My name is Joshua Taylor, I've been participating in the wonderful art of photography since 2007. Most of my experience comes from being self-taught and numerous trials and errors. I started off with a humble Canon A-Series point and shoot, and shortly after purchasing it, fell in love with photography by traveling to Western Europe for a month and capturing anything and everything that interested me. That's really where my story begins with photography.
Fast forward to the present day, I've practiced in various genres of photography, worked on event and product photography for local businesses in the Richmond, Virginia area, experienced the highs and lows in SLR, DSLR, digital compact, and mobile camera use. Do I consider myself a good photographer? I don't have a degree in anything art related, but I’ll let you be the judge. Most notably, in 2011 I began down a rapidly growing road within video game culture called screenshotting or screenshot tourism which was spearheaded by DeadEndThrill's creator Duncan Harris.
I was intrigued, aside from photography, I was (and still am) an avid video gamer. This was taking something that closely resembled real world photography BUT was set in virtual environments; a mix of two things I loved dearly! I dove in headlong and began using my desktop PC to capture photographs in whatever game could manage to be devoid of a heads up display or had a development console I could work with.
Inspired and excited, I naturally wanted to share my work with others. So, I created a Flickr account entitled Josh Taylor Gaming Photography (JTGP) to share my work with the community surrounding DeadEndThrills at the time; and a Tumblr blog entitled //NOTRL to hopefully expose this angle of "photography" to the wider public on the internet. Surprisingly, only a few months into sharing my work online, IGN had stumbled upon one of my Skyrim shots entitled Grace, featured it, and provided me credit.
This exposure and accreditation reinforced a gut feeling within me, that "screenshotting" could potentially be more than just a simple pass time within a video game; but an activity that could harness the skill sets found within photography and in turn produce images that celebrated the artists and their hard work in crafting the world we all explore. After this, I was noticed by Matteo Bittani (of gamescenes.org fame) who wrote for Wired Italy at the time and coined the title, "Video Game Photographer". Since then, it's been a crazy but worthwhile ride of being one amongst many video gamers and photographers pioneering a new form of modern photography; one that celebrate's the video game artist and provides a thoughtful look at the virtual worlds they have created.
An In-Game Photography Blog, Why?
Why am I blogging? And why on In-Game Photography? Well I've always loved writing, I wrote Star Wars short stories (you can talk with me about Star Wars lore all day long, I love it) for several years and I’ve longed for the opportunity to write again on something I'm passionate about. Writing on a particular subject is in essence a way for me to learn my own craft to a greater degree as well. I'm a huge believer in the idea that you must teach to validate what you’ve effectively learned whatever it is you are studying; whether that's through the feedback of observing peers of greater experience than yourself, or through the actual teaching of someone less experienced in the craft.
Aside from that, have you noticed many websites (be it there is a few VERY good ones, which I hope to provide in a resource post later) dedicated to helping you with this aspect of photography and video games? I sure haven’t and most of the time I’ve had to learn as I went. So, I hope my future writing on this blog will help you overcome difficulties, challenge your perspectives, inspire you with beautiful work and people, and educate you within the context of the in-game photography sub-genre and photography in general.
Ultimately, this blog is for those that:
Love photography and video games and actively participate in either one or both.
Appreciate either the art of video games or photography and want further understanding or a hub for further reading on the subject.
Newcomers that are new to in-game photography and don’t know where to start.
Experienced individuals that want useful resources on tools or in-game photography information to further their projects.
What To Expect
You can expect various posts on the subject of In-Game Photography and Photography. This will include, but not be limited to:
Personal writings and comments on the world of photography, video games, and in-game photography in particular.
News both within the realm of in-game photography but personal as well.
Helpful resources, guides, and tips to help you with your in-game photography aspirations.
Showcase posts of amazing in-game, digital, and film photography with links to photographer's website and/or social media for further reading and viewing.
Interviews with photographers both within in-game photography and outside of it.
Potentially guest writers as well (more on that a later date).
The frequency of posts will vary as admittedly I'm a slower writer, but in saying that I hope to post higher quality content to make up for it. My goal is to get to a place where I can provide you at least one post a week on one of the topics above.
How To Get Involved
On an end note, please feel free to contact me via email if you wish to provide any feedback on my writing or the content I post here in the future. If you are looking to discuss the topic of the writing further, I strongly suggest quickly signing up for Disqus and commenting via the comment box provided at the end of each blog post. Leaving positive comments is always welcomed, I also welcome disagreements as we are not an echo chamber here, we can dialogue as a community as long as we keep it constructive and respectable in nature.