Doug Plummer: Pro photographer & filmmaker

My NativeAdVantage:


Doug brings an ethic of hard work, engagement and intensity to his photographic life. He is passionate about the medium, and this energy is infectious among his clients and subjects. At the same time, he brings skills of subtlety and tact to his assignments. His sensitivity to a situation allows a deep immersion into the heart of an environment, whether it be a college marketing campaign, a foreign travel piece, or a wedding.

Doug grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, studied art and art history at Antioch College on Ohio and graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He started photographing at age 6 (a Brownie camera), and his dad taught him darkroom skills. Before long he had advanced to 35mm and was selling prints of the games to the elementary school basketball team. His first national exposure came in 1972 with a full page photo printed in Smithsonian Magazine (of a solar eclipse), and a first place win and a spread in a national ad campaign from a Fuji Film contest.

He took a detour through printmaking and professional birdwatching, but since 1985 he has been a commercial and fine art photographer in Seattle. Doug has photographed for national corporations, magazines and institutions, such as the Federal Home Loan Bank, Smithsonian, Discover, the University of Chicago. He was  written up in Photo District News (May 1995), and was quoted extensively in the 1998 Photographer’s Market "How to Put Together a Winning Portfolio" and Shutterbug Magazine (May 2006) “The Business of Travel Photography.” A portfolio of his Venice panoramics appeared in 2007 in Black and White Magazine.

He is currently in production on his first documentary film, "Take Hands," about how music and dance can transform a rural community.

What do you do best?

I am curious for a living. That drives my search for still images and it's the impetus behind my documentary filmmaking.

What makes you the best?

I'm a big believer in the quotidian act of making art, and so I have a discipline to photograph every day, whether it's on assignment or for myself. I've kept a daily photo blog for over 10 years now, without missing a day. No matter my mood or inclination, I get out there.

Biggest success?

Really, it's the life I have found myself inhabiting, in that I never expected to be so happy as I am now. I'm at an age where the professional accomplishments are merely a side show to what really matters, and that is connection and love.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: Music and dance as a daily dietary supplement.

Business: To premiere the documentary film I am working on right now. “Take Hands” is the story of a community in transition, and the way dance and music are a part of that.

Most challenging moment?

Through the 00-04 recession my career goal was to be the last one standing. I saw many of my colleagues leave the business, because they didn't want to capitalize the transition to digital, and they all saw that they'd have to rebuild their businesses almost from scratch. That was a great washing-out period in the profession, the toughest I've ever seen. However, we seem to be entering another one like it now.

Favorite Motto:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Favorite People:

The one I'm married to

Favorite Places:

I'm awfully fond of my home, the Pacific Northwest, but years ago I did a personal project in the west of Ireland, and that still has a hold on my heart.

Favorite Products:

Sorry, my temperament is assiduously anti-brand.

Current Passions:

Serving on the national board of the Country Dance and Song Society. It's an organization dedicated to helping local music and dance communities increase their skills and capacity, which makes our society a better place to be. I'm all for promoting joy any chance I get.