About

Saray Taylor-Roman

artist | owner

Glamour photographer in East TN

About 

I’d like to tell you a little bit more about why I became a portrait photographer who specializes in beauty. I took my first photograph at 13 and I fell in love with the medium. But, it wasn’t until Maryville College when I developed my artistic eye and learned to develop my own film in the dark. My entrepreneurial journey began almost two decades later, when my daughter Sophia, was born. She became the reason I quit a stable and prestigious job to pursue my artistic passion. I wanted her to know that mommy followed her dreams and succeeded, and she can do the same.

During Sophia’s first year of life, I started the transition to become a business owner.  My mission was to create the most beautiful portraits my clients had ever seen of themselves. This quote from Frida Kahlo became my mission statement. 

“If I could give you one thing in life,

I would give you the ability

to see yourself through my eyes.

Only then, would you realize

how special you are to me”

As I networked to promote my business, I started looking at other women I met. Professionals, mothers, wives, young women making their way in the world – they all looked beautiful to me. My own experience told me that they probably didn’t see themselves that way. At that moment, I knew my portrait photography studio would be a safe haven for my clients where they would be pampered, and allowed to express themselves, and I would capture their true self in beautiful portraits.

My first year of motherhood was rough. I felt more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one because I thought my body was not ready to appear in photos. Looking through my family albums, I noticed that for a whole year I had no images of my daughter and me. And, I cried because my own insecurities had kept me from documenting such a beautiful year in our family. I couldn’t go back and redo it. So, I decided that it was time for a change. I didn’t know how to see myself as Sophia and Daniel (my hubs) saw me, but I knew it was time to stop hiding. Slowly but surely, I got back into my family photos. It was surprisingly difficult. But without me, something was missing and I wasn’t going to allow more regret in my life. 

I knew I had to experience being in front of the camera to better serve my clients. I didn’t know how it felt to be a mature woman being photographed by a professional who actually saw my beauty the way my daughter and husband did. Most photographers throughout my life had failed to see it and I had started to believe it wasn’t there. I flew to Los Angeles for my own photoshoot. It was so much fun and so nerve-wrecking at the same time! My photographer’s team did my makeup, my hair, and styled me. And then, there I was, in front of the camera. I hadn’t felt so vulnerable in a long time. Was I looking in the right direction? Was my smile natural? Did my nerves show? Would I love my images? She calmed my nerves, and gently coached me. For a moment, it was just the two of us, chatting and laughing like old friends. The camera disappeared. It was a journey of joy, healing, and self-acceptance. I didn’t just love my images, I fell in love with myself and that’s what I want to do for my clients. I believe this quote says it all:

“And just as the Phoenix

rose from the ashes,

she too will rise.

Returning from the flames,

clothed in nothing but her strength,

more beautiful than ever before.”

That experience made me very sensitive to the needs of my clients. I know how it feels to be alone in front of the camera, unsure of how you will come out. That’s why your comfort is my main concern. We’ll do your hair. We’ll do your make-up. We’ll eat chocolate-covered strawberries. We’ll laugh. We’ll become good friends. When we start taking pictures, you’ll be ready. Let’s meet over tea, coffee, or water. Tell me, how do you dream of being photographed.

Knoxville TN family photography

Knoxville family portrait photographer

Knoxville TN portrait photographer

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