From the desk of: Douglas Lyle Thompson

Apr 05, 2016

We started working with photographer Douglas Lyle Thompson a few years ago when he came in to make portfolio books. His colorful travel and lifestyle had us transfixed. Since then we've been keeping an eye on the myriad of commercial projects he's busy creating. We sat down with Douglas to learn more about what makes a successful practice as a photographer and what inspires his work.

What’s on your desk?

Two laptops, (usually) so many hard drives, a sharpee, an iPhone, a coffee

Fill in the blank: "I don't show up at a meeting without _________."

Notepad and a pen

What's on your reading list?

Growth of the Soil - Knut Hamsun

What’s in your bag/always on your person?

Point & shoot film camera, clear eyes eye drops

I'd always... / I'd never...

Speak calmly/Raise my voice

I'd write to... / I would love to get a letter from...

Terrence Malick/Walt Whitman

Would try once... / No, thanks....

Sky diving/Bungee jumping

I'd pay good money for... / Wouldn't take even if free...

Lakers tickets/Clippers tickets

My proudest accomplishment is... / The next goal on the horizon is...

Photographing African elephants for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Having a gallery show with those pictures I recently took in Africa of said elephants

Favorite books... / Can't wait to read...

Any book made by Martin Parr/My (unread) stack of New Yorkers

Subject I won’t shut up about lately... / Subject I avoid...

Elephant poaching/Politics

______ is worth the wait / I have no patience for _____

Good food/Bad service

Skills mastered... / I can't quite get the hang of...


I'm getting better at... / I'm getting worse at...

Contributing time & money/Saving money for my future!!

Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:

Simple, clean, easy

Describe the creative space at your company:

My large kitchen table currently acts as my space. My downstairs office is too cold in the winter. Seasonal creative spaces...

What are your design inspirations?

Bright light

How does one tap into their creative side?

Let it come to you, don't go to it

What’s the motto/life philosophy/advice you live by?

All in

What is your favorite aspect of the job you do?

Allowing me to work with new people every single job

The paper product I can’t live without is ____ and I use it to _____.

Note pads/run my daily to-do lists

What career moves and/or aspirations brought you to your current role?

I had to be selfish and focus on me and my career

Share an insight on your life or life in general that you’ve discovered:

We as humans need to work harder than ever to save what we've had and bring it to the future generations

When do you feel like you’re at your best?

All smiles and pure confidence (not arrogance)

What is a quote that inspires you:

“When you’re creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain’t the limit.” Miles Davis

How does your brand convey its unique personality?

Just by being honest, passionate, and dedicated

Branding is __________.

Everything. It's me, my work, my logo, my personality, my identity

Describe a typical day at work:

Shoot shoot shoot.

What is the best professional lesson you’ve ever learned?

Collaborating with everyone, from the art director, to the model, to the assistants

What are the most exciting developments in your industry?

Technology and creative explosion

What do you love about what your company brings to its clients?

Dedication and passion

What is the best advice you’ve received recently?

To take it slow and live in the now. Enjoy each project

Tell us about your latest printed project:

I got some beautiful books made. It was such a great moment for me because I had only had sleeved portfolios prior to this and now

What was the inspiration behind this project?

I walked into a meeting with just an iPad and the photo editor suggested I get something a little more substantial

What brought you to Paper Chase Press?

I saw a lot of the other projects online that Paper Chase Press had done and reached out. It was such a pleasure and I can't wait to work on the next one!!

How often do you use printed goods to promote your business?

About once a year. Looking to move that to twice a year.

What's the response like to these printed goods?

100% positive

How does this project fit into your design philosophy? Your branding? Your overall objectives?

The books are perfect for what I do. For the work I show, for the quality of the product

make your own

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