We had the good fortune of connecting with Oliver Dillard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Oliver, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I personally always felt like I stood out from the crowd or in other words, was the odd one out. I felt like I saw the world differently and expressed my emotions just as differently. Photography was always my outlet growing up to express myself in a way that words couldn’t. Slowly, as I worked on getting better at photo, I realized I did in fact have a talent and instead of throwing it the the side, I should embrace and pursue it. It was hard to really accept that at first because whenever I told anyone my goals, the first thing I heard would be, “Well everyones a photographer nowadays with instagram!” which isn’t the most inspiring thing to hear but after finding the right crowds and just putting my head down and doing what I love I found the right direction!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work has a variety of genres… from portraits to landscapes to water photography. But with that being said, I really think I set myself apart from the rest of the pack with my water photography. I personally think you can feel and see my appreciation for the ocean and all things that come with it with those photos. For example, when I’m free diving and taking photos of marine life, I try to capture that creature in its purest/calmest state. On top of that, I want the colors to show those emotions behind the photos with the blues of the water, green tones of the kelp, and reds and oranges of the reefs. I always look forward to shooting in the water.
I got where I am today because of all the lovely support and encouragement from everyone I mentioned earlier. Without their support, I wouldn’t be even close to what I have achieved. It wasn’t easy and still isn’t at times, I still am a full time student at SDSU and have one more semester before I graduate. So juggling that and finding time to shoot or book clients can sometimes be hard but one thing I’ve learned to do through all of this is just to take everything a day at a time. It’s easier said than done but I always found myself stressing of the future and what it holds for me and I just have to constantly remind myself to put on the brakes and smell the flowers.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, its hard to fit everything in a week when you live in America’s Finest City! I think I’d start off with taking them to Las Cuatras Milpas, in Barrio Logan, right after I picked them up from the airport. (Given they land before they close and not on Sunday) From there, I’d have them walk down Logan Ave. and just window shop and appreciate the stunning art and murals around Logan. Maybe on our way home we’d stop at Northgate and pick up some fresh ceviche for later. The next day, Id take them through Balboa Park on bikes and we could walk through all the museum’s and enjoy the art and architecture of the area. Afterwards, we’d get take out from Panama 66 and just eat it on a grassy area and watch the planes fly over the city. On another day, I would take the diving at The Cove and La Jolla Kelp Beds! I love that area because of how protected it is so the visibility tends to be better compared to other places. From there, I’d take them to El Pescador fish market for lunch, their fish is so fresh. For dessert I’d have to take them to Bobboi Natural Gelato just Bec cause 1. they make the best gelato and 2. I used to work there growing up. On top of all of that, I’d make sure we have a day to literally just drive up the coast to Oceanside and back with no itinerary. We can pull over wherever and just enjoy one of my favorite drives up the coast. Lastly, I would 100% make sure they go to the OB farmers market. I don’t think one can go anywhere else in San Diego and see such a diverse crowd, the people watching is incredible and I feel like OB screams what tourists think all San Diegans are like.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I first and foremost want to give a shoutout to my family! They always were supportive and pushed me to achieve anything I put my mind to. On top of that, my friends Richard and Tanner for always being there for me when I needed it. It could have been something as simple as “Hey, can you check this photo out and tell me what you think?”, or picking me up from a slippery slope when I’m too critical on myself or the work I produce. They’ve really stuck through it all. Lastly, the company I interned for last year really helped me find my own style and ideas which allowed me to progress in my skill. It was a branding and creative workplace called “Made by Grizzly”, and I am so grateful to have had that internship. From the moment I walked into that place I knew I wanted a creative career and what I was pursuing was right.