Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reflection and Appreciation

Two years and eight months ago, I decided to not to conform to a cubicle, refuse to live a bland boring life, and to officially and formally re-embrace that creative side of myself that I mistakenly left sketching in a notebook and writing in my journal back in grade school.  I haven't picked up a pencil and paper to draw or a pen and journal to write since probably 9th grade...and I missed it.  I loved doing both of those things, but I became consumed in academia, going to college, and getting a "real job" and forgot about those two simple hobbies that made me quite happy.  It wasn't until I moved from PA to MD in 2007, fresh out of college, when that feeling of contentment and excitement suddenly hit me again out of nowhere.  I went sailing for the first time, I took photos while sailing, and subsequently, a love affair began. The rest is history.  Since that last linked post, I went to photography school in DC and am actually graduating this Sunday.  I continue to assist multiple commercial and editorial photographers, am consistently booking my own shoots, have interviewed at places like National Geographic, and have officially registered my business, Lisa Dierolf Photography LLC.  So, for those out there who say they want to do something in life (anything), but end up convincing themselves that they "can't" do it and find more reasons why it would never work instead of more reasons on how they can make it happen, my advice to you is this: smell the coffee. Life is short and you need to make the best of it, so use your time and energy toward doing things you love, exploring something you think you might love, or just taking a chance on something completely outside of your comfort zone. Even if you don't succeed or end up not loving it, you'll have a new experience under your belt and you are one step closer to finding and doing the things you actually do love (even if you don't know what they are at this moment).  You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have a plan and goals in place.  Challenge yourself. Be scared, but confident.  React.  Jump on every opportunity.  Carpe diem.

During my from-scratch journey to becoming a professional photographer, I've been lucky enough to establish a professional relationship and genuine friendship and with some very influential people.  These guys each have a passion for educating, eagerness to provoke creative thinking in others and they each exhibit excellence in their own craft and style, which I very much admire.  I am eternally grateful to them for teaching me so much of what I know today - you are the Masters, in my book.  Meet my inspiration:

Mike Lappin is an imaging technician for both National Geographic Magazine and Nat Geo's map department.  A photoshop and retouching guru, Mike takes credit for working with the Nat Geo photographers to help make their published images and covers look their best for print.  I was lucky enough to study Photoshop with Mike over the past year and a half.
Mike is also an avid cyclist.

Former Baltimore Sun news photographer gone Blogger, David Hobby is the owner and author of Strobist.  I met David by wiggling my way into his blog comments for a chance to shoot at a local non-profit.  Since then, I've been lucky enough to assist him on a wide array of shoots with wide arrays of dynamic and inventive lighting setups - I learn something new from him every single time. 

Robert Rathe is a corporate, advertising and editorial photographer from Virginia.  Formerly on the board of ASMP, Robert's business expertise and know-how parallels his technical photography expertise making him the real deal.  I've had the opportunity to assist Robert and know that if I ever have a question, all I need to do is pick up the phone. 


  1. Very cool, Lisa! I am honored to be in such good company. And next time, I *promise* to be fully prepared when you ring the doorbell . . .

  2. Awesome work Lisa- so proud of you!! Can I assist for you now??? Hahahah!!!