This week we're keen to share the work and stories of UK based photographer, Serena Taylor.
You can find the whole 'Five Minutes With' series here!
Who are you, what do you do and how long have you been doing it?
Hey! My name is Serena Taylor, although the lads at work call me Reenie... I am the clubs official photographer at Newcastle United in the UK and have been working there since November 2004 when I relocated from Australia!
When you started out in the field you’re in, how did you get your first “break” / was there a defining moment you just knew “This is what I want to do!”
I haven't always been a football photographer. I started taking photos of friends when I was a teenager playing basketball or on nights out which then led me to working in a photo lab processing holiday snaps and that's when I knew I had to travel the world. I left my home town of Bendigo in Victoria, Australia bound for the 'Working holiday experience' and after 3 long cold months in the UK jumped on a plane and flew to Buenos Aires to join my first Cruise ship as a photographer. I embarked on 3 ships in my time covering Europe, America, South America, North America, Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, Asia, Africa before heading back to Australia to work on Hamilton Island. Then packed up and relocated back to the UK and fortunately for me, I landed the job working as a photographer at Newcastle United, which I have been here ever since- loving what I do!...
When people like me ask you that question “What’s your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken” which one do you think of first?
One of my Favourites in my football career for sure would have to be when a local lad Matty Longstaff came on as a debut against Manchester United in the second half of the match. He scored a belter of a goal in the gallowgate end and ran straight towards my camera with his older brother Sean to celebrate! We won that match and it was such an amazing day for him. The image was used lifesize on one of our collage walls down by the dressing rooms. It makes me smile and feel proud for him everytime I see the image.
Do you have a photographic inspiration?
I am always looking at other photographers work to see where my images sit in terms of quality- there is always room for learning and improvement. There are just so many talented photographers in the world, however I also ran my own wedding business a few years back now and I have to admit I loved the portrait work of Jerry Ghionis
, which I use as inspiration for my portrait sessions with the lads.
What gear do you mostly use and what bags do you use mainly?
I am totally a Nikon girl and have been since I could afford to buy my own equipment back in the early days. I generally use between 3-4 camera's on a match day. Nikon D4's with 24-70, 70-200 and 400 2.8. I also have a 14-24 in my bag and a D3s body which I use with Pocketwizards for remote photography. To protect all my equipment I use Think Tank Bags. I have the airport security and it's perfect for my kit and computer equipment all rolled into one roller bag. No more carrying heavy bags on my back with this gem! It's also great as it can fit into the bulkhead on most planes so travelling with it, like we do, is ideal. I have also got the Glass Limo backpack, which is great for my 400 2.8. I also have the Thinktank waterproof covers to protect my camera's when its lashing down with rain and the Thinktank pixel sunscreen for remote editing under the sun/rain conditions which is vital for real time photo editing and sending to picture desks!
Serena's work is often found at the clubs website nufc.co.uk and where you'll find Serena's archive nufc.photos