Interview: Photographer Ian Dooley
Ian Dooley is such a refined visionary with a supremely laid back and go-getter attitude — and we just had to interview him!
Where and how did photography start for you?
Photography started for me when I was 15. I had tried just about every creative outlet I could think of; writing, drawing, painting, I even played sax for a number of years, but photography was the only avenue that really stuck. My little sister had gotten a camera, and I just remember stealing it to take photos any chance I could. I was hooked. In fact my sister ended up putting a lock on her camera bag as a result of my thievery. later that year I became senior photographer for my schools yearbook. I got a job in a camera shop after high school and learned what I could from it and got to rent equipment for free. about a year later I moved cities because I got a job as a photographer / videographer for a business consulting agency.
How would you describe your vision and style?
The art of photography is extremely relaxing to me. it helps me focus and mellows me out. My entire goal with my photographs is to sooth the eyes, relax whoever is looking at them. Comparatively to how your feet feel when you first step into a hot tub. I usually stick to darker, muted tones while still trying to maintain depth in my images. But I still love to play with color. color, to me, is one of the most important part of portraying the feel or mood of an image.
What are some key elements in your work?
Well, portraits are my main focus, what I love the most. I work really hard at the photographer/subject relationship to help showcase true emotion. not a huge fan of most studio work so almost everything I do is from natural lighting. It feels like more of an adventure to get out early and catch sunrise or see how I can use the light I have to my advantage.
What keeps you actively shooting?
So I take photos for two reasons, 1. for myself. I get tones of photoshoot ideas all the time, if I don’t at least go out and attempt to create the vision in my head, its always looming at the back of my mind. If I let enough of those ideas build up, I LITERALLY start getting headaches. Its like I have a creative compulsion thats bound to who I am.
2. I want to evoke emotion in others! I want to tell stories and share what I see in my head with the world and hopefully the world enjoys it!
How has being a photographer impacted you and your life?
Most of my friends are photographers, and I met them through instagram. Most of our free time is planning photoshoots and trips together. its an amazing group of people who are always pushing each other to be better. I am a better person because of them.
What are some experiences that contributed to who you are today?
Almost all of the traveling I’ve had the honor of doing is related to photography. I go with other photographers and models or subjects and we hit the road, jam out, and just create. I get a change to play off of their ideas and learn from their styles. It is always a learning experience and always a blast.
How do you try to inspire others?
OKC and Tulsa has some of the largest groups of young photographers that I know of based on other photographers that I have talked to elsewhere. This community is so important to me. I do not have any formal education so most of my learning in photography (besides tons and tons of practice) was from youtube and hanging around other photographers that were better than me. practical application. So to pass on this in-formal way of learning and growing I often host “Insta-meets.” I will throw up a photo with details on instagram and I’m always amazed at the turnout! once we even had t shirts designed for it and it was sponsored by local businesses! being around so many talented people gives me so much life and is one of the most inspiring things I have ever been a part of.