I have know Holli for about 10years, first meeting at a mother's group, and she has done an amazing job photographing my children as they have grown. I am looking forward to seeing her new fine art product line and tasting some of the peppermint bark, dark chocolate truffles, chocolate snowflakes and snowman lollipops she will be bringing!
Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
I’m a mom and have two middle school age kids, I’m a co-leader of a girl scout troop, school volunteer, and also work for myself as a portrait / commercial photographer. I’ve been doing portrait photography for over 8 years now, and am currently taking a business break and getting back my creative mojo… photographing for ME.
I have a huge love for all things tiny and things that grow… so you’ll find me out in my garden most of the summer, usually with a camera in hand and macro lens attached… trying to take a photograph of the smallest bug or seed head.
In addition to photography, I have a love of candy making, in particular working with chocolate. Not only because it’s super yummy but also because it’s a great medium to create things with. I have made many cakes using real chocolate as decorations. How fun to be able to EAT your decorations rather than pull them off and thrown them away.
I guess it’s a fascination with figuring out how to do things and master it. And I love crafts! I tend to pick up a new craft and want to find out everything and all I can do with it and master it. Especially with photography. I’ve also got a biology degree and really love the mystery of things behind biology and science - like I said, all things tiny. So my garden is a huge inspiration.. doesn’t even need to be the plants I’ve planted, I’m inspired by a bunch of weeds or the small insects that fly around.
And secondly, along with my love for things small and growing, I think my children fit in there. All young children do… they can be so quirky and cute and they fascinated me. I so loved having them in front of my camera and be able to take their portraits back to my computer and study their expressions and moods.
Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
I’m really inspired by any woman who can create a work-life balance for herself and do the things she can enjoy while contributing to her family, and herself. I know that is a luxury for a lot of women. And difficult to achieve…believe me, I’ve tried! It’s not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. For those that make it look easy to the rest of us, I think they have probably worked the hardest.
I’m always inspired by people who go out, learn for themselves and work get things done.
And more specifically to photography, I first inspired to work as a photographer because I had a love of scrapbooking and really loved the photos most. There are some amazing portrait photographers in the world who do incredible work with young children and that blew me away. I have always enjoyed working with the younger set in front of my camera. My kids were quickly burned out on me taking their photos and so I decided to work towards it as a 2nd career which appealed to me as a flexible job I could do while being home with young kids. It’s hard to name names because there are so many inspirational photographers out there in the world.
Ok, I’ll name one of the very first inspirations who can really capture that magic of childhood with her camera… Jinky Art. Her work has changed tremendously in the last 8 years and she always comes out with ideas that are more amazing than the last.
What other passions do you have in your life?
I love to be outdoors… I work out three times a week at Blue Sky Outdoor Fitness with a great group of ladies…outdoors all year round. It’s the best! And I love to be on the water, kayaking or my new found love of paddle boarding. Being in the sun on the lake is amazing, and truly a gift of living in WA. My family. I have worked a lot of weekends and evenings and one of the main reasons I’m taking a break from my portrait business is so that I can not only find my creative self again, but be home with my family on evenings and weekends and really enjoy that time. It’s the best! And I relish it!
How do you promote your work?
For chocolate, I don’t promote it, it’s only through events like this when I can make chocolate and sell in an intimate show, and not have to worry about mass production. Keeping it to a handcrafted hobby… straight from my kitchen.
For photography - I have my website for portraits - www.hollidunn.com and I also use facebook (Holli Dunn Photography), instagram (2littlebirdies) and pinterest (Holli Dunn Photography) quite a bit. And word of mouth.
For my art work I have a storefront at Society6. I’m just getting going with my store and hope to expand it and start promoting it more soon. I also will have a blog up regarding my garden, photography and travels to help promote my fine art photography business.
In the future I’d like to be…
An expert in the perfect work-life balance, which is the toughest thing to achieve! LOL But I’d like to continue using photography as my main artistic outlet and then someday (I’m currently looking) find a job working in the creative industry, either in photography or graphic design, or even marketing.