We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenneth Dolin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenneth, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I made a decision, early on, that I had to use my work as an entry way to helping and empowering my clients. To use my work as a photographer to empower people, to make them FEEL beautiful because I’ve connected them to their inner beauty. To help them find self acceptance through portraiture. I embraced the idea of doing well by doing good. The more I give, the more I get. My driving force has been the desire help others through my work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a headshot photographer, but really I’m a portrait photographer. I like images that are revelations of my client’s inner lives, that reveal truth. My mantra is a quote from Kahlil Gibram, “Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart.” So I come less from the external parts of making my clients beautiful than I do from helping them tap into the internal qualities that make them beautiful. I’m very direct as well, with the goal of getting my clients to know that they are enough. That they don’t have to try to be something other than self, because they are enough. I use a lot of laughter, a lot of love, stunning honesty and on occasion some provocation to get my client to STOP POSING and start living truthfully in front of my lens.
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.
Los Angeles is so diverse, so I love to show this diversity. And I love the ability to have amazing urban experiences on the same day that you can access the profound natural beauty we have access to.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I sometime wish that when I was starting out, I had a traditional mentor or coach. I didn’t. I was self taught in terms of photography, and in terms of building a photography business. I relied on instincts, hard work, and a lot of trial and error. Too much error. Which is where a good mentor would have helped. When I was starting out, and feeling uncertain, I relied on friends and family to encourage me. But what really helped was way back in 2006 I believe, the manager for Haley Joel Osment from “The Sixth Sense” called me out of the blue. He had somehow randomly my website and said he loved my work. I was doing fairly well at the time, but I had never shot a “celebrity” client. I was so honored that they called, and trusted me. I did the shoot, they and their agents loved the images, and the agency became profoundly supportive, recommending me to higher profile clients looking for photographers. The ONE person believing in someone fairly unknown, and taking a chance with me, opened things up for my photography business and really took me to the next level. Gratitude to this day for that early opportunity to shine. Sometimes all an artist needs is a chance to show what they can do.
Linkedin: Kenneth Dolin https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethdolin/
Facebook: Kenneth Dolin Photography https://www.facebook.com/KennethDolinPhotography/
Youtube: Kenneth Dolin Photograpy https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethdolin/
All images ©Kenneth Dolin Photography, All Rights Reserved