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Inspiring Conversations with Taylor Mohr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Mohr.

Hi Taylor, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Sure! Photography has always been a huge part of my life. My grandfather and my father both always had cameras in their hands, so growing up, I always had a camera with me. My first real memory of it was in second grade when my elementary school had a photo contest. I entered in a photo of an old, rusted mailbox and later on I found out my image had won the contest.

In my early twenties, so much in my personal life was changing that I decided I needed a job that was unlike anything I had done before. Bliss 101, the Art Gallery in Encinitas, was hiring and I knew it would be an amazing job. They hired me and I got to learn about the talented Artists, the creative methods and styles they worked with and see the beautiful new art pieces that came into the store each week. A few months into my new job, I noticed the Gallery had an Instagram and Facebook account that were not as up-to-date as they could be. I spoke with Bliss’ owner, Helen Zeldes, about an idea I had that might make for a fun post. She told me she did not have anyone running them and gave me all the social media platforms to manage. I got to showcase new artwork and the Artists, the wonderful customers and I was thrilled to be doing so.

About six months later, I had posted on my personal Instagram account my VW Bus image. The next day, Helen called me and asked, “why did you not tell me you were a photographer?” I didn’t know how to respond since I had never thought of myself as one. She continued, “when you are ready, I know an Art Gallery that would love to showcase your work.” And with that statement, Helen changed my life. I worked hard on creating a portfolio and getting my images printed. I had my Art Show with Bliss and my photographs started selling that evening!

A year or so later, I was reading Carlsbad Magazine and saw their contact information inside. I sent over my work and shortly after was sent my first assignment. I was ecstatic! The Magazine sent me more assignments as the months went on and I was getting busier with my own photography business. I had less and less time and eventually had to make a decision. Do I stay with the Art Gallery or do I take a huge leap of faith and focus on expanding my Business? I came to the conclusion that I was being given an opportunity to grow, as a Business and as a person. Even if I didn’t know what my next step would be I had to go for it.

I am now Staff Photographer and manage the Social Media for Carlsbad Magazine And I am beyond grateful to be part of them. I get to showcase small businesses and help support the incredible Carlsbad community.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Anything in life will come with its struggles. The point is, are you willing to work for it? What chances are you willing to take?

Owning your own business is challenging because it is 24/7. This is why I took the time to decide if I should leave the Gallery to pursue this. I knew it would require all of me. However, as long as I am consistent, it runs smoothly. While it is a lot of responsibility, having your own business is incredible because it forces you to become the best version of yourself. It challenges you to create what you want in life. It shows you how much you are capable of. There will be times you will surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish if you put the work in.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Portraits and Macro are my absolute favorites but I take everything from Landscapes to Dining. I think what sets me apart is that I am fun to work with. It is important to me that everyone I work with feels seen, heard and included. I don’t believe in being difficult or having a bad attitude. I am there to be part of a wonderful moment and hopefully add to the experience of it.

I am most proud of the fact that I took the risk to get here. Because I did, I have had incredible opportunities to work with absolutely amazing people. I offer my matted prints at Bliss 101 and any of my work can be purchased either on my website or my Instagram.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Be willing to work hard for what you want. I have decided that there are no days off when owning your own business, just breaks in between working. Time management will remove the majority of stress from your life. Do not try and multitask! Give one thing – at a time – your full attention and everything will move much quicker. Get involved with your community and out of your comfort zone, you have no idea what opportunities will present themselves.

The most important is to not get upset about the time it takes. Businesses grow over time, not overnight, so there is no need to stress to have it all done immediately. You are on YOUR path. There is no time frame for following your calling.

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