From Mess to Magic, By Gary Taylor

Gary Taylor, a fashion photographer, shares his journey of why sometimes we need to simply jump and believe that the universe will catch you.

I do not come from a place of great privilege. My parents did their best and gave me what they could, for which I am grateful. But I’ve always wanted more, and what I wanted most after my college in India, was education abroad. A Masters in Filmmaking from NYU to be more precise. When I found out that my parents could not afford the tuition, I’d hit a wall in my journey to achieve my dream. I was hopeless and disappointed, and I felt trapped and angry.

But, it is also at this moment in time that I started to believe in the magic of the universe. I sound crazy...I let me explain. Through a series of random events, living in a small town in Vasai, I met a wonderful woman. She was an established actress in the UK who was in town on NGO work. We became friends and she took it on herself to help me achieve my dream of studying abroad by helping me find sponsors.

Long story short, she helped me raise some money but not enough. So, after a year of trying, we both decided to stop. Yeah, I was heartbroken but for the first time, I had hope. Hope for my future, because this woman chose to help me when some of my family chose not to. And as a gift to me, she got me my first SLR camera.

I was overwhelmed by her kindness and effort. And, the world wasn’t a scary place any more. I had new ideas for my journey. From that moment on I decided to seize the future.

Within a month’s time, I saw magic unfold. A random conversation with a Facebook friend led to a job wherein I got the chance to assist a major Executive Producer on five major Bollywood films.

Two wonderful years later, when I was looking for a change, another opportunity fell into my lap. A random ad that a friend sent me, led to me winning a national fashion photography competition. And suddenly, a whole new career path was born.

Post the competition, I was still figuring out how and where to start. Right around that time, through Facebook, I found a photography query. A small online magazine was looking for a photographer to shoot the fashion week. I took a shot and emailed them. A week later, I found myself sitting in the press pit with famous photo-journalists. I was making no money, but I was happy to be there, and to be able to experience this world for the first time was exciting.

The images I shot that week, led to the birth of my fashion network on Facebook.

Supermodel Sucheta Sharma James was one of the first friends I made, and also the first major model who agreed to shoot with me. The images I shot of her majorly furthered my network and profile.

And six months later, during another season of fashion week, through a text on Facebook, the great and late Wendell Rodricks granted me permission to shoot backstage images for his show.

So there I was, with one show under my belt and on one faithful afternoon, a chance meeting took place that changed my entire life. I saw Mr. Sabyasachi Mukherjee in the lobby, I gathered myself, went up to him, and asked if I could shoot for his finale show. To my great surprise, he agreed.

And ever since, Mr. Mukherjee has been kind enough to give me opportunities to shoot for his esteemed brand time and time again. And in doing so, gave me this career, for which I will be forever grateful.

The point of this extremely long story is that you have to seize the moment because life is scary, but it is also unpredictable, and there is also a lot of magic waiting to happen. That said, you cannot be scared to take chances, you have to simply jump and believe that the universe will catch you. This is what I have learnt, no matter how dark it seems, no matter how lost and hopeless you feel, there is so much magic waiting to happen to you. You just have to seize the moment. Don’t be reckless though. Be good, be kind, work hard, and don’t let opportunity or dreams pass you by.

Following is an assortment of pictures from some of Gary's shows and shoots.

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