Meet Saray Taylor-Roman: The Woman Behind Taylor-Roman Portrait
Behind Taylor-Roman PortraitRead Saray's story and the journey to a successful photography business.
College Education and Career Beginnings
Saray went to Maryville College for International Studies and Education. Photography was not her “Plan A.” After graduating, she got a job as a high school Spanish teacher. Saray stayed at this job for 7 years but was quickly burnt out. She knew this was not ultimately what she was meant to do.
Leaving a secure, full-time job is daunting. The unknown of starting a business is a leap of faith, but Saray wanted to do something worthwhile. If she was going to put this much time and effort into something, it needed to be something she was passionate about. She then returned to her passion for photography.
Saray doesn’t come from an entrepreneurial family. Starting a business didn’t even seem like an option for her. Her family members are mostly engineers or teach engineering. Because of this, a teaching job was almost a requirement and there was a “set path” for her life that she felt she had to follow.
Fortunately, she realized she would never be fulfilled in her career doing something that she didn’t want to be doing.
Passion for Photography
Ever since she was a little girl, Saray loved photography. She had a camera in-hand from the age of 13 but it didn’t cross her mind for a long time that she could make a living from it.
However, this passion lied dormant for a while. Saray had a bad experience with a photographer that came to take pictures of her and her family when she was young. This photographer made Saray feel like she wasn’t worthy to be in front of a camera. For someone as young as she was, this was very discouraging.
After a while working as a teacher, Saray rediscovered her passion. She picked up the camera again and had a mission to give people an amazing portrait experience.
Starting Taylor-Roman Portrait
Like many other businesses, startup is difficult. There’s not a road map or manual that has all the answers. However, Saray quickly found success from the education and work she put in. Shew was able to more than replace her teaching income with income from her photography business.
Starting a new job means new skills are required. Yes, Saray had been taking pictures for a while, but she didn’t have professional mentoring or education beforehand. Then, Saray discovered CreativeLive classes and Sue Bryce Education videos. She was able to learn both the business of photography and the artistic skills of photography.
Saray slowly put together a portfolio. At this point, she was still working as a teacher, but she was preparing to leave. One of her first clients was a catalyst for her business when this client asked Saray to take portraits of her daughter. This was a huge sale for Saray and gave her the courage and the ability to leave her teaching job for good.
Overcoming Challenges Behind Taylor-Roman Portrait
Something people don’t normally talk about in relation to entrepreneurship is self value. In order to leave a somewhat secure job and venture out to do your own thing, you have to be extremely confident in what you’re doing. You have to know it’s going to work. You have to know you’re worth something.
However, this is easier said than done.
Saray knew what she had to offer was valuable. It was just a matter of believing it and having confidence to charge what she needed. (Sue Bryce talks about this extensively in her photography courses under self value.)
This was a process to get to where Saray is now. The confidence and self value didn’t come at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, Saray was able to overcome this and operate without the fear of rejection or failure controlling her. The more you operate in a place where you want to be, the more it becomes second nature.
Learning to Value Time
At the beginning of Taylor-Roman Portrait, Saray simply had a goal to get in as many clients as possible. This meant taking any client at any point of the week with no schedule boundaries. Quickly, this became a problem. Saray was moving towards burnout because there was no specific time of the week where she was able to rest. There were too many clients and too much work to do.
Saray fixed this problem. She created a schedule for the business: 8am-6pm Monday through Friday, and weekends they’re closed. Saray now had time to spend with her family. To recharge. To reinvest in the business. She learned to value her own time as much as she valued her clients’ time.
Words of Wisdom
For someone as successful as Saray Taylor-Roman, there’s always something to learn. Here is Saray’s piece of advice to the young entrepreneur.
Advice for the Young Entrepreneur
Saray tells the young entrepreneur to find a unique style and niche and capitalize on it. Nobody is going to want your business if you’re just like everyone else. What makes you different? Find it. Use it.
She also says to learn to value your service from the beginning. It’s only going to help you to know that what you have to offer is something people will want. If you don’t believe that, your clients aren’t going to either. Leave the client with a pleasant experience and something they can cherish for the future.