A BIT ABOUT ME (MANOLO DORESTE).
My name is Manolo (mah-NO-lo) Doreste and I’m a passion-filled, original photographer based in Miami, FL. I possess a strong appreciation for the extraordinary and strive for it in all I do—whether that’s capturing life’s greatest moments or finding my native city’s best slice of pizza. So here’s my take on a not-so-ordinary “About Me,” composed of responses from quirky and frequently asked questions. I look forward to working with you and learning as much about you as you are about to learn about me!
WHEN DID YOU START TAKING PICTURES?
At age 7, my gracious neighbor gifted me a Minolta camera. It was the 1980s and the camera looked like something you can now buy at Urban Outfitters. My life changed forever with that act of kindness. I received my first digital camera 15 years later (also a gift—thanks mom!) but my love affair with photography had long been solidified.
WHY DO YOU LOVE BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER?
It’s both satisfying and humbling to be able to give back through creative expression. As a photographer, I’m able to return life’s greatest moments to couples and families. My experiences have allowed me to genuinely understand how powerful images can be, and I take the role of capturing and protecting memories seriously. I know I’m being relied on and cherish the responsibility.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PROFESSIONALLY?
It was in high school when theatre and photography electives began to truly mold me. A special thank you to my teacher, Mr. Mark Koven, who defined by senior year/life with a powerful photography critique! I later attended Miami-Dade College (on a scholarship!) and studied theatre while continuing to develop my photography craft. I began formalizing my talents by photographing families and gained technical training alongside commercial photographers, with which I worked on projects in the realms of architecture, fashion, editorial, food, advertising, and travel. Weddings and events were simply a natural progression. I incorporated my company in May of 2002 and professionally shot my first wedding that July.
HOW MANY EVENTS DO YOU SCHEDULE PER YEAR AND DO YOU TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF MIAMI?
I’m very conservative when it comes to the number of events I’m contracted for. Why? Well, in my opinion, a cultivated relationship results in the best (pure, sincere and effortless) images. And because fostering relationships take time, I limit my efforts to no more than 25 events a year, both in and outside of Miami. I’ve been lucky enough to work in a bevy of locales beyond The Magic City, including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Chicago, Texas, Ohio, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOOT?
The perfect shot is the result of endless factors—subjects, clothing, lighting, wind, passersby, and luck included. And so, any location, no matter how seemingly perfect, can easily present photographic disaster. On the other hand, a seemingly mundane or challenging locale can easily offer perfection. As someone who has successfully shot on a rollercoaster and in a tree, puddle-ridden alley and the middle of the ocean, I understand that you must be open minded and ready for any place to become your favorite.
ARE YOU ALWAYS TAKING PICTURES?
Yes! It’s a passion, not just a paycheck. If I wasn’t a professional, I’m sure I’d still be snapping my life away. I’d like to think I’d also be on Broadway. Every director needs an off pitch ensemble member with two left feet, right? When I’m not behind a lens, I’m laughing and enjoying time with family and friends, obsessing over theatre (Hamilton!), traveling the world, and partaking in adventures—inner-peace classes, kayaks and cocktails included. Follow along! @manolodoreste
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR?
My humor is a byproduct of my outlook on the world. I seek and always seem to find it (along with beauty and a little love) everywhere and often where it’s missed by others. And not only do I believe laughter is the absolute best feeling in the world, I believe it does wonders for photography. Which is why I always make it my mission to make clients laugh. It’s vital that a photography subject lets down his or her guard. Fortunately for me, laughter makes everyone unwind a bit in front of a camera, and this allows for a true and natural self (and smile!) to be captured.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?
I’m a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, which is not to be confused with a pizza snob. The difference? I don’t discriminate. From a fine-dining establishment or grease-sprinkled window, thin and crispy or deep dish. It doesn’t’ matter, I love them all. My only request is a Coca Cola (original, no diet!) to pair with my slice(s). If we’re talking local spots, my favorite is Frankie’s Pizza, and my favorite DIY pizza involves olives and salt and vinegar potato chips. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
HAVE A QUESTION NOT LISTED HERE?
Contact us and ask.