What else could I call Dorma Tabisz? After all, I witnessed her opening her oven and sticking a toothpick into two large trays of brownies for “doneness”; being down on her knees tightening set screws in a stool’s legs with an allen wrench; having her show me her printer that was about as wide as I am tall, and hearing her say that she had just purchased her first Skil Saw because she wanted to start using Masonite in her artwork, and she had to learn how to cut it. All of this took place during a visit in her home that lasted less than an hour. (The brownies, as well as a large basket of chips, were to be used at a convention for which she had volunteered to serve as hospitality hostess.) Multi-talented, this one…
I didn’t expect any of this. What I did expect was to talk about her art background, which we managed to cover in and around the other things. Have you seen her website? She refers to herself as “Artistic Photographer,” and only a cursory look at the images she presents there confirm this title. There are a lot of synonyms for “artistic.” Aesthetically pleasing, elegant, stylish and exquisite come to mind. Her work is all of this. She says that art is in her blood. There was a favorite artist aunt who took her under her wing at a dining room table when she was a very young girl and taught her the ropes. Dorma got away from this for several years but has since returned with a vengeance. Among other evidences of this is her being named as one of the 10 best in Tennessee over multiple recent years, based on juried competitions conducted by the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association. This is one talented photographic artist! She has come a long way from her North Carolina farm girl roots.
I was very interested in her answers to the 3 questions I posed to her.
1) What is an aspect of photography that you have difficulty with and wish you could improve? She admits that she is weak on technology and that she needs to know enough about her camera’s capabilities and settings so that she can photograph her grandson’s football games! “My goal this (football) season is to research the features that will make my sports photography less stressful.”
2) If you could offer a single bit of advice to a new photographer, what would it be? She’s a people person…my description, not hers…and thinks that those she has gotten to know through photography have, in effect, given her life. “Find a group of photographers that is friendly and willing to share their knowledge with you. The peer support and friendships made are priceless.”
3) What would all photographers benefit from knowing more about? Clearly, local sources of help in learning what there is to know about photography as well as opportunities to use what you have learned. With a background in accounting at a family owned business, she also says “you need to know the legal aspects…should you decide to market and sell your images.”
Dorma says that she wants to get to the point where people will like her work enough to purchase it. I personally think she’s far better than she thinks she is. And this woman is a gift to the Brentwood Photography Group. I, for one, am better for having gotten to know her.