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Meet Douglas Olson of Douglas Olson Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Douglas Olson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Ames, Iowa.

I got my first camera (my mother) when I was 3 years old. I began taking pictures and when I was in high school worked on the yearbook staff as a photographer.

When I graduated from High School, I went to work at Iowa State University’s photo department. Two years later I was promoted to head of the Information Service Photo department. The PR wing of the university.

I watched the UCLA & USC football games in November and decided to move to a warmer climate. I moved to Los Angeles and attended Art Center College of Design where I graduated with honors and opened up my studio on 3rd street near Fairfax in Los Angeles.

At first, I did a lot of food & product photography working with advertising agencies. I began to get a lot of work for hotels and architects and made the transition to architectural photography which is what I do to this day.

In 1970, I got a call from Frank Wyle, CEO of Wyle labs in El Segundo and I was off to India to photograph 7 industrial sites as one of Wyle Labs companies was importing machine tools from HMT in India and selling them through American Tool Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the assignment as all I heard about India was negative press. But I decided to go and wasn’t disappointed, I had a fabulous time and spent my off time in the rural areas photographing lifestyles of the rural people. After three more trips on my own, I put together a photography exhibit at California Museum of Science and Industry in 1974. I was sponsored by The California Museum Foundation, Government of India Tourist Office and Pan Am.

Over the years, I have been to India 16 times working on my Rural India project. Half of the time The Government of India Tourist Office sent me on various photo projects.

India is my hobby within my business and several years ago, I decided to publish several books of my work dating from 1070 to 2012. They’re on Amazon Books, here is the link:

My main marketing tool is my web site: and I continue to specialize in Architectural Photography.

My favorite European country is Switzerland (which I just got back from last week) and of course India.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Every business has its ups & downs (that’s life) but through it all, I believed in myself and kept focused.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I do architectural photography and have been in business for many years.

My work stands for itself and enjoy every assignment and working with great creative people.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Ames, Iowa and started to take photos at the age of three with a camera my mother gave me.

Iowa is a great place to grow up in. Great mid-western values, great parents, brother and sister We spent our summers on my aunt’s and uncle’s farm near Muscatine, Iowa. It was great being close to nature and helping with the animals and crops.

Needless to say, I had a very happy childhood!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Douglas Olson Photography

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