Now that she’s somewhat grown up, she does both.
Dale double majored in Russian Literature and Studio Art at Smith College, focusing all of her artistic energy into photography. She decided to continue her studies and attend graduate school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. While there, studying under Phil Perkis, Dale worked as an assistant and printer for photographer Elaine Mayes. She also worked in the Brooklyn Museum’s photography studio, assisting in shooting the Museum’s various collections. This proved to be an invaluable job when it came to learning about the challenges of studio lighting.
In 1997, Dale was awarded a Fulbright Travel Grant and a Miguel Vinciguerra Grant to travel to Sicily and photograph rural life there. Soon after her return, she began working as an independent contractor at Exhibition Prints, Inc., a high end photo lab dedicated to fine art and commercial photography. Owned by renowned photographer Joel Sternfeld, EPI attracted clients such as Joel Meyerowicz, Annie Leibovitz, and Regan Cameron, among many others. Dale worked at EPI until it closed its doors in 2007, even returning every few months to work after she relocated to the West Coast. Aside from being a wonderful place to work, the experience of printing all day every day at EPI meant that Dale could color correct in her sleep. Her printing skills were just that sharp.
Back in her grad school days, Dale had also started working with some of the bands she knew, doing live and promotional photography. That segued into years of steady freelance work for record labels, as well as music and tattoo magazines, where she became reacquainted with her childhood love and began to write articles to accompany her images. Her work in the field of tattooing led to her co-authoring one book and authoring another, (as well as providing images for both books).
Much of the magazine work that Dale did required travel, both within the U.S. and abroad, and she quickly discovered that travel was her third love, (perhaps usurping writing).
Dale has been hired by prestigious overseas companies to do fashion photography, has produced head shots for L.A. law firm Willenken, Loh & Stris, and has done her fair share of product photography, including her most recent stint as the in-house photographer for Gold Mountain Forge, where she has revisited lessons learned at the Brooklyn Museum in photographing highly reflective objects. Her versatility and photographic expertise allow her to take on a wide variety of freelance work.
Between 2006 and 2012, much of Dale’s photography and writing skills were funneled into the two magazines she co-founded, Blood & Thunder Magazine and Shimmy Magazine, where she played the roles of writer, photographer, Editor-in-Chief, copy editor, and photo editor, (among others much less glamorous). After realizing that being a magazine mogul isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, Dale sold her share of the magazine to her partner, in order to re-focus on, and redefine, her fine art photography.
Having primarily developed projects based around aspects of, and people in, her own life, Dale felt a growing need to address issues she’d long felt strongly about through her photography. One such issue is man’s impact upon nature and the “evidence of existence” he leaves in his wake. Dale embarked upon a project photographing EPA Superfund sites in various stages of the clean-up process and plans to expand her exploration of abandoned sites into a cohesive project.
While living in Seattle in 2008, Dale got involved with the Photographic Center Northwest, first as a darkroom monitor and then as an instructor. Upon returning to New York City the following year, she began to serve as a teaching assistant at the International Center of Photography, a relationship that she maintains to this day. After relocating to Philadelphia, she became involved with several local photo centers, including Project Basho, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, where she has led workshops on studio lighting and portfolio-building, and the Philadelphia Photo League, where she serves as Education Coordinator.
In the fall of 2013, Dale took her interest in crime scene photography to the next level, and began working towards a second Master’s degree, this time in Forensic Science. While in the program, she continues to shoot, as well as teach. In fact, a veterinary forensics course she took, (in which she learned that 70% of abused women don’t leave their situations because they fear the pets they leave behind will be abused), inspired Dale to research women’s shelters that allow women to bring their pets, in order to develop a documentary project on the subject.
Look for that, more recent Superfund images, and some surprises coming soon!