Photographer Spotlight on Liz Daly: Old School Cameras, Working in San Francisco and Advice for Budding Creatives

Back in October, we introduced you to the newest photographer to join the Poppy team, Liz Daly. She told us about her childhood dreams, her life as a professional photographer, and why she loves San Francisco so much. We’re back with part two of our interview with Liz.

Bay Area commercial photography

Photographer: Liz Daly

Bay Area commercial photography

Photographer: Liz Daly

When did you start learning about photography?

When first learning about photography, I experimented with a Holga camera, which doesn’t allow for control over the aperture and shutter. At the time, it forced me to respond to my surroundings and to trust my eye rather than think about the mechanics of a traditional camera. I have a few prints on silver gelatin paper and they are still some of my favorite images.

What was one of your first work experiences when you moved to San Francisco?

I was able to work with companies that had never even had a photo shoot before. I helped them implement their photography “system” and invest in the resources they needed to create higher quality photography with better production value.

What are the best parts of your career? 

Going to new places I wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and the day-to-day change in scenery. Meeting other freelancers and entrepreneurs who are carving out their path. Working with a fun crew and creative problem-solving. Being introduced to new music ­– there’s usually something good playing on set!

Bay Area commercial photography

Photographer: Liz Daly

Bay Area commercial photography

Photographer: Liz Daly

What advice would you give someone who wants to get started in the industry?

Approach every experience as a learning opportunity: reach out to photographers and studios, or really anyone connected to the industry, and do what you can to get exposure or a chance to be on set. Send a note of appreciation afterwards.

When you’re on set, make yourself valuable. There’s a lot that happens on commercial shoots, but it’s not always glamorous. Your effort and care will be noticed, and you’ll become a freelancer who people want to hire back.

Also, stay engaged in your interests and hobbies that aren’t related to photography. Meeting people outside my regular circle is how I landed some of my first “real” clients. Everyone needs – or knows somebody who needs – photography.

Read part one of Liz’s interview here. Connect with Liz Daly on Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Visit her website at LizDaly.com.

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