Five things about me:
1- I'm Ditte Solgaard Dunn. My name is a mix of my Danish roots and my Scottish marriage. My first name rhymes with Rita (as in "Lovely Ditte, meter maid"), although if pronounced properly (ie the Danish way), it rhymes with "speeder" - I usually stick to the adapted British pronounciation.
2- I'm passionately Danish (just ask my husband!). Although I have lived in Scotland for half my life I still refer to Denmark as "home". I love the Scandinavian ethos of simplicity and quality in design and production. Those are concepts I apply in my work.
3- I'm married to my best friend. We've made two beautiful children together, who like to come into our bed each morning and wake us with cuddles. This won't last forever, so I treasure it, every time. Even pre-6am. And even pre-3am.
4- In a previous life (in another decade) I also worked in the film industry as a producer, director, casting director and assistant director. Film career highlights included having a film screened at the Cannes Film Festival (I still have that "red carpet" dress!) and sharing a dram with the screen legend Christopher Lee.
5- When I'm not taking pictures, I like travelling around Scotland and further afield, with my family (although I always have a camera round my neck for our trips.)
Five things about my photography
1- I grew up in the Danish countryside, surrounded by fields and marshland. I had an art teacher who was a passionate painter, who taught us to look at light and how it affected the landscape. I was never that good at painting, but to this day, I am fascinated about the quality of light. I love living in Scotland where the ever-changing light can be a photographer's greatest friend and worst enemy.
2- I prefer working in natural light whenever possible. But sometimes the Scottish light (or lack of it) needs a helping hand, so I use reflectors, portable studiolights, videolights and sophisticated flash systems when the weather, season or setting calls for it. That means I can get amazing results wherever and whenever for my clients.
3- While studying photography at university I worked on Scotland on Sunday as a picture editor, so learned the craft from the high theory end as well as the practical "real world" use of photography, although the two didn't always match up. I once got a bad grade for a photo documentary on the Rudolf Steiner school, but subsequently had it published in The Times Educational Section.
4- My first venture into professional photography was as a "society photographer", capturing parties and events for Caledonia Magazine, and later for Tatler and Harpers & Queen magazines. In 2001, Harpers asked me to photograph a wedding for them, which jump-started my wedding photography career. I've never looked back.
5- My mother taught me to work hard at the things I want to be good at. She said you have to practice something for 10,000 hours to become an expert at it. I have been a photographer for 16 years, which in my mother's eyes certainly makes me an expert. Personally, I still feel I'm learning every day.
5- A friend asked me recently what I would do if I weren't a photographer, and I genuinely don't know the answer. My heart beats for the next photo I'm going to take. I think about most things in terms of how to light, pose or photograph them - it's just the way I naturally look out at the world. There are other things I can do, like project management, languages, business management, IT and human relations. But then, I use all of these in my job as a photographer.
Five things about First Light
1- First Light was born from a desire to create a business that would provide high-quality photography and a great personal service to each client. I work with a talented team of people who help me make that dream possible.
2-When photographing weddings I usually work with the amazingly talented Chris Watt, who teaches and inspires me every time we work together. Other than being awesome at what he does, he is also a genuinely nice (and very funny!) human being. The only time I've seen him stressed was when he photographed my own wedding! (He did a great job by the way). When Chris isn't available, I have a stable of tried, tested and trusted photographers who deliver to our usual exacting standards.
3- I am lucky to work with my editor Olivia Annand who puts an amazing level of care into working on each and every photo. She works hard to ensure that every image that leaves our computers has the signature First Light clean, light timeless look.
4-Although I am based in Edinburgh, I am happy to travel for work all over Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world.
5- I update the blog and galleries from time to time with recent work, though if you would like to keep up with my work and life, then come say hello on your preferred social media (links below). I'd love to have your company there!