Donnie Dahlen – Class of 2015

What is your job title and what are your job duties?
I currently run my own business, Donnie Dahlen Photography.  Along with running my own business, I also assist for a fashion photographer and an Interior/Architecture photographer. My duties include advertising, marketing, networking, printing orders, editing, album designing, keeping up with social media, and bookkeeping/taxes… just to name a few!

What are some of the things you like best about this job?
I love the flexibility and diversity that being a photographer provides. I like capturing moments that last a lifetime. From a couple’s first kiss on their wedding day to their newborn baby. Some of the product photography I’ve done was featured in Fortune 500 Magazine; Also, I shot a music video for R&B artist, Marcus Allen.  I also enjoy the adventures my assisting job provides.  I go from assisting in Maine with snow covered ground to assisting in sunny South Beach, FL just a few weeks apart.

How do you see yourself using your photography skills in the future?
Eventually, I plan on one day running my own studio, until then I will continue to learn and grow my business with each new client.

How did your education at AMP prepare you for this job?
My education at AMP prepared me to handle just about anything that photography can throw at me. Photography is so much more than pushing a button on your camera.  AMP has taught me the equipment and skills I need to not only execute my photographs artistically but technically as well. AMP also taught me how to properly set up and run my business. All the while providing real-life experiences for me and my classmates, which were priceless!

What is your fondest memory of AMP?
My fondest memory of AMP would have to be the different experiences that I had.  We had a mock wedding, we shot commercials for a bank on location, I filmed a dance recital and a video for a children’s book that used sign language. Also, Nemo Niemann, a fashion photographer came in to teach us fashion; they brought in models, makeup artists, and hair stylists to work with the students. Another favorite was when I had the opportunity to photograph the Civil War relics for the National Park Service. Having to white glove and move actual Civil War relics was cool. Since I am also a nurse, I requested to photograph the medical supply relics which included a medicine bottle and hacksaw used for amputation.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering pursuing the photography field?
Take a chance and go for it!  Anyone and everyone uses Social Media to either promote their business or share their lives. What do they all need? Photographs and Videos! AMP covers both. If your passion is photography/video production, AMP will provide you with the skills to make your “hobby” into a rewarding career.

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