Talyn Sherer Photography
by Ted Scheffler
Talyn Sherer is a Utah-based photographer who takes dazzling photographs of the natural world and landscapes surrounding him.
He says, “Growing up, I have always had a desire to explore the world around me and hold on to little pieces of my travel---whether it was collecting rocks or climbing trees. This need to explore had eventually pushed me into the arms of landscape photography where I continuously search for new and unique angles and composition in order to showcase my subjects in a dynamic way.”
My style of work evokes a wide range of bold colors and graphic tones that have been a staple of my imagery since the beginning. It is through these bold colors that I hope to add a more colorful perspective on the world: for my audience to see life through a more enhanced lens.
Sherer’s route into the world of professional photography began at Salt Lake Community College. Sherer explains, “I initially pursued an associate's degree through SLCC in photography with the intention to work as a full-time landscape or documentary photographer. However, due to several financial hurdles and the decline in staff photography jobs, I decided to transition my degree to a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.”
“While enrolled in the public health program at Westminster College, I worked as an aide for the photography lab where I got the opportunity to see artists developing their skills in the early stages. This experience helped reignite my own passion for photography as I jumped back into the craft with the intent to grow my skill set year after year. Currently, I spend my time in the clinical trials office for Huntsman Cancer Institute where I hold a full-time position, while still working freelance to build and expand my work through various artist collaborations and freelance work.”
When asked why photography gripped him so firmly, Talyn says, “I initially took interest in photography because I wanted to capture memories of my family, the places I have been, and the people I have met.
For me, photography was a way that I could be transported back in time or across the world to another place in a way that no other art form had done for me up to that point. To hold a physical print of an image was to hold a piece of time and space that will never occur again in human history.
“It was this revelation that has drawn me closer into the field and has kept me hooked ever since. To this day my sole motivation is to find the best way to tell those stories and freeze that piece of time in a way that I only know-how.”
Sherer continues, “ As part of my general electives for college I took an introductory photography course that required use of a film camera. We spent months learning the basic functions of the camera and developed our own images in a dark room where they would be put on display for the class to critique the following day.
“After wandering downtown Salt Lake I came upon a woman who was with her child and was shielding him from the hot summer sun with a blanket. As she was about to cross the street, her child’s hand emerged from the blanket to touch her face. It was that moment that I picked up my camera and snapped a single shot. The next week in class I presented this image and was given an emotional response from many of my critics who felt a deep connection to that piece. It was that moment that stuck with me through the years and pushed me to want to pursue this more.”
Even when he’s in another state or a different country, Sherer always carries a bit of Utah along with him. “As a born and raised Utahn I was never fortunate enough in my youth to venture out of the state, so I stayed home exploring this little corner of the world we have carved out. This exploration has played an integral role in the way I compose my images and the elements I search for when crafting each photograph. While I have since ventured out to many cities, states , and countries since my childhood, I always take a piece of Utah with me, and carefully select shots that incorporate an element or two of my home state when I’m abroad. Whether it arches in an alleyway that transports me back to Moab, or the succulents of a Moroccan dessert that remind me of ones in Zion, I am never truly outside of our state.”
Sherer is grateful to have a supporting partner, “My wife Orchid has been the keystone character that has made this all possible. Without her support over the years, I would have never had the confidence to keep this going. She has been my biggest advocate and best critic: to keep me level, and help steer me in a better direction, especially when my more creative aspirations go a little off course.”
When asked what tips or advice he might give to anyone who wants to pursue photography, Sherer says, “The best advice I received was from one of National Geographic’s last staff photographers, Sam Abell. He said to me ‘Compose your shot, then wait.’ I have taken this mantra and expanded it to every aspect of the craft since. Photography, while continuously evolving, is something that takes time to perfect. There is not a single working professional today that isn’t struggling to become innovative and tell stories in a unique way. The best thing you can do is to compose yourself and wait for the best time to take your shot. Learn, grow and give back. Then do it all over again.”
Find Talyn’s work at www.TALYNSHERER.com, on Instagram @talynsherer, and at facebook.com/TalynSherer/.