“A diary is about the everyday and a life lived and Harris Taylor has harnessed that and taken on that power for the viewer with images that could become postcards, places to go, intimate affairs, as well as fleeting acquaintances; the familiar snapshots of a life”. Katie Stretton
Sophie Harris-Taylor is a British photographer, born in 1988 in London, where she still resides. She received both her MA and BA (Hons) in Photography from Kingston University.
Developing her interest in photography during her teenage years by documenting the lives and experiences of herself and her friends, Harris-Taylor’s work has gone on to win The BJP Portrait of Britain and be selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The Renaissance Photography Prize and The Young Masters.
Publications include, MTWTFSS: Chapter 1in 2016 and Sisters in 2017 through Hoxton Mini Press.
Harris-Taylor is renowned for her images created exclusively with natural and ambient light sources, which lend her work an unusual softness and depth. She embraces the challenges of working with natural light, liberated by the process of adapting to what she is provided with and to where she is led. Stylistically, Harris-Taylor draws inspiration from the Renaissance painters for their use of light, as well as cinema for its composition and storytelling.
A constant inquiry, often brought about by personal life experience, her work is largely comprised of research led projects that deal with both the familiar and the unobserved. Typically portraiture based, with some elements of place and surrounding and often accompanied by the spoken word, she uses people to express her own pre-occupations and concerns. Although seemingly diverse in subject matter and to an extent documentary, there is consistently some element of her own vulnerability. Regardless of content, Harris-Taylors’s work is crucially bound together by aesthetics, always seeking to in some way glorify that which is not conventional.
Documenting her own life and relationships with those close to her, her autobiographical journal MTWTFSS seeks to capture “everyday, forgotten nothings” – the everyday moments between two people shared in familiar, often mundane, surroundings, which she believes are more important and exude more truth than any other moments. The work is broken in to five year ‘chapters’, with the cast of characters and locations evolving in each. Harris-Taylor is currently working on Chapter 2 which is now in its third year.
MTWTFSS: Chapter 1 (2010-2015) was exhibited at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in August 2016.
Sisters is the culmination of two years photographing and interviewing more than 100 sisters in an effort to better understand this most intimate of bonds. Harris-Taylor’s tender portraits combined with short interviews reveal the jealousies, fears, love and laughter that co-exist at the heart of each relationship.
"This book is a celebration of sisterhood, in all its glory and with all its flaws." - Sophie Harris-Taylor
Epidermis has been produced iIn the vein of classic 'beauty' photography, it highlights and showcases the skins of women less often seen. Harris-Taylor was driven to create a series of work that empowers and allows women to love the skin they're, in regardless of its condition. “Suffering from severe acne throughout my teens and 20's left me incredibly self-conscious and I longed for ‘normal’ skin”
Harris-Taylor says that normality is defined by the images we see all around us, we are led to believe all women have idealised, flawless skin - they don't. Whether un-shown or simply disguised, many women have conditions such as acne, acne scarring and rosacea and many of these women feel a pressure to hide behind a mask of makeup, covering up what actually makes them unique.
Epidermis shows these beautiful women stand unashamed of baring their skin.
Sophie Harris-Taylor has taken part in a number of group and solo exhibitions, solo exhibitions include;
MTWTFSS Chapter 1. (2010-2015) at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in August 2016.
Group Exhibitions include; The & Partnership London, May 2018; XX, M&C Saatchi, London, March 2018;
Portrait of Britain (Winner), The British Journal of Photography,United Kingdom, September 2017; Via, The Summer Exhibition, Francesca Maffeo Gallery, Leigh-on-Sea, July 2017; Photo London, Somerset House,
London, May 2017; The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize , The National Portrait Gallery, London, November 2015; Young Masters Art Prize (Shortlisted), Sphinx Fine Art, London, October 2014; Renaissance Photography Prize (Shortlisted), The Wapping Project / Bankside, London, September 2013;
Bright Young Things, Artisan80 Gallery, London, March 2011; Untitled, Trace Gallery, Cornwall, November 2010; Signature Art Awards, The DegreeArt.com Gallery, London, August 2010; AOP Graduate Show, Association of Photographers, London, July 2010.
Featured and publications include; Refinery29, i-D, It's Nice That, Spiegel, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair Italia, The Observer (New Review), Buzzfeed, British Journal of Photography, It's Nice That, i-D (The Fifth Sense), Creative Pool, F-Stop Magazine, Huck Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, Jungle Magazine, Paper Journal, Glass House Journa , Seed Monograph, Kaltblut Magazine, Ain’t Bad Magazine, Artisan Magazine, Fotografia, Nailed Magazine, Of The Land And Us, Strant Magazine, Twin, Entitle Magazine, Foto Room, Fisheye Magazine