Finding your niche within a niche - Michaela Taylor explains
Over the years, memobottle has had the privilege of collaborating with Michaela Taylor, a gifted creator and photographer from the vibrant city of Melbourne.
We’ve watched her build a name for her unique brand of photography where she’s known for creating minimalist scenes with dynamic compositions, clean lines, and aspirational qualities. Her style aligns seamlessly with the memobottle aesthetic, making her our go-to photographer for 5 years now. If you've followed our journey, chances are you've encountered her awe-inspiring work across our socials and website.
More recently, we’ve seen her dive headfirst into a career as a content creator, sharing her fitness and wellness journey in a format that we find refreshingly wholesome.
Having found her niche not once, but twice, we wanted to quiz Michaela about the secret to breaking new ground in crowded spaces like photography and content creation. We explore her diverse passions and gain valuable insights on how to find your own path and - more importantly - stay on it. Join us as we explore the world through Michaela's lens.
Behind the scenes at our latest shoot with Michaela
We’ve had the absolute pleasure of shooting with you for 5 years now. When and how did you get started with photography? How has it changed for you since?
I started taking photos during high school as a hobby. I loved arranging aesthetically pleasing flat-lays, styling objects, and capturing the corners of my favourite cafes. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of my page, my style has evolved from desaturated, ultra-bright images shot and edited on my iPhone to now DSLR images, edited in Lightroom in a refined, balanced style.
The most recent change I’ve seen in my work is a shift from solely photography, to now offering videography with my packages. With the shift of focus to reels over the years, many of my existing clients are requesting video-based content. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of bringing my existing minimalist style to life with videography and starting from scratch with a new skill.
Over this time, we’ve seen you develop a strong and consistent style. How do you balance your growth as a creative while maintaining the consistency you’re known for in your work?
Establishing a strong mission statement is imperative to achieving consistent, distinct work and clientele. I’ve always come back to the statement “less is more”; it helps to filter the decisions I make in the clientele I take on, the styling direction I propose, and my execution of work.
I believe the key to balancing growth as a creative, while maintaining consistency, lies in saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities that are uncomfortable and saying ‘No’ to “easy” work that may pay well but genuinely does not align with your values or long-term goals.
Giving myself the freedom to just create, without any pressure [...], has allowed me to delve into new mediums and experiment with styles that I would previously shy away from.
Minimalist photography has become such a popular genre, yet you’ve still managed to successfully carve out a strong niche for yourself. Do you have any tips for creatives trying to stand out from the crowd?
- Set visual goals. Draw inspiration from 5-10 different sources and understand what about each of them makes them stand out. Study patterns, and understand what the X factor is.
- Bring value. Always underpromise and overdeliver. This breeds trust and builds rapport, this is how you will generate returning clients who will recommend you to others.
- Don’t replicate what already exists out there. In order to stand out, you need to be filling a hole that is empty.
Less than 2 years ago (according to Instagram), you began your foray into becoming a fitness content creator. What’s it been like stepping in front of the lens and sharing this part of your life?
Terrified as I was when I first began, it actually has cultivated and developed my skills behind the camera. Learning how to shoot myself, in an environment with lots of uncontrolled moving pieces (eg. Lighting, equipment, people) is much more complex than I first thought. I initially wanted to keep my personal page and work page separate, to maintain professionalism. However, I’ve found that collaboration between the two has actually helped me build rapport with my clients - as well as garnering interest from new clients in the fitness space. I’ve also noticed a significant shift in the confidence I have in my work, value, and decision-making since investing more time into my health and fitness.
We did the math and you’ve posted 6 times a week since you started your fitness account. We’re impressed but not surprised as it seems there’s a theme of consistency and discipline in your life. Is it as relentless as it seems and was it always this way? How do you make sure you ‘show up’ every day?
I stick by the words “You can not fail, if you do not quit”.
Creating my secondary page ignited a spark in me that I haven’t felt burn for several years. While I love creating for clients, with a brief and very specific creative direction - it can easily burn you out if you allow it to.
Giving myself the freedom to just create, without any pressure from a client to fulfill deliverables, has allowed me to delve into new mediums and experiment with styles that I would previously shy away from.
Showing up for me equates to discipline. It means I can’t rely on motivation or give in to emotions. I just don’t give myself the option to skip a day.
What is the one thing you’re obsessed with / loving right now?
My standing desk + walking pad. Perfect for days of just editing and admin. I’m walking on it as I type, I love that it allows me to kill 2 birds with one stone.
Michaela Taylor is a freelance Digital Creator/Photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Check out her works at michaelaltaylor.com and follow her visual portfolio at @michaelaltaylor and fitness and personal account at @kaylatayla_.