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Meet Dolly Ave of

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dolly Ave.

Dolly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Photo and video have always been a part of my life. I had a childhood in which my environment was constantly changing and documenting was just natural instinct. That began to change when the internet became bigger.

I started to use media as a way to market myself as I got more involved in the artistic side of capturing. I was living in the middle of nowhere – Sikeston, Missouri at the age of fourteen and following these girls with cameras exploring and trespassing to get the best images. That’s when it clicked that I would love to do this as a career.

With that, it all transferred into the culture of Instagram photography, and I built a clientele capturing highlights and urban culture which I currently focus on in California. It’s been a blast.

Has it been a smooth road?
Pursuing art comes with the understanding that there will be uncertainty for the rest of your life. Even if you’re at a level in which work and income are more consistent – trends change, your art changes, and your life experiences will change the way you challenge yourself to keep going. Some personal struggles I dealt with is the balance with creating art that I loved and what my audience expected of me.

Luckily, I was able to combine the two in which I am creating the work that both my client and I appreciate. Income was the main struggle because no one starts out having their business model together. It is all trial and error. As I build, it is still trial and error, but that’s the fun part. Success wouldn’t be something I’d value if everything was easy.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I run a company called Marcel Creatives and my own website in which both specialize in creating content for various clients. I am known for my style of photography which is creating an environment that is less stale and suffocating to having them really enjoy being in front of the camera.

At the end of the day, my shooting style isn’t about capturing a hundred shots in the studio of the same pose. Instead, we experiment and exchange in conversation that allows me to capture that one shot that they were only able to share with me in that intimate space.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
This city has the same opportunities as any other city. I’ve moved over twenty-five houses and various locations in the states at this point. When I lived in Sikeston, Missouri I was still able to find and build a community of urban artists because that’s what I wanted to find and attract.

If there’s anything that someone is starting out needs to understand, it is that you are responsible for your drive and your opportunities. Prepare for the job, life, and people you want. This city can be tough, but if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

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