Taylor Bareford

Digital Photography

Photographic Imaging Instructor
The Art Institute of Atlanta

Taylor Bareford

Be passionate about what you do, and strive to feed that passion constantly. Taylor Bareford , Photographic Imaging Instructor , The Art Institute of Atlanta

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was young I was always jealous of my brother’s artistic abilities. He could draw, paint, create etchings, all sorts of techniques. I never had the hand for that sort of work, but I did have an eye and ideas for creativity. One day my father introduced me to the work of an artistic photographer that he knew from his ROTC teaching days. That photographer was Sally Mann, who is now one of top photographers in the U.S. Seeing what could be done with the use of a camera, I was hooked–have been ever since.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

As a professional in the industry, I see technology’s constant evolution first-hand so I’m always adapting assignments to reflect this. That, paired with teaching a strong foundation in core studies, principles and techniques helps prepare them to adapt to future innovations.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching, mentoring and inspiring students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

There is not a single assignment, more of a collection of assignments that have one important factor: teaching them that their skills at communication and approaching people are going to play an essential part of their success, no matter what field they’re in. Many of my assignments require students to break from their comfort zones, approach people, talk to them, and develop a professional relationship as a client, model, or partner.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

In the real world, no matter what creative field you are in, there’s always going to be some level of collaboration to prepare that final project. Photographers with graphic designers, filmmakers with fashion designers, animators with illustrators, they all work with each other. That’s why it’s important to have these majors intermingle through various, developing a strong working relationship.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Be passionate about what you do, and strive to feed that passion constantly. Loving what you do will only increase your success.

Anything else?

My door is always open, whether you need advice on a project, counseling for your direction in your field, or even just to have a few laughs, you are my first priority on campus!