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The Drifter

PHOTOGRAPHER, RHIANNON TAYLOR

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It’s been a few years since we first connected with interiors, travel and lifestyle photographer Rhiannon Taylor, and we have loved following her journey around the world ever since via her wanderlust inducing Instagram feed, @inbedwith.me. Having worked with the likes of Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue Living and TIME Magazine, we were fortunate to catch up with the talented Australian creator and new mom to learn more about her conscious travel tips, favorite hotels and where she’s dreaming of traveling next.

Tell us a little bit about how you got started as a travel photographer?

I’ve been a photographer now for 15 years, but I actually started out shooting architecture. This evolved over the years in to interiors, which led to hotels and hotels led to travel. So now I’d say my work and clients encompass everything from design to food and landscape. I never would have thought I’d be photographing the things I do now back when I finished university. Funnily enough, I still wake up and am genuinely excited to be a photographer after all these years.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Light, line and undone.

Describe a defining moment in your career.

There have been many. I often think a defining moment doesn’t have to be one of those “I’ve made it” experiences. I remember distinctly getting my first major client, over a decade ago and stuffing up the shoot. I was fresh out of university and upon reflection the mistake was very minor. But it made me never want to photograph again, I felt like such a failure and a fraud. But that was a defining moment because it forced me to do better, learn from my mistakes and lead me to where I am today. On the flip side, I’d say my first ever travel job about 9 years ago, to Kimberley, Australia, was a huge defining moment for me. It was 2 weeks long and it was such a rush. It was then I knew I was born to shoot on location. I never looked back.

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“Funnily enough, I still wake up and am genuinely excited to be a photographer after all these years.”

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When are you most creative?

First thing in the morning. I love the quiet and there’s something about when no-one else is around, ideas start flowing and I’m super productive.

Who and what inspires you?

Right now, my new baby Maia. Her smile is totally infectious and watching her learn how to move, makes sounds and discover the world is absolutely fascinating. It’s inspired me in a whole new way. It’s also made me be more present in the moment, I’m rarely checking my phone now because I just want to watch her all day.

Favorite Instagram accounts to follow.

@est_living is my favourite account for interior design inspiration (and a lot of my clients get featured on there so I might be slightly biased).

@tylynnnguyen is sartorially flawless and effortless.

@modaoperandi for all my whimsical fantasies.

@mister_tripper gets to visit all the new hotels, so he’s a great resource and his images are so clean.

Clare Press (@mrspress) is a leader in ethical fashion reporting.

I’ve always loved @humansofny but now more so than ever, I love reading each person’s story and being reminded that we are all unique and never know what someone is going through. It’s an account that brings people from all political views and backgrounds together. I think we really need that at the moment.

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Favorite place in the world to watch the sunrise / sunset.

Amanpulo in Phillippines for sunsets. Longitude 131 at Uluru in Australia for sunrise.

Favorite (off the beaten path) beach.

Felicite Island, Seychelles (48 hours of flights and boats for me to get there, very off the beaten path!). An otherworldly, private island with pristine waters, squeaky white sand and ancient granite boulders.

Favorite road trip route.

Anywhere in California, probably through Joshua Tree.

Go-to road trip playlist.

Just Chill on Spotify, it seems to know my preferences really well now. Sometimes I feel Spotify’s algorithm is inside my head, it’s scary.

Most magical hotels in the world.

Hotel Escenia, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Pure paradise, the best food and so secluded from the craziness of Tulum.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy. I honeymooned here and it was impeccable in every way, from service to views, food and design. One of those quintessential hotels that is on every luxury lover’s bucket list I think.

Aman-i-Khas, Rajasthan, India. Tented perfection by Aman—Need I say more.

Six Senses Ya Noi, Thailand. I adore Six Senses because they have such a focus on sustainability. From collecting their own water, growing their own fruit and vegetables, to reusing their wine bottles to make the pavers in their paths. One of my favourite hotel brands and this spot is beautifully private with stunning vistas. Best spas too.

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“Travel has the profound power to connect us with others and immerse ourselves in cultures unlike our own. It opens your eyes and changes the way you perceive the world.”

What are your carryon essentials?

Hand cream—What is it about your skin drying out on planes that is so irritating? Loose pyjamas and warm socks because I find I’m either overheating or absolutely freezing on a plane.

Best advice for living like a local when you travel.

Eat where the locals eat. I despise tourist restaurants more than anything because they’re always ridiculously expensive and underwhelming. If it’s full of locals, you know it’s good.

Where are you dreaming of traveling when the world opens up again?

It’s winter in Australia so I’m craving sunshine. Fiji, Bora Bora—any island!

How do you travel lighter and more consciously?

I used to overpack and then end up wearing the same thing every day when travelling so now I stick to tonal pieces that work with each other. Lots of breathable fabrics that will give me multiple wears so less washing. I don’t buy a lot, but when I do, I invest in quality pieces that last me forever (nearly) and I try and make sure I get at least 30-40 wears out of something (follow @ecoage for more info on the downsides of fast fashion). I’m also a lot more confident in my skin, so I don’t really pack makeup anymore and my whole regime is pretty “clean” so I’m not washing chemicals down the sink. I use reusable containers for all my products so I’m not wasting plastic bags etc. That said, I’m far from perfect and always looking for ways to streamline and cut back on unnecessary junk in my suitcase.

What has travel taught you?

Travel has the profound power to connect us with others and immerse ourselves in cultures unlike our own. It opens your eyes and changes the way you perceive the world. And I think that is a life lesson that is so quickly learned through travel.

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How do you embrace slower living?

At the moment, with our global restrictions, it’s been more pressing than ever to embrace slow living (we’ve kind of been forced in to it). Cooking every meal, reusing ingredients in different ways, it’s been an eye opener. And now that I’m ordering everything online, not just because of lockdown but also because I have zero time to shop with a baby, I’ve been loving sourcing artisans and producers with sustainability in mind. From my toilet paper to my cleaning products, I’ve shifted our entire household to be much more ethical and sustainable. No looking back, it can be done.

Everyday rituals.

My skincare regime, no matter how tired I am, because it feels like a mini spa treatment. And a healthy breakfast. I make overnight oats with chia and cacao, almond butter and banana. It’s so nutritious and sets me up for the day.

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Sleep in, long walk in the sunshine, no cooking or nappy changes (thanks husband) and lots of cuddles. Perhaps start a new book.

Philosophy to live by.

In a few days, weeks, or months, you’ll look back on this moment and laugh. So don’t worry.

RHI'S PICKS

Maria Farro

Aelia Sandal – Black

$185.00

Morton Mac

Liesel Dress

$285.00

Anni Lu

Baroque Pearl Necklace

$155.00

Hunza G

Square Neck Swimsuit

$250.00