Dan Doyle

Ambition isn’t nearly as important as hard work.


Daniel Doyle Pleasantville is a successful photographer based in Pleasantville, Ohio. With a deep background in portrait, event, wedding and landscape photography, he brings a sophisticated vision to the Ohio arts scene. Doyle grew up in Pleasantville and attended Ohio State University, where he majored in Photography. After college, he took a gap year in Europe where he enjoyed the varied cultures, landscapes, and architecture. He started a popular photoblog while he was abroad and was able to use it as a portfolio after he returned from Europe.

Dan Doyle Pleasantville photographer spent his first several years as a professional photographer in New York City. With his own studio in Queens, Doyle was an important part of the arts and photography scene. Retail, fashion, event, and portrait photography were the backbone of his business. He also took headshots for many up-and-coming actors in New York.

Doyle grew tired of the hectic and fast-paced atmosphere in New York and looked for a quieter place to pursue his dreams. He decided to return to his hometown of Pleasantville, where he could be close to family while exploring the gorgeous landscapes of Ohio and the surrounding states. Doyle’s new studio venture has so far been a success, and he is making waves in the Ohio photography community.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The idea for my studio came while I was still in high school. I was playing with the idea of making photography my career. Ever since those early years, I have been focused on creating the best shots for my clients.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day begins early. After my morning run, I get back to the studio and spend time editing my photos from the previous day. I generally take studio portraits in the afternoon. I have dinner with my family and then attend evening events like weddings and art openings. My days are always full.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life with my camera. I believe that my own individual perspective is valuable.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I always follow up with my clients. It helps them realize that I care about them and about their business. Following up makes clients feel important.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I would tell my younger self that a degree in photography could result in a successful career. When I was first starting out, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to support myself and that I would end up working at a big box store.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Ambition isn’t nearly as important as hard work.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Again, follow up with every customer. It’s the best business advice I can give you. If you leave a customer hanging after your interaction, you won’t be able to make a lasting connection with them.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Instagram has been huge in the growth of my business. There is a lot of competition, but with my influence on Instagram, I have been able to partner with a great many photographers and artists.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I think it would be a great idea to teach teens how to take photos for social media. They are so competitive, I think that it would be a good way to teach these image-conscious kids about the art of photography.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I nearly had to sell my studio and get a 9 to 5 job about 3 years in. I wasn’t making enough money to cover my rent. I ended up taking a part-time job in a gallery to make ends meet, and I was able to get some gallery exposure for my work as well.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Commitment. Stay committed to your cause and to that of your clients.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought a new pair of hiking poles. Poles can really help you get up mountains. I love to hike, it centers me and gives me a new perspective on the natural environment.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Adobe Lightroom is the backbone of my business. I don’t know what I would do without it. It is intuitive and easy to use, and Adobe is always coming out with useful new features.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would recommend The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. It is a great way to think about how you can use a small amount of money to go into business for yourself. It is very much how I started my business when I was just out of college. I only had a small amount of money to put into cameras and equipment.

What is your favorite quote?

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

Key Learnings:

  • Believe in yourself and your abilities.
  • Always follow up with your customers if you want to succeed.
  • You don’t have to have a great deal of capital to start a successful business.