MEET. Donna Cosentino

© Donna Cosentino

Meet Donna Cosentino, a newly retired Photography professor, APA | San Diego member and founder of The Photographer’s Eye Collective in Escondido.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
I like the variety of genres and lifestyles I can check out on IG. I learn from everyone… @jgrantbrittain; @lorivrba; @paulnicklen; @mattblack_blackmatt; @waynemartinbelger; and a host of former students, other artists and working photographers from all over the world. I love IG.

What is your camera of choice?
My Rolleiflex twin lens. But I use my iPhone every day

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Mother Nature  (but in the darkroom­–Blues)

Who were your biggest influencers?
I was influenced by street photographers (it was the 70’s after all) but also fell in love with historic photographers and processes so I let it all soak in.

Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz, Carleton Watkins, and Anna Atkins are favorites from history. Certain books shaped my understanding of story-telling: Robert Frank-The Americans, Doris Ulmann-The Darkness and the Light, Bill Owens-Suburbia, Donna Ferrato-Living with the Enemy, Most importantly, Mary Ellen Mark for her way of seeing and relating to her subjects.  

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a floundering art student

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Connected.  Reflective.  Imperfect

When were you first introduced to Photography?
1971 in college by a cute boy with long hair and great facial hair. We became lovers. We are still great friends.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Be open. Practice your craft.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I wanted to be a teacher at five years old. I became a Photojournalist, and then a teacher of photography. I loved gallery work as a teacher and now that I’ve recently retired from thirty years of teaching, I am a gallery director. I could never stop photographing or teaching or working with other photographers…it’s all part of who I am.

What do you do when you get stuck?
I go to the desert and breathe.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
ON Being with Krista Tippett

What is your best marketing advice for your peers?
Let someone help you edit your portfolio. You may not recognize images that need to go away.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Low spots are temporary. Trust your voice. Don’t be afraid of love. Jump

Check out more work from Donna Cosentino.