Snapshots are Just Moments in Time: Remembering Today . . . Tomorrow--an Interview with Melinda Domi
What led you to become a photographer?
My love for photography and interior design came to me early. Using our family's home as a drawing board, my doodles were always of homes and how I would design the interior forever rearranging the furniture. This was helpful when I began working in Property Management as a Leasing Consultant in Dallas, Texas, and in the Washington DC Metro area. My job descriptions constantly included decorating model apartments, taking pictures to create albums and videos of each property inside and out, creating ads for apartment finder books, designing and sending out flyers (pre-social media), and to sell, sell, sell being consistently in top sales in both locations. Furthermore I co-created "The Apartment Locator Service" for Southern Management Corporation for David Hillman in The Washington DC Metro area in the 80's, which is still thriving strong today.
Not long after that, I married and we had two children. Because my husband traveled extensively for work, I was fortunate to have the option of staying home, which is where I took the opportunity to become involved with the schools and with our community. Again, I usually had something to do with cameras and video, so I embraced it.
When I first decided to be a photographer it was difficult because I didn't have the skills or opportunity for a higher education, so I learned on the job by throwing myself into the thick of it. At this point, the only thing I knew was how to take a normal picture and what I liked taking pictures of. Our children were young and in sports, so I began taking pictures from the stands, then from around the perimeter, finally progressing onto the field even obtaining a press pass from the local high school. At the same time, I ordered every photography book on the topics I was interested in along with learning how to build websites and to meet the demands of social media. I spent a lot of time in trial and error only progressing forward a little at a time. I did a lot of pro-bono work which was just a way for me to learn something new, which I did each time I had a new project.
My dream forever has been to travel everywhere and anywhere taking pictures for selling my art work. 20/20 hindsight showed me the many times in my past I had been given opportunities which included photography, videography and decorating in some way, and I realized what I had created and accomplished for so many I now had the courage and chance to do for myself.
I opened the doors of my photography business in 2005 but it wasn't until 2016 when I created PhotoDesigns for Interior Designs that things really started to take off. Among offering my natural landscape photo-journalistic images, I began to apply applications to create unique drawing-like artwork from selected photo image pieces. I wanted to bring interior space to life with my numerous themes for Homes, Offices, Hotels, Restaurants, Staging Homes and more: to match any decor or atmosphere you are trying to achieve. My goal is to "Un-Norm Your Walls."
The changes have been extreme from 2005 to 2018. I now have a social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Zazzle, Fine Art America, Pinterest, and Twitter along with my website own http://www.DominicoPhotography.com. This past year I was featured in a Pittsburgh fashion magazine PGH Avenue West. I also display and sell my artwork at a well-known chic art gallery, the Appalachian Creativity Center in Connellsville, PA, as well as in Rostraver, PA, at the newly opened Village Lane Shoppes, which offers antiques plus. My biggest business accomplishment came in the summer of 2017 when I won the "Close To Home" contest with The Bon-Ton Department store. They have an area within their stores dedicated to selling locally made products from local artists along with online sells. Bon-Ton has given me an incredible opportunity to be seen by so many more potential clients. In addition, I sell several of my collections available on two online stores, Fine Art America and Zazzle. Both allow me to incorporate my PhotoDesigns on a vast array of merchandise to sell directly to the public via the internet. They allow me to customize and create decor to tailor to any space in its entirety. Not just frames or canvas anymore: I can do shower curtains, beach towels, door mats, glassware, place mats, mugs, clocks, lampshades, blankets, pillows--you name it, and I can probably find it as well as customize it for you!
What is your favorite aspect of being a photographer?
I choose what I want to take pictures of plus I truly take pleasure interacting with so many different people. Most of all, I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind designs with the photographs I take: each one is unique unto itself. Most fun for me is taking pictures out of the passenger window while my husband drives us all over our amazing country. I love doing this because I never know what I'm going to get until I view it later: kinda like a box of chocolates. In addition, this method has helped me to get better at my on-the-fly timing.
What have you learned the most from your career in photography?
The true meaning of starving artist! You'd better have a good sense of humor and another income when you start out. Don't compare yourself to other photographers--be yourself. In addition, you will find many who feel the need to give their opinion with the heightened need to criticize, especially when they find out you haven't been "formally educated." As with anything else in life, not everyone will like everything you do. Period. It's your calling: not theirs.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to be photographers?
For me, when I look at art, it's about how it makes me feel, not that it was taken at a particular aperture or lens or if it was or wasn't on a tri-pod. I'm imperfect and so are my PhotoDesigns: that's what makes them so incredibly unique! Be true to yourself! Create your own opportunities: they don't all just fall into our laps. NEVER give up! NEVER allow anyone to tell you that you need a formal education to become who you are to live your dream! Sure the road is bumpy and sure there's times we must climb. Sometimes we must fall, and yes, sometimes we must fail in order to succeed. Sometimes the meaning of our success doesn't come quick enough. Sometimes we can't see our successes until we look back. But, is it worth it? YES! ALWAYS BELIEVE in yourself! Remember one way or another we're all in the same boat: you're not alone. Define your own path, push forward! Carry on!
What are your favorite features of being a photographer?
The world IS my office so I have no constraints. Beauty is all around us, and I feel compelled to capture as much as I possibly can by carrying my camera with me just for the fact I can't recreate the moments that have passed. My photos are about catching life as it happens in front of me: a journey with me--as seen by me. A point in time that can never be recaptured nor repeated. I take pleasure in creating distinctive pieces, something that is special and meaningful.
What is at the heart of your career in photography that you want your clients to take home?
When my clients look at their photos or PhotoDesigns I want them to be taken there: I want them to remember today tomorrow regardless if it's senior pictures, weddings, or my unconventional landscape PhotoDesigns. Since quality photos are an investment, I go above and beyond what the client expects--always trying to go the extra mile (most times with them not even realizing it, but I do).
All Photos Courtesy of Melinda Dominico
Melinda Dominico Photography can be followed on the following social media platforms listed below. You can "LIKE" and "FOLLOW" so you can stay in the loop!
Fine Art America--https://fineartamerica.com/artists/melinda+dominico/photographs