Dina Konovalov is a big name in the Boston photography circles, having done high-fashion, social lifestyle, and editorial assignments for Boston Globe, Stuff, Improper Bostonian, POSE, The Knot Magazine, Exhale Magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Solis Fashion Magazine, Imagine Magazine and many more print and web publications. Celebrities she’s photographed include Nicole Richie, Sting, Mayor Menino, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots team, to name a few. In addition to photographing celebrities, actors and models, Dina also does fine art photography, having displayed her work in local and national galleries and private collections.
Though she always knew she wanted to be a photographer, her path to success had not been easy. At age 13, her family escaped the war-torn Azerbaijan and landed in Boston. Short 8 years later, Dina graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and became a freelance contributing photographer to many local publications. She started a business with a partner with whom she managed and operated a wedding photo-video production company. Not wanting to do just one sort of photography and also feeling like she was stuck in a rut because the job was very demanding, Dina broke free and went on her own. She found a perfect studio, plenty of inspiration and, even though she had to start from scratch, she was happy doing what she loved.
What do you love about your business?
I have been lucky enough to have always been doing what I love - photography. As a professional photographer for over 15 years I have been able to work on flexible schedule although it means working weekends, nights and other odd hours of the day.
What challenges did you overcome?
With my first son born I had a business partner and was able to do most managing work from home etc. With my second son, I had opened up my own studio 3 years prior and, with a difficult pregnancy, had to take time off from my physical duties for a while until my body adjusted few months after birth. I had to cancel/re-assign a lot of my work, lost some business on the way but was determined to start over after birth. My pain persisted well into first 6 months after having the baby and I had to go to physical therapy to recover before returning to 'normal'. Besides physical aspects, it was emotionally very tough to deal with not being able to do every day things - like walking up or down the stairs or taking a stroller down the street with a baby, never mind working.
I had saved up some money to be able to 'afford' having a baby which came in very handy. I had to start off slow due to the physical demands of my job and pretty much felt like starting from scratch at moments building clientele, keeping up with competition, etc.
I love my work and missed it very much along with independence I lost during that time. Thankfully, I'm doing a lot better now but it was a long journey that I'm still struggling with sometimes.