TPL: Carol please tell us about yourself. When did you first consider yourself a photographer. How did you get your start?
CD: I was born in Hartford, Connecticut and currently live in Brooklyn, New York. I started my career as an Art Director/Creative Director, working first in Connecticut, and then spent the majority of my career in NYC. I worked at various advertising agencies such as Chiat/Day, Ammirati & Puris, and Ogilvy. I’ve had an interest in photography since I was in high school taking photos of my friends. In college I worked for the University of Connecticut newspaper for a semester, sort of an internship. I was given photo assignments and would go and shoot the assignment by myself, mostly photographing portraits on campus. In those days I used a Nikkormat film camera. In one photography class, I spent the entire semester working on a project photographing an Italian bakery and the family who owned it in the South End of Hartford. Pretty soon I was photographing all the family celebrations. I presented my project in a bakery box, with a box of Italian pastries for everyone to share. It was an amazing experience.
While working in advertising, I always did photography on the side just for fun. I took a weekend photo workshop at The International Center For Photography in NYC, where I discovered the Holga camera: a mass-produced toy camera which cost about $25.00 at the time. It took 120 film-a 2 1/4” by 2 1/4” negative. I would take that camera with me whenever I traveled for business while at Ogilvy, and on vacations. When a colleague saw some baby photographs I had taken she asked me to photograph her upcoming Huggies campaign. From that point on, I was photographing ads at Ogilvy and building up a photography portfolio at the same time. After doing this for a couple of years I decided I wanted pursue commercial photography full time. I opened a studio in an old warehouse at Industry City on the Brooklyn waterfront. I still have my studio, although I have been transitioning to doing only street photography. I’ll shoot a portrait in my studio on occasion. The studio has become my creative nest.