Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall :: @combatcamera

Taylor Leal-Hall is a soldier and a photographer. He is from Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh is his adopted home. He overcame abuse, neglect and his own self to get where he is today. He was in the system during the timeframe when he was 12 to 18 years old, and his experiences taught him to be strong and courageous through anything, and to never let them see you with your head down. He now attends Robert Morris University for Journalism and Photography, and is also a part of the ROTC class of 2021. He is an enlisted soldier as well.

Taylor picked up his first camera, a Rebel T6 (RIP), a little over a year ago with dreams of one day being among the best of the best in the world at his craft and passion. He got into photography as an escape from his feelings toward his past and because a lot of his friends recommended that he pick it up.

Taylor’s selected photo means to him an expression of dreaming, something he has been doing his entire adolescence. Dreaming of one day not having to duck when he hears gunshots, or being harassed by gang members on the corner. Dreaming of one day of being out of the system and free to decide his own future. Dreaming one day of being one of the greatest photographers in the world. So far, most of my dreams have come true thanks to hard work and dedication, and I am hungry for more.

“Being selected in this gallery means to me that I am making headway in my goals, and that I must work harder to achieve more. Being selected in this gallery means I have a chance to show off this city that has welcomed me with open arms and have given me a second chance, and an opportunity to achieve my dreams.’

Taylor would like to thank one person in particular, his favorite professor of all time, and the reason he is here today, the great Hector Corante. Hector taught his first photo class, black and white film, and helped him fall in love with the art. Hector being tough in his critiques helped Taylor get hungrier and hungrier for the perfect shot, and helped define himself as an artist. Hector is now nothing short of a role model and a mentor, and he’ll be taking his classes three more times. Another person Taylor must give thanks to is Patty, who is RMU’s studio tech, and who he goes to for lens rentals and such. Patty has had to listen to him beg and plead to use lenses to shoot with and has been tremendously helpful to his success as an artist.