Taylor Morabito (@taymorabito) has a feed absolutely full of crisp, clean, moody perfection. Often employing the deepest of blues and the gloomiest of grays, Taylor communicates passion and emotion with every picture, regardless of the subject. Her use of Mextures to enhance shadows and add textures leaves each photograph with a very unique and personalized feel. We had some time recently to chat with her about her love of photography and her use of Mextures and compiled the conversation here to share with all of you!
I’m Taylor. I currently reside in southern Florida as a part time mermaid and full time visual marketer. I am happiest when I am outside (particularly near the sea or in the snow), or indulging myself in carbs, booze, and red meat.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I was around 14 when I first became interested. There was this website called Xanga which was pretty much Tumblr before Tumblr existed. I would look at these photo blogs for hours and hours and was inspired by all of these beautiful images and thought I want to make something like this, so I did.
I started shooting with a Kodak point and shoot and my dad's old Polaroid 600. I would shoot mostly nature or objects and upload them to my little blog. I bought my first real camera in high school and took a couple film classes. I never thought about it as more than a hobby until it came time for college.
Many subjects in school interested me but I wasn't as passionate or excited about them as I was about photography. I didn't want to spend the next few years focusing on something I didn't have fun doing so I decided to pursue it full time and went to art school. Now I'm fortunate enough to have a career doing what I love.
A LOT OF YOUR WORK IS VERY SHADOWY AND MOODY. HOW DID THAT STYLE DEVELOP?
I've always gone for a solemn/somber vibe for portraits but I think I really found my niche when I moved down here.
I got over shooting sunrises and blue skies pretty quickly, I felt like all of my images started to look the same. So I started going to shoot during storms instead. I quickly became drawn to that color palette of blues and grays and the more dramatic contrast in lighting, it gave the mood I was striving to create a little extra something so I was like alright.. this is my shit. After that it just kind of snowballed and I tried to push it past portraits and translate that same mood across all types of shots.
SO TO STAY TRUE TO THOSE DRAMATIC CONTRASTS AND THAT PARTICULAR COLOR PALETTE, WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE?
I start in Lightroom. I have a few presets saved that I use for pretty much everything so I start there and then fine tune. If it needs any heavier clean up I take it into Photoshop and clone stamp any eye-sores, skin blemishes, stray hairs, dirt on the sidewalk.. I'm a little ocd about things like that. After that I take it into Mextures and throw some grain on that bitch. All the grain. For iPhone images I use VSCO and Mextures.
WHEN YOU USE MEXTURES ON A PICTURE IS IT MOSTLY JUST GRAIN OR DO YOU INCORPORATE OTHER OVERLAYS?
I start with adjustments, mostly just tweaking highlights and shadows. Then I move to the Landscape Enhance pack. My go to overlays are Neutral Density and Winter Skies. I use these to add a little contrast and make the tone colder. From there I go to the Grit and Grain pack. I usually add one or two textures from there and use the blending modes multiply or difference.
DO YOU EVER SAVE YOUR EDITS AS FORMULAS?
Yea! Here are five:
"333" - UWIPDEG
"1A" - FUEJGZS
"2A" - SKZBTMM
"XXX" - HKDFBPW
"BOKEH" - RDRICEM
I also use the Eventide and Moody Sunset guest formulas.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE MEXTURES OFFERS ANYTHING UNIQUE TO YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
It’s basically mobile photoshop. I haven’t found any other apps that allow me to edit as seamlessly as Mextures does. Being able to work in layers and having the option of blending modes is a lifesaver.
Before I started using it I would take my pictures through so many different apps to complete an edit. Now I have all the features I need in one place.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND INSTAGRAM WORK?
Nothing specific. I guess I just hope I can just make someone feel something or view something differently. Basically just by having people appreciate my work I would feel like I’ve accomplished something.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPH THAT YOU'VE TAKEN?
I don't have an all time favorite. But a recent favorite would be this one. This is one of my favorites just because it's a bit more cinematic than most of my portraits. Also I will never forget shooting it so that makes it special to me as well. Nicole is a gem and one of my favorite girls to work with, she's such a trooper. I was subtly torturing her for this shoot.. we are both little shorties and kept getting knocked over by waves, she got a face full of sand at one point and an allergic reaction to the seaweed. I almost lost my camera to the ocean several times. It was a struggle and a lot of laughs but worth the outcome.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY THE MOST?
I'm inspired by so many things but I guess the biggest ones are nature and people. In particular the people I photograph, and the people I have had the opportunity to shoot with/learn from.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT INSPIRE YOU MOST?
SO. MANY. As far as people on Instagram my favorites are: @fursty @adriansky @visionelie @roelvista @vishnurajan @harvymoon @jmsuarez_ - I’m really inspired by their aesthetic and editing style. I think they’re all brilliant.
Have a look at more of Taylor's photography here!