Donald Graham is an esteemed portrait, fashion and fine art photographer whose work is internationally renowned. His photographs are haused in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the International Center of Photography. To date, over 400 publications have featured his work, in addition to numerous advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.

Donald has received awards from Nikon, Hassleblad, Communication Arts, the American Society of Magazine Photographers, the American Society of Advertising Photographers, and others. ‘Bobby Lujan, Taos, New Mexico’ is his winning image of the Portraiture & Celebrity category of our 2022 Spotlight Awards.

Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?

Donald Graham: This is a featured photograph in my book, ”One Of A Kind” published by Hatje Cantz and available in bookstores and Amazon worldwide. This photograph is part of a series of photographs of Native Americans who live in the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. It was shot with an 8”x10” Deardorff camera on Poloroid film.

Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2022?

Donald Graham: It is very satisfying to be recognized by my peers while making photographs I feel have depth and substance.

Production Paradise: What makes your photographic style stand out?

Donald Graham: My photographs are authentic explorations of the human condition.

Production Paradise: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Donald Graham: I draw my inspiration from seeking to make consequential photographs about the people and world I live in.

Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.

Donald Graham: I made a conscious decision to become a photographer and began my career as an assistant to well-known photographers in New York and Paris.

Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?

Donald Graham: To become successful requires a unrelenting desire to not only make the best photographs possible, but especially in one’s early years, work with and make relationships with the photographers, photo editors, art directors, and creative directors you most admire.

Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?

Donald Graham: I would probably be a writer, but being a photographer is what I really love the most.

Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?

Donald Graham: I’m continuing to work on the type of photographs that I published in my book, One Of A Kind. Additionally, I’m working on a series of abstractions in nature.

Production Paradise: Spotlight Awards had a judges’ panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?

Donald Graham: Not really. I selected what I personally thought was most representative of what I do.

Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?

Donald Graham: I consider these to be important awards with an impressive panel of judges and was excited to participate.

We would like to thank Donald for taking the time to share her experience with us! If you would like to see more of Donald’s work, you can visit his website or Production Paradise member page.

Keep coming back to our blog for more interviews with the winners of Spotlight Awards 2022!