Taylor Nyman: Visual Virtuoso

Name: Taylor Nyman

Hometown: Monroe Center, IL

Major/Minor: Photojournalism/Theatre Minor

Year in College: Senior

Graduation date: Spring 2017

What made you select Winona State as your home away from home?

I chose Winona because this University had an excellent Mass Communications department. When I toured the school in 2012, I fell in love with the beauty Winona has to offer. As a photographer an attractive environment is something that I need to please my eye. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the docks down by Lake Winona and lie down and watch the sunset turn into a dark sky full of stars. Winona gives a peaceful vibe and I wanted to explore that aspect and continue my studies in a place that can give me that feeling.


Were you always interested in Photojournalism?

I was not always interested in Photojournalism. I originally wanted to be a marine biologist, but as I studied more about that field the thoughts of the dark abyss and creatures down below the surface of dark water scared me (haha). I got an interest in Photography when I received my first point and shoot digital camera when I was in 8th grade (at this point I still wanted to be a marine biologist but I was introduced to photography) and I was messing around with taking silly photos and then posing things and exercising my creative eye.  When I was a sophomore in high school I had been practicing my photography a lot more and I had opportunities to explore fun places, for example Paris, France and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I realized that my interest of photography grew more as I entered my Junior year and was getting ready to take the ACT. My parents were always asking me “What do you want to do with your life Taylor?” My answer was always the same: “Ummm I don’t know…I mean how am I supposed to choose something to do for the rest of my life?” Little did I know that I already did without knowing it.

I remember sitting down in my room and asking myself what were the most important things I value in my life and two things came to mind: 1. Photography and 2. Travel. So I researched what I could do with photography and travel and the search results told me about photojournalism. I looked at the word for a good long time and said, “Yep, that is what I want to do.” Since working in the photojournalism field for about 4 years now I can honestly say I love my job. I love telling people what is going on in their community and giving people a voice. I love getting to know individuals and listening to their life story about their passions in life.  


Where does your passion for photography stem from?

My passion for photography goes along with my outgoing personality. I love people. I love getting to know people. When I get the chance to show the world about what cool people I meet, that is a wonderful experience. Photography is more than just a pretty image. Photos capture a personality and share a story about a person’s life. I get such a thrill when I am shooting an image and I look down at the screen and see this person or place and what you feel is true emotion. Vivid detail to what you are experiencing is a gift a photographer can give.

What do you do on campus?

I am involved quite a bit on campus. I have five jobs that give me photography experience. I am a photojournalist for the Winona Daily News in town as well as the photo editor for the student newspaper on campus, The Winonan. I also work in the University of Communications office as a department photographer, taking headshots of faculty and staff and attending events used for promotional and marketing purposes. I work as an assistant in the darkroom on campus developing film and helping students for classes in the Mass Communications department. I also work in WSU’s Theatre department as their photographer, taking photos of productions that occur all year round. Other than working I am involved in the theatre club called Players. We attend plays and musicals around the Twin Cities and LaCrosse areas for fun and to learn from professionals. Other than focusing on my schoolwork and working my jobs I stay busy all year round. I make sure that I stay involved on campus and attend as many workshops and speakers as I can.


What are your short-term and long-term goals?

My short term goals include that after graduation to move to Austin, Texas and to get a job in the newspaper journalism field. I want to expand my portfolio by indulging in documenting city photojournalism. My long-term goal is to open my own studio photography business in Taos, New Mexico and continue supporting local journalism. I would love to get a job as a photojournalist for National Geographic, but before I can think about informing the world of global news, I want to support my own community and gain as much experience as possible.


Who inspires you?

I have to say that my sister, Alexandra Nyman, inspires me. She is four years older than me and lives up in the Minneapolis area. She pushes me to be the best I can possibly be and challenges me to keep up with improving the quality of my photographs. I love to go out of my comfort zone and meet new people and she helps me to reach out. I feel the most comfortable with her and she knows everything about me. We have a very good relationship and I feel that she allows me to be honest with myself and share my passions with her. I am lucky to have a sister I get along with so well; I love her so much and am blessed she is in my life.


How does it feel to be graduating soon?

I am so excited to be graduating! I am ready to explore what the world has to offer. I know that even though I am ready to move on from my college life, it is a scary transition, because every decision I make will determine where I move, what job I will take, what friends I have and so forth. It is a time to start over and challenge yourself to use your knowledge and test yourself to grow in your career. I am most excited to move across the country and experience a different culture. I have always been a fan of the south and cannot wait for the warm winters (haha). I will miss my family being up north, but I need to create a path on my own and find my place without any distractions. I want to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, and this opportunity will let me do that.

What advice would you leave to the next aspiring photojournalist?

Advice I would share to a photojournalist would be don’t wait for something to happen to you, just seek out opportunities. Never stop exploring and never stop creating photography. If this is a calling you will know, because you will feel this fluttery feeling in your stomach when you capture “the perfect photo” or you will always want to feel the camera grip in your hands and always have an interest when interviewing someone new. Photography is an art, and when people see my work I feel vulnerable, because I want them to like my art. Feeling vulnerable just means you are passionate about what you do. I like to live my life by “seeking adventure to share the world’s story.”