|Keri Duncan-McDaniel/ Snapped Images|
There’s always that chance that you’ll go through life doing one thing, only to find that your life’s passion is something else completely! In some ways this is the story of Keri Duncan-McDaniel, who still holds down a “regular” job while pursuing her passion for photography.
|One of Kerri’s first photographic jobs – shooting Snoop Dog|
What was the road that led you to do what you are doing today? I was in the security camera business where I trained customers on how to use their security cameras, both hardware and software – I love learning new equipment and figuring out how to use it and then sharing that knowledge to help others…..After being forced back into the job market in 2008, I volunteered at a local Coop Ministry while I was job searching. While I was volunteering I took tons of pictures of the people that came in and one of the other volunteers noticed, and liked, my photography work. He asked me to take pictures of some of the recording artists that came into his recording studio in Atlanta (Hello…..Snoop Dog) …..Through that, I bought my first DSLR camera and hit the books, internet, classes, even went to the Photoshop World Convention to try to learn as much as I could about the art of photography. In the meantime, in my job search (during a period of time where unemployment has been at a all time high) I found one with an Engineering firm! …….One that even though I am very thankful for, it is not my passion. I continue to grow my photography business to include maternity, newborn, engagement, family, events and even booked my first wedding – with the hopes that one day I will be working on my passion full time.
|Chris Price onstage at Vinyl|
What do you enjoy the most and the least about what you are doing now? I love spending time with people and capturing images that they love……most of the images I take are of peoples natural beauty….in settings that THEY love. I also love the fact that with digital photography the sky is the limit…..I have taken images and created some beautiful artwork that I have sold and also have put several pieces on exhibit around Atlanta. I like the fact that because there are so many great cameras out there, it challenges me to go a step above and create something more than “just” a picture……but that leads into what I like the least…..it is so competitive!
What do you wish you had known at 15? I wish I had taken education more seriously – unfortunately, I am the kind of person that if something doesn’t interest me, I have a hard time staying focused. I wish I had given more thought about what it is I REALLY wanted to do and what it was that I was REALLY interested in. At 15, I think fear of failure probably held me back more than I realized (That is what inspired one of my art pieces that I named “Fearless”)
|David Ryan Harris performing at Tavern 99|
What advice would you like to give to a youth wanting to follow in your footsteps? Get a degree!!! Even if it is not the same field you end up going into – it will open many more doors. I would also say the same thing I heard as a child……..figure out what YOU enjoy doing and find a way to earn money doing it. Try to learn everything you can about what you love. Don’t be discouraged that you can’t please everyone with the choices you make about what it is that you love…..Everyone HAS to work but it doesn’t feel like work when it is something you enjoy……..It turns into a hobby that you get paid for.
|Wesley Cook at Dogwood Festival|
Is there anything else you’d like for youth to know about you or what you do? It is hard to try to “reinvent” yourself the older you get, but life sometimes throws you curves where you have to find the next place that you belong…….Keep networking, working hard, learn new technology DAILY, don’t get discouraged along the way and don’t burn bridges because I have also learned, it’s not always WHAT you know…..but WHO you know.