Dallas Kolotylo is one of our Top 30 under 30 featured photographers.
Here’s a little bit more about him, what he does, and some of his best advice:
Tell us how you got started in photography.
I actually got started in photography when I was about ten years old. I was fascinated with my mom’s old Pentax SLR (which I still have by the way) On a road trip one day she finally let me actually hold it and showed me how to take a picture, then I was hooked. I played with that camera for years, then eventually I moved out and bought a 35mm SLR of my own. About six years ago I bought my first digital SLR, which gave me the ability to finally explore photography the way I wanted (taking thousands and thousands of pictures and not having to pay for film and processing) From that point on I was hooked. I finally took the time to learn what aperture and shutter speed and ISO actually are, and how they affect a picture, and just kept exploring. Shortly after we were married, Sabrina realized that I either needed to do this for work or I was going to have a very expensive and obsessive hobby, so she started building the business, and we have been shooting weddings together ever since.
Now that you are one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 wedding photographers, what’s next for you?
I’ve never really known “what’s next” to be honest, I just want to take great photos. We are starting to shoot more destination weddings, and that has always been a “shoot for the moon” goal of ours (to be destination photographers) so hopefully that will continue to progress. It is an awesome feeling to be recognized in the industry, and I guess it means that we are doing something right, but in the end we just love taking photos, and making our clients happy, so if that is what is next I’m happy with that.
How has attending photography seminars or photo conventions such as the Canada Photo Convention benefited you as a photographer?
This is a bit embarrassing, but to be completely honest, we have never been to any photography seminars or conventions. I did watch a creative live broadcast with Joey L once, and we also watched an episode of Chase Jarvis Live that had to do with setting your pricing and selling your work as a photographer, but that’s it really. The only convention that has ever really interested us has been the CPC, because there is always such a rad group of incredible speakers, and it is also close, but we have always either been traveling or working when it’s been on.
What does it mean to you personally to be a young wedding photographer in Canada?
It means that I’m living my dream. I love that I get to be a photographer, and I love that I can make people happy and give them lasting memories, because that is what photos are 10, 20, 30 years down the road, they are your memories. It means a lot to us that people trust us enough to let us capture their day, and keep their memories alive.
Tell us about a pinch-me moment that you had where you just couldn’t believe that this became your life.
Being named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30, and then shortly after being named one of Rangefinder Magazine’s 30 rising stars of wedding photography was pretty surreal for us. Sabrina and I both were kind of thinking “Is there some mistake here? What the heck is going on?” That was definitely a pinch-me moment for us.
What’s one thing you would say to another photographer that’s just getting started?
Do your thing. YOUR thing. There seem to be a lot of opinions raging around the wedding photography industry these days. Who and where and what you should take inspiration from, what the “real, meaningful, lasting” photos are and what you should be focusing on, and the classic “Insert flavor of the week here” is what is wrong with the wedding photography industry. The truth is, it’s all just somebody’s opinion, even this is just my opinion. Try not to let yourself be too influenced by the opinions of those in the industry that you view as successful, or those who seem to be living a lifestyle or have a presence that you would like to have one day, because everyone’s path is different. Take the photos that you want to take, and don’t ever let somebody’s arbitrary opinion of what you should and shouldn’t do as a wedding photographer dissuade you from doing your thing.
To see more of Dallas’s work, check out his website here.