We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Dolny and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Choosing to study photography at Ringling College of Art & Design. By deciding to go to a well known art school, I not only learned about Art in general, but I was able to be taught by some of the best in the industry. The knowledge I gained there was invaluable and would have taken me years to learn on my own. We learned everything from the basics of Art in general and built upon that knowledge as we advanced through our classes. Another thing I found to be extremely helpful at Ringling were the critiques of our work by peers, professors, and professional artists. Learning how to take criticism and give feedback on other people’s work is something that many don’t get a chance to experience until they are on the job. Family and friends don’t always have the heart to tell you that your work isn’t the best thing on the earth but a strong Artist should know how to take criticism and improve from it.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
While studying photography at Ringling College of Art and Design, I learned numerous tricks for lighting and learned how each part of the camera works so that I actually understand what each setting does when I shoot on full manual. Those things are reflected in my work and by the fact that I don’t rely on heavy editing after the fact. It has not been an easy journey getting to where I am today and I have so far to go still. The hardest thing was figuring out where to get started. Once I started landing a few shoots, I realized I needed a contract, and then I needed marketing materials like a website and photo packages. As any small business owner will tell you, I wear A LOT of hats. All of them really. Sometimes I’ve been told by people that my job is “just taking a quick picture” and they don’t seem to understand that photography is really 80% business and only 20% shooting. Something I’d love for people to know about my brand is that I try to learn about my clients so that I can help them tell their story through my photography. Without understanding them, I can’t capture the spirit of the moment. Plus, it’s way more fun to photograph people when you’re passionate about the project.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. In your view what are some of the most fun, interesting, exciting people, places or things to check out?
I like to do a little bit of everything, and Atlanta has a lot to offer! I love animals and being out in nature so I’d start off by finding some trails to hike in North Georgia ( Lula Lake Land Trust, Blood Mountain, or Stone Mountain) and then maybe go to the barn to visit my horse. We have tons of amazing food from a lot of places, my personal favorite is sushi so we’d need to get it at least once. I love exploring the food options in Ponce City Market. Another one of my favorite places to go is the iconic dance club, Johnny’s Hideaway. I love dancing to some good “oldies”. Then We’d obviously have to go see the adorable otters at the Georgia Aquarium or Atlanta Zoo.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As generic as it sounds, I want to give a shoutout to my family and friends. They constantly support me and push me to keep following my dream. I wouldn’t be able to do this full time without their love and support. Equine photography is one of my specializes and in March of 2020 ( right before covid), I went on a retreat dedicated to equine photographers. I also want to give a shoutout to a group of equine photographers I met while on that retreat. We’re a group of 6 ladies that have all kept in touch and are constantly chatting and encouraging one another to be the best we can be.
All images belong to me ( Lisa Dolny Photography)
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