Photographer Dennis Doyle in AZ Jewish Life Magazine

A Deep Respect for Nature - One artist traveling to Scottsdale for the EXPO is Dennis Doyle, an acclaimed photographer who loved nature as a kid, lost his connection to it as an adult, then rediscovered his deep respect for it after leaving a successful career in construction.

Dennis grew up in Lake Tahoe, Nevada back when it was a small community of people who loved the mountains. He was an adventurous kid who loved being outside and often camped out in the meadows. As a teenager, he would take his Leica camera with him wherever he went to photograph the scenic landscapes that surrounded him.

That all changed when he took a job working in a darkroom developing forensic 8-by-12-inch glossies for police departments and district attorneys. For several years, he saw the most gruesome images a camera could capture. His most famous case, on which author Joseph Wambaugh based his bestselling book, The Onion Field, involved two Los Angeles police officers who were kidnapped and taken to an onion field near Bakersfield. One of the officers was fatally shot and the other escaped.

“It was very serious work and I got to see how ugly humanity could be,” Dennis says. “I learned the technical side of my craft, but there was no time or place for creativity.”

When he was 25, he started working in construction and later worked for a large homebuilder in Lafayette, California. For more than two decades, he built multi-million-dollar homes for celebrities, CEOs and other wealthy clients.

Living in Walnut Creek, California, most people would say Dennis had it made. But his fast-paced lifestyle lacked passion. “Money is a cruel mistress,” he says. “I decided to quit my job and go back to pursuing my passion for photography.”

Joking that he is “downwardly mobile,” Dennis lives the life of a semi-vagabond, dividing his time between traveling in his RV and living in Lake Tahoe. An avid skier and hiker, he has rekindled his love for nature and photography – and this time he’s determined never to let that go.

“Now I have a much deeper understanding about what’s important for me in life,” he says. “Just sitting outside on a rock under the moonlight makes me happy.”

This will be Dennis’ fourth year exhibiting at the Arizona Fine Art EXPO. He plans to display a combination of color and black-and-white photography of trees and old abandoned farmhouses along with flowers, petroglyphs and ancient building remnants from Canyon de Chelly.

written by Sue Kern-Fleischer