The Portrait System Podcast with Saray Taylor Roman

February 7, 2020 Artist Spotlight

The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer


Subscribe to The Podcast

ART19SpotifyStitcherTuneInRadioPublicApple Podcast


What initially sparked your interest in photography?

“I was 13 when I got my first camera. I loved taking pictures of friends, cats, and the landscape around me. Fast-forward to college years – I took a couple of courses in photography and learned what makes a good photo, as well as how to develop my own film. In class, I practiced landscape photography, architectural photography, and photojournalism. Those genres were interesting, but none of them truly captured my interest.

Portrait, however, was different. Through portraits, I could build a significant connection with another person. I really enjoyed listening to what people had to say and then crafting images to retell their stories.

I picked it back up soon after my daughter was born. While on sabbatical, I decided to try out my new digital camera. I wanted to know it like the back of my hand, so every other weekend I asked friends and family to give me a couple of hours to practice Sue’s posing on them.”

Behind the scenes, photography studio, indoor photography lighting, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

Saray’s Former Studio

We all go through periods of mental blocks. How do you push past times of not finding inspiration?

“I take time off. I travel, I watch fashion shows, I observe nature, I take everything in. We can’t pour from an empty cup so I nourish myself back up.”

Everyone has a favorite shoot – tell us about yours and why it’s your favorite.

“I love working with dancers. I admire their strength, their grace, and their discipline. I want to celebrate the years it has taken them to pursue their craft with such passion. I also love it because I get to design the sets, paint backdrops, create wardrobe pieces, and push my own creative boundaries.”

Behind the scenes, photography studio, indoor photography lighting, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

Saray’s New Studio

How did you find Sue Bryce?

“I stumbled upon her when watching a Creative Live course led by Jasmine Star. There was a legend at the bottom of the screen that said: “if you’re enjoying this course, you would love this instructor.”

I clicked on the link and the rest is history. She took me on a whirlwind of a journey where whatever I dreamed and had the courage to work for would simply come to pass. She took a high school Spanish teacher, with thousands of dollars in debt and very little skill, to an international award-winning photographer in four years. I have also managed to pay off over 100k in debt.”

How did you push past fear when building your business?

“I’ve learned from Sue that fear is and will always be present. Fear has not gone away but I’ve grown bolder the more steps I take. Now, I feel like I can leap and not just take itty bitty steps like at the beginning. 

So, I feel that action, however small, however imperfect is what has taken me here. It’s what I call little acts of courage that you do day in and day out whether you feel like it and, especially when you don’t feel like it.”

pre-teen portraits, teen portraits, senior photography, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer pre-teen portraits, teen portraits, senior photography, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

Saray’s First Paid Client

What is your average sale currently?

“My 2019 sale average is $2,604. And we saw 106 clients last year doing 1.5 shoot days at the studio every month. Our monthly average is $23,002. Did you know that as a teacher in my first year I earned $28,000? It’s mind-blowing to see what we are capable of when we are doing what we love!”

What do you think is the biggest misconception when people are trying to start their photography business?

“I feel that the biggest misconception is that it will happen overnight or that there is a magic pill that does not involve little acts of courage every single day. Another big one is that it worked for her because she lives in XYZ place but it won’t work for me. This is a proven business strategy that works wherever big cities, small towns, in the U.S. and abroad. That’s why it is so important to join the Members-only Facebook community as soon as you get the SBE membership. Seeing everyone else’s success stories as well as the obstacles they overcame to get there are so inspiring.”

photography studio, studio decorating, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer photography studio, studio decorating, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

 

What does the SBE community mean to you?

“It has been the one online group where I’ve been both inspired and challenged daily. As I watched the videos and a question came up, I could go there without the fear of being judged and ask away. Every time I saw people getting 2000, 4000, 6000 sales it gave me the confidence that I could do it too. Every time I saw people with tons of talent, that inspired me to what my own work could look like. It’s the one photography and business online group of which I’m an active member.”

For someone starting out on their photography journey, what advice would you have for them?

“Get a Sue Bryce Education annual membership and commit yourself to do the work for that whole year! Get involved in the Members-only Facebook group, it’s such a welcoming community and there is no such thing as a stupid question: ask away, be vulnerable, share your victories and shortcomings. We’ve all been there and your journey will inspire others. If you have the funds and want to accelerate the process, hire a mentor within the Sue Bruce community to streamline the process for you. Seriously though, everything you need is in SBE.”

ballerina, dancer portraits, teen portraits, senior photography, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer maternity, women portraits, what to wear for maternity pictures, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

 

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years? 

“Last year I added a business partner for the first time and while it has taken some time to adjust, it was the best business decision of 2019. Five years from now I see myself growing a team. I will be doing solely fine artwork and having associate photographers taking care of my personal branding clients. I see myself having the freedom to pursue other creative avenues that have been suppressed since childhood because they were never viable career options until now.”

family of 3, family portraits, what to wear for family pictures, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

Saray’s Family

Subscribe to The Podcast

ART19SpotifyStitcherTuneInRadioPublicApple Podcast

women portraits, The Portrait System Podcast, Sue Bryce Education, Photography Business and Marketing, Saray Taylor Roman, Portrait Photographer

 

 

Saray Taylor-Roman of Taylor-Roman Photography

Follow Saray: InstagramFacebookWebsite
Portrait Masters Awards Directory

 

9 Comments

  1. Saray, your story was amazing. I felt very connected to so much of it. You inspired me to get past my fear that I can’t do this, that I can’t make money from this and that my images aren’t good enough (stop comparing myself to others and learn). I’ve sign up to do the 12 week start up and I’m so excited. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing.

  2. Beautiful story Saray and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey. I had the great opportunity to meet you last year in Melbourne and be photographed by you. You opened my eyes on so many things for my business and gave me confidence to move forward. I can’t thank you enough. Your positive energy is contagious! keep shining…..

    1. Thank you so much Arline for your kind words and encouragement! I loved getting to meet you, see your studio, and work together on your brand. <3

  3. I listened. I cried. I am so full of fear. But daily, I am pushing through it, facing it and knowing it will always be there. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me to see clearly. 🙂