We take great pleasure in welcoming the talented and lovely Danita Cahill who is a freelance photographer and writer specializing in all things western.
Alli, thanks for having me today. What an honor!
How old were you when you got your first camera?
I got my first little Kodak point and shoot for my 10th birthday.
When did you start specializing in western photography?
I started “specializing” in western and rural images right away. My favorite subjects to snap photos of were the animals on our farm.
Do you have a western background?
I’ve lived my entire life in the Pacific NW, all but my first two years in Western Oregon. Most of my life has been spent living in the country. My husband and I and our two sons live on five acres. We keep lots of animals, including two dogs, a horse and a small herd of alpacas. I still love shooting photos of animals – mine and those belonging to others.
When I was nine, my dad hauled home a truck full of ponies. I bawled with joy. There was nothing I wanted more than a horse – and Shetland ponies fit the bill just fine! I’ve had at least one horse in my life pretty much ever since. My mare Koko, who I’ve had since she was three, just had her 15th birthday.
I rode Koko for over six years as a volunteer deputy with the Linn County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. Together she and I did armed security duty (carrying revolvers in leather holsters, true old cowboy style), appeared in parades, did community-service functions, and most importantly, did wilderness search and rescue on horseback.
What sort of photography do you do and how did you get started professionally?
I’ll answer the latter part of the question first. I’ve worked freelance and on staff for a dozen different newspapers over the past 30 years. I started out as a writer and sort of fell into the photography part of the program. When I started writing human-interest pieces, the editors wanted photos to illustrate the stories.
I’m also a photographer for Farm & Ranch Living, a national magazine, and a feature writer and photographer for Ruralite magazine, which is a regional. Sometimes my photos appear in Country and Country Living magazines.
Besides the newspaper and magazine work I also occasionally do wedding photography, and family and senior portraits. One summer I took photos of kids riding bulls for the riders’ parents and grandparents. (Please forgive the writing across the photos. I’ve had some trouble with photo pirating). Recently I did a dog photo shoot for a dog trainer’s website.
Ha! Thanks! That’s my daughter, Alyssa. She’s one of my favorite models. She’s a real cowgirl – a horse trainer, barrel racer and a past bullrider. Her husband, Kirk rides broncs.
To see more of my photography, please check out my website: http://cahillphotojournalism.com/
And my miracles blog: http://miracahills.wordpress.com/
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanitaCahill
Follow me on Twitter: @DanitaCahill.
Thanks again Alli, this has been a lot of fun!
A couple of parting questions for the photographer inside your readers – how old were you when you got your first camera? And what is your favorite subject to photograph?