Taylor Weidman G'09

March 8, 2018

"I've continued to collaborate and network with many of my classmates who have gone on to very impressive careers in the field and this network has provided opportunities down the line."

A photo of Taylor Weidman G'09
Taylor Weidman G'09

Taylor Weidman graduated from the photography master’s program in 2009 and is currently working as a freelance photographer stringing for Bloomberg and Getty Images in Asia. He is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

After graduation, I interned, then consulted at the Christian Science Monitor in Boston as an editor and photographer. The following year I was awarded a Fulbright grant to photograph the Loba people in Upper Mustang, Nepal, and continued to pursue-long term projects on indigenous issues in Brazil and Mongolia in the following years. Together with my wife, we created the Vanishing Cultures Project, which documented cultural practices and fundraised for indigenous groups facing rapid change. A few years ago, I started shooting for Getty Images and Bloomberg who both liked the portfolio I had built.

What are your job responsibilities?

For Getty and Bloomberg, I photograph assignments throughout Asia. Some of my work is assigned by an editor, but more frequently, I’ll pitch my editors different ideas for stories I think they might be interested in. If they are, we’ll talk about what kind of coverage they’re looking for, then I start doing a bunch of background research, reach out to contacts, put together access, hire a translator if necessary, and travel out to shoot the story.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

I loved my time at Newhouse. While I was there, I took as many documentary and photojournalism courses as I could to really improve my shooting as much as possible. Equally important, though, the courses also taught me how to put together a solid photo story/essay and how to make things work financially as a freelance photojournalist. We also learned video skills which I am asked to do increasingly frequently on assignments, and which I’m incredibly grateful to have learned in class.

What was unique about your graduate program?

The relationships formed at Newhouse were both unique and incredibly professionally important. I’ve continued to collaborate and network with many of my classmates who have gone on to very impressive careers in the field and this network has provided opportunities down the line. Bruce Strong, one of my favorite professors at Newhouse, sat on the board of the Vanishing Cultures Project and offered invaluable guidance in the work we were doing.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

I know what you’re looking for here, but the most significant experience I had at Newhouse was sitting down and starting a conversation with a cute girl in the multimedia lab who would eventually become my wife.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

My advice would be to make the most of your time at Newhouse. Take all the classes you can in your field, get to know your professors, but don’t forget to network with your classmates. Many of them will go on to do amazing things and these networks are invaluable as your own career develops. A collegiate spirit and resource-sharing with my fellow Newhouse alums has helped me make editorial contacts, land jobs, and promote my projects. 

Here’s some recent work from the last year:

Biographic.com

Bloomberg.com

South China Morning Post

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