We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalia Kooiman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dalia, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’m a visual person with a lot of imagination. For instance, when I see a park, I see a white canvas. I like to seat on a bench, observe and start painting in my mind. I start imagining how would the trees look, how would they look with different shapes and colors. My head is always transforming everything I see.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am originally from Mexico, the city of Guadalajara. Is where I started with my journey into the world of photography. In my high school days, I worked after school in a small photographic studio without having any experience. I started first answering phones and little by little I was given the opportunity to grab the camera and take some photos. One day a desperate mother arrived with her son at the studio. She told me she was desperate because she could not find any photographers that could take a good picture of her son. That was my first challenge of many in my career as a photographer. On that day, not only did I take good photographs, also that day I realized that I am great at doing this. After this, I worked for some important companies in my country acquiring experience and maturity.
In 2012. I married and moved to Texas. I had to re-start my life. I felt this was the perfect opportunity to use my ideas and my creativity to start a new business. With my husband’s support I started to acquire my photographic equipment. At the beginning I was almost giving free photo shoots and that is how I was getting to be known in my community.
I like to work as a team player with providers and colleagues. We need to stop thinking this is a competition and instead think as a collaboration. Teamwork stimulates creativity and increases motivation. Some people advice that in order to be successful, we have to work hard. I don’t think we need tired people; instead, we need people loving what they do.
Now, I’m not afraid of risks. I’ve always thought that when people take risks is more about winning than losing. Even if you lose, you’ll always gain experience, maturity and knowledge to do it better the next time. I love and enjoy my job. When I’m in a session with clients, I like to connect with them and have a good time. In the end, the connection is reflected in the photos.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our first stop for friends is breakfast at Barnaby’s cafe. From there we would take a museum tour of the Menil collection to the Houston fine arts museum. We would take mcgovern centennial gardens for our instagram at the top. Then we would go to eat great Truth bbq at Washington avenue. Then we would walk off the bbq at the heights shops . To finish off the day we would go to miller outdoor theater to check out a show at the mound and drink wine and eat cheese.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without doubt my best friend Sinduve . When I first arrived here in the US I needed a friend to help learn the most basic things. I was lucky that my friend moved to Texas from California with her family. We have known each other since High School. Go sent her to me to be my rock and guide me in the most difficult times of my life. Friends help each other and she has always been more than a friend, she is an angel , she is my sister from another mother. I love her and she will always be my sister.
Thank you Sinduve you have are a true friend.