"Photography is not just something I do every day, it is who I am!"
I love being behind the camera telling stories every day. The subject matter in front of the camera doesn't have to be one particular thing for me to be compelled by it. I have always been curious about a wide range of subject matter and I have taken assignments in many different types of photography from clients around the world.
Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up on the beach, in, on, and around the water, played baseball and golf, am an Eagle Scout, an Army Vet, a graduate of Corona del Mar High School and California State University-Fullerton, married the love of my life, Karen, and, together, we have traveled throughout the United States and around the world.
Being an artist has always been a part of my DNA - from clay and metal sculpture to becoming a professional drummer and, since 1981, becoming an internationally-recognized and award-winning photographer.
After serving in the Army and completing college, I followed my life-long passion for photography and started the dedicated and deliberate work needed to make it my life's work. Years of study with the very best in my craft, hard work, opportunity, experience and mastery of the psychology of photography allows me to make great storyteller images and offer a suite of products and services in many different types of photography including:
Commercial (corporate and non-profit) in entertainment, sports, healthcare, hospitality, financial and many others - producing photographic images of people, events, architecture, food and more for social media, editorial, PR and advertising use. (100+ assignments/year, 200+ images used in 140 pieces of media worldwide) See: for client, media Lists and more.
Business and Artist Headshots for social media, editorial, PR and advertising use. (2,000+)
Lifestyle Portraiture of families, couples, individuals, kids and pets for personal use. (5,000+)
Weddings – local, destination, domestic and international. I’ve been honored to have photographed over 1,500 of these once-in-a-lifetime events.
Fine Art prints, books, posters and cards.
Mastery in each area has added strength to my technique and skills in all the other areas.
When people are the focus of the work and I need to direct them, I do so with a well-trained, gentle, confident hand to make them look their best and to match their personal and/or company brand. Whether on location or in the studio, if additional light is needed, I’ll add just enough so that the finished image has a natural look and feel.
Finely-honed interpersonal skills and an easy-going personality are extremely important for success as a people and event photographer. A degree in psychology with an understanding of how it applies to photography, a live music performance background as a drummer, and quick, creative decision-making from years of experience allows my clients to trust me to skillfully and calmly manage the chaos and unpredictable nature of any photographic assignment - and still make it fun! That enjoyable experience is reflected in the finished images.
Clients call me “the consummate professional" for conducting business with integrity - always on-time, appropriately dressed, good at blending-in, a calm leader and great team player, at ease with anyone and any circumstance, fully-insured, and a track record of 100% assignment completion. The hallmarks of my career as a story-teller have been driven by staying in touch with the latest styles and trends, continuous learning, having the latest professional equipment and back-up to get the job done – no matter what – and delivering products and services for tremendous value are what my clients have come to appreciate.
“Since 2002, Segerstrom Center for the Arts has entrusted most of its photographic projects to Doug Gifford. He is an artist we can call upon with complete confidence for our many photographic projects. He gets all of the photographs we need, works efficiently, guides our decisions with his expertise and experience and goes above and beyond in order to provide us with the finest documentation of our events. Very importantly, we are completely comfortable with him associating with our donors, patrons and artists. This is extremely important to us as an arts and non-profit organization with a high public profile. Doug's adaptability to all situations, circumstances and occasions and his enthusiasm for new challenges, have seen us successfully through a variety of assignments and challenges. He is a valued member of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts team.” - Tim Dunn, Director of Public Relations, Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Professional Photography Bio
Doug is an internationally-acclaimed, highly-skilled visual artist and master storyteller who handcrafts memorable photographic images for editorial, PR, advertising and personal use around the world. He holds the prestigious Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman Degrees and is a Certified Professional Photographer which celebrates superior photographic competence through photographic competition, advanced education, and service to the profession from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) - the world’s largest nonprofit association for professional photographers, with more than 24,000 members in 54 countries. These awards, passing the judges’ workshop, and ten years of practice as a judge helped him to become one of only 120 PPA National Affiliate Jurors, from 2001 to 2015. During each year’s PPA competition, over 5,000 images were judged which allowed Doug to stay in touch with trends and techniques used by photographers from around the world. He also holds the Fellowship and Service Awards which are the top awards given by the Professional Photographers of California (PPC), and is Past President, Lifetime Member of the Professional Photographers of Orange County (PPOC). He has won numerous awards for his artistry at the local, state, national and international levels. One of the highlights was when he received a perfect score of 100 points for his print entitled "Modern Oriental" becoming the (one and only) Grand Award Winner in the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) print competition in 1993. All of these honors and accolades helped Doug become a member of the Fuji Talent Team in 1986. The team would do research and development projects and then teach their peers about those new Fuji products around the world. This helped Doug to stay in touch with technical advances in the industry - from the film to digital eras. In 2001, Doug was asked to teach a portrait photography at the University of California Irvine Extension Program which he did until 2012. With so many of Doug’s assignments being done for advertising and editorial use, he became a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). In 2007, Doug become a contributor for Getty Images and in 2013, he also joined ZUMA Press and Corbis Images as a contributor. With the help of these photo agencies and his client work, each year more than 150 images are being used in 100+ different types of media around the world.(See: )
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF AMERICA (PPA) www.ppa.com
Member since 1982 (Life Member)
* Master of Photography Degree
Received in July 1994
* Craftsman of Photography Degree
Received in August 1995
* Certified Professional Photographer
Received in October 1997
* National Affiliate Juror
2001 - 2015
* PPA Committees
Photographic Exhibition : 2012
International : 2007 to 2010
* Speaker: International Convention,
Total Merits: 195
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF CALIFORNIA (PPC) www.ppconline.com
Member since 1982
* Fellowship Award
Received in 1993
* Service Award
Received in 1994
* Speaker / Juror: Regional and State Conventions
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF ORANGE COUNTY (PPOC) www.ppoc.org
Member since 1983
* President, 1993
* Photographer of the Year 1992
* Lifetime Membership Award 2008
* Speaker/Juror: PPOC and other Locals in State
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MEDIA PHOTOGRAPHERS (ASMP) www.asmp.org
Member since 2013
WEDDING & PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHERS INTERNATIONAL (WPPI) www.wppinow.com
Member since 1983
* Grand Award Winner
"Modern Oriental" 1993
AMERICAN SOCIETY of PHOTOGRAPHERS (ASP) www.asofp-online.com
Member since 1994
* (5) prints ASP Top 100 Traveling Loan Collection
FUJI PHOTO FILM, U.S.A www.fujifilmusa.com
Talent Team Member: 1986 to 2011
* Product Research & Devolvement (R&D)
* Produced PR, Marketing & Sales Images
GETTY IMAGES www.gettyimages.com
* Contributor - Entertainment
ZUMA PRESS www.zumapress.com
* Contributor – News, Sports, Entertainment