photographer feature | allison dandrea

Allison Dandrea


Lady Lake, FL

Who or what sparked your interest in photography?
I was a fashion major at art school and decided to take a beginner photography class. I fell in love instantly and changed my major as soon as I could.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Ellen von Unwerth, Paolo Roversi, Alexei Hay, Idha Lindhag

Do you have any formal education in photography or are you self taught?
I went to Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography & Art History :)

Is photography your career?

How long did it take you to turn photography from a hobby into a career?
I was a fashion design major at art school when I discovered how much I loved photography. I took a beginning photography class and instantly fell in love. That following summer, I decided to go pro and here I am today.

Do you currently do portrait work as part of your career or does your income primarily come from print sales and publications?
When I first started out, I made money based off portraits, mainly shooting for fashion model's portfolios. Now my income is primarily based off my print sales and publications.

Are you currently working on any photography projects?
24/7. I always have personal projects I'm working on, along with trying to get my work published (and self published)/in galleries. In the future I would love to shoot for Anthropologie & Elle Decor.

Where have you been published thus far?
F-Stop Magazine, Method Press Magazine and I am currently shooting the Spring/Summer 2012 Catalog for Lilly & Kate (Vintage inspired clothes & jewelry, handmade soaps and home decor).

What is your favorite thing to photograph and why?
I was originally known for my fashion and portraiture but I needed a break from the familiar so I started to shoot stills. I feel like I cheated on my fashion work because I'm getting even more recognition for my stills than anything else. People were so easy to photograph, well anything fashion came easy to me. Objects were more of a challenge for me and still are to this day. So my favorite thing to photograph would have to be a 50/50 tie between people and objects. They both have their challenges and rewards.

Where do you find and how do you instruct your models?
My models are mostly people I know. But I have shot people I really don't know and that can always be interesting. I shoot with a plan in mind, always. I bring photo references of the poses I would want (sometimes I even show the model). Mood music also plays a huge role.

So you listen to music while you shoot... What is on your photo shoot play list?
Absolutely. The music I play depends on the shoot, or the mood. I'm a huge pandora fan. I don't want to have to make mixes all the time so I queue up pandora instead. My stations range from Ambient to JPop to The Roots.

What is in your camera bag?
Canon 50D, Lensbaby Composer, 100mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 & 85mm f/1.8 lenses and Skittles (models can get cranky sometimes).

What is your favorite lens and why?
85mm f/1.8. The 100mm is great for portraiture, fashion and whatever else but you can get within a normal range with the 85mm. I use this lens on a daily basis and it's totally worth it.

Where do you find inspiration?
Absolutely everywhere. Lately it's been fruit, maybe it will be hair next week.

Future photography goals?
Shoot editorials for Anthropologie & Elle Decor. Also I would love to have my work in the Gagosian Gallery in NY.

Describe a day in your life that includes photography:
I bring my laptop with me that has a folder of references or I'll just bring physical sketches with me. I use a lot of natural light so depending on the situation I will bend the light to my liking (which would take about 5 minutes- half an hour sometimes). The shoot will last about 3 hours (for models, they get 2 10 minute breaks). Tear down will take about half an hour and then I go home and sift through the photos in lightroom.

What does your work flow consist of?
About 1,000-1,700 images per shoot, then sifting through them to about 10 images total (in lightroom).

Three interesting facts about yourself?
I love reading sci-fi novels, I'm currently learning Haitian Creole, and I love taking night walks in the city.

What, if anything, do you do to promote your photography?
500px, flickr, facebook page, twitter, tumblr, artlimited, blucanvas, arrtflakes, etsy, blogger, society6, and I send my work to galleries/magazines.

It sounds like you have a great system for sharing your work, approximately how much time do you spend per day/week on promoting your work?
I'd have to say that I spend about 3-5 hours every couple of days. It's alot of time out of my day, but in the end it's worth it (although an intern would be nice).

Check out more of Allison and her photography around the web:
blog | facebook | website | twitter | tumblr


  1. These pictures are so beautiful! I love how simple and neat her photography is, there aren't a lot of effects added but the images are stunning. I'm definitely going to follow her photo blog! Thanks for introducing me to such a great photographer<33


  2. I love her work! And I want a Lensbaby Composer sooo much, that's such a nice creative lens!

  3. Loving the vintage look of these!

    ♥ sécia

  4. oh wow, this photographer is stunning - thanks for sharing!