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Doug Catiller

Photography · Irvine United States

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As the owner of True Image Studio, I feel very blessed to be making a living at what used to be a hobby. I spent over 20 years working in the Information Technology field, and had a very good career. My technology background kept my inner gadget freak happy, challenging me with new hardware and software problems to solve. As an amateur photographer, I had been developing a workflow and systems for processing and preserving my images. I had a lot of equipment and I was studying and testing myself in every way that I could. Friends would ask me if I was going to start a photography business and my answer was typically something like “I have a career” or “I could never change careers, this is just a hobby”. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be a professional photographer, I just had written off the possibility. In 2004 I started photographing for the annual Madrigal Dinner at UCI. This was a live dinner theater production that the music program performed every November/December. I discovered that photographing for a theater was not only a lot of fun, but it was a technical challenge that I enjoyed as well. Photographing live theater productions requires me careful not to distract the production, quickly adjust my camera to changing light conditions and tell the story through my lens. In 2005, I started shooting production photos for The Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills. At The Chance I shoot one of their final tech runs with final lighting, costumes and set design. Shooting for The Chance allowed me to push myself even further as a photographer. The Chance grew to trust me very quickly in going anywhere I wanted during a run. I am allowed to get right up on the stage and choose angles that show interaction between characters in ways I could never do from the seats. To shoot a production at The Chance I have to capture a good exposure in constantly changing light, tell the story of the show and make sure that I don’t get run over by a fast moving actor in the process! In the fall of 2007, I had an opportunity to work with a local photography studio whose primary photographer had been struggling with health issues. My technology I spent six months with this studio putting to work some of the photography, digital photography workflow and editing skills I had developed over the past several years. In January, 2008, the owners of that studio retired, leaving me the choice between returning to my IT career or move forward as a professional photographer. By God’s Grace and with the support of my incredible wife, I started True Image Studio on April 1st, 2008. My first clients were for local churches doing First Communion and Confirmation photography. I opened a commercial space for True Image Studio in August, 2008 and offered portrait photography, event photography, wedding photography and some commercial photography. After about 4 years, I started to focus my efforts on commercial photography including business portraits and product photography. I still do First Communion and Confirmation photography every Spring, as this kind of work in important to me.

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