While searching on Flickr for Design District images, I came across a beautiful collection of photography from Dallas-based photographer David Kozlowski. David has an impressive collection of photos of the area that truly intrigued me. David has a great eye and I admire his ability to capture the beauty in buildings that might seem old and worn.
The juxtaposition of the old warehouses with the polished, high-end wares inside the showrooms is a showcase of the true uniqueness of the Dallas Design District.
David was kind enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions about his photography, inspiration and time spent in Lower Oak Lawn.
Kendall Shiffler: What is your background in photography?
Dave Kozlowski: I am a self-taught photographer. I’ve been shooting digital photos for five years. My favorite subjects are Texas landscapes, western flair and architecture. Recent clients include Victoria’s Secret, Nike and the U.S. Postal Service. I shoot whatever comes my way, but my focus is on commercial work (mostly for the hospitality industry, corporate and corporate building interiors).
I was recently commissioned by the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas (across the highway from the Design District!) to create a piece for their newly-renovated lobby/front desk…if you are in the area, be sure to check it out…it’s an abstract image of the hotel’s modernistic exterior.
KS: Why did you pick the Dallas Design District for your shoot location?
DK: I enjoy covering a city’s different neighborhoods and districts. The Design District in Dallas is unique from other cities, and I am always on the search to shoot places that most other photographers don’t think about.
KS: While shooting, what stood out to you most about the Design District?
DK: The industrial ‘feel’ to the area, and how the different businesses have created their own, unique storefronts to attract passers-by. Of course, who better to add detail to their storefront than a business in the Dallas Design District!?
KS: What types of cameras/lenses did you use?
DK: I shoot with a Nikon D300 and a D80 as a backup…and if you promise not to tell anyone, I’m on track to sell over 50% of my images in 2011 shot with my iPhone! It’s not necessarily the equipment used that makes an appealing image to a photography customer.
KS: What times of day did you shoot and why?
DK: I never ‘plan’ my shoots. Most of what I do is captured spur-of-the-moment. I find that too much forethought can inhibit my shooting style. But to answer your question, the images were shot in mid-afternoon on a typical summer day in Dallas….harsh, glaring sunlight. I try to do the best I can with what the weather hands me.
KS: Which is your favorite shot?
DK: The image of the wooden shutters on the brick wall with the peeling paint. If I had my choice, I prefer to shoot ‘urban decay’. I look for unusual details, textures, shapes and colors…something in the subject that will help my photography stand out from others. My other favorites are the Cano Cafenol shots, the ones with the chocolate-feel with dark borders.
KS: Have you had the chance to stop and eat in one of the DD eateries? If so, what did you think?
DK: Unfortunately not, but I am looking forward to in the near future.
KS: Were you familiar with the area before the shoot?
DK: Actually, I had been hearing about the Design District for a long time….since moving to the Metroplex ten years ago. So, one day I decided to just go and check it out.
KS: Will you return often?
DK: The Design District is truly unique, and has a lot of potential to grow into something incredible for the city of Dallas, so, yes, I intend to visit many, many more times in the future!
KS: Did you have a chance to visit any of the design showrooms or art galleries?
DK: Yes! I have done some work for Carson Art, Adele Hunt European Collectibles, and Artizen Fine Art, and am extremely interested in shooting more of the Design District, when invited! Recently I visited Green Living, Anteks and Big Mango Trading Company. If you are a ‘visual’ person, like me, you will enjoy the Design District. One visit is not enough, and I always leave feeling that I want to go back for more.
KS: Will your photos be on display anywhere or can these photos be purchased?
DK: My photography is not currently on display, but it can be viewed online on my portfolio site, Dallas Photoworks, or on Flickr. I recently opened a new start-up website called Dallas Photo Shoots…it’s a guide to the best locations to shoots photos in Dallas-Fort Worth. Why keep them a secret, right?
KS: A big thanks to Dave for answering all my nosy questions and allowing us to feature his photos! You can see David’s most recent images of LOL and the Design District on his blog, DallasPhotoShoots.com.