. Becoming a paid photographer is tough because you have to create a reason why people should want to pay you for your eye and perspective. In the case of Tektography when I first started out, I looked for mentors because I felt that they would help stretch me out of my comfort zone. Going on shoots as a secondary shooter or behind the scenes helped me work through frustrations with my images or equipment and helped me identify other equipment to add to my kit. One of my biggest lessons I’ve learned is that to be a good photographer you have to have patience. It takes time to develop your skills and learn your equipment to create the images you want. Even when you do, you still have to keep that hunger for learning as well as receive mentorship from those at a more advanced point in their professional career. Even the most skilled photographer can still learn and that’s the one thing I love about this art form. Tektography is still growing and I’m excited about the new things coming for the company. It wasn’t easy getting started, but I think the challenges, in the beginning, helped shape Tektography into what it is today. We are continuing to expand our footprint in Atlanta as well as grow our following on social media. In the next four years, I hope to purchase commercial space in Atlanta for a studio in the city as well as collaborate with other local creatives to continue to grow Atlanta’s creative ecosystem.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
There are a lot of great spots to visit in Atlanta. I had the privilege of going to school in downtown Atlanta at Georgia Tech, so the weekends allowed me to explore the city and find really cool spots. For a week in Atlanta, we’d definitely have to visit the High Museum of Art, Civil Rights Museum, Piedmont Park, Fox Theatre, Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coke. As far as eating out, some of my favorite restaurants in the city are Slutty Vegan, Six Feet Under, Sublime Doughnuts, Dos Amigos Tacos, Umi, and Sweet Georgia Brown’s Juke Joint. Catching an Atlanta United game at the Mercedes Benz Stadium and visiting The Battery to watch the Braves would also be on our to-do list because both areas on game days have lots to do around the venue. It would be a long week, but the great thing about Atlanta is that there is plenty to do at all times of the day!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As a photographer, you always have influences and organizations that enable you to be successful in what you do. I do much of my studio photography out of Cam Kirk Studios here in Atlanta, GA. They provide a lot of free workshops, as well as studio space, to photographers like myself who want to continue to hone their craft. Additionally, my peers, such as Eric (IG @jordanviision), Aaron (IG @PeekExpressions), Micah (@whoisfitz), and Chris (@iamyourphotographer) have helped me develop my skills and given me inspiration on ways I can improve myself as a photographer. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting Tektography. The business is still growing, but their referrals and support continue to give me new ideas for ways I can develop my company even further.