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Keith Dotson is a Nashville-based fine art photographer who specializes in black and white landscapes, cityscapes, and abstractions from nature.
He is a parent, a tree hugger, a restless spirit, and a traveler. He is a former art and design teacher, advertising creative director, and a military veteran. Originally from Texas, he holds a BA from St. Edward’s University in Austin and also studied art in Houston. He practiced and explored various art mediums, from painting to printmaking, before he discovered his true artistic passion in photography.
He currently resides in the exciting Nashville area, where he enjoys the city’s live music scene, good southern cooking, and nature’s beauty in all four seasons.
His work has been collected by individuals, corporations, universities, high-tech firms, fine restaurants, and hotels around the country and worldwide. (Including at least one Hollywood celebrity.)
Keith's photographs have also appeared in an A-list movie and in numerous TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Melissa and Joey, Modern Family, The Mindy Project, and Lady Dynamite.
His work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Nashville, Minneapolis, Toronto, Madison (WI), and Knoxville (TN). Read Keith's complete biography here.
Fine art photographer Keith Dotson. Scroll down for more portraits for media use.
keithdotson.com — Keith's primary website, portfolio, and e-commerce site.
icatchshadows.com — I Catch Shadows is Keith's less formal lifestyle and photography blog covering a wide range of topics including photography, travel, environmentalism, and Nashville-related postings.
Map of recent visits to Keith's website
Keith's website draws a global audience, with the bulk of visits coming from the US and UK.
Most popular photographs
A collage of some of Keith Dotson's more popular or better known photographs. Top left: Avenue of the Oaks, Savannah; Top right: Giant Cottonwood Tree in Winter; Bottom left: Bent Tree on Driftwood Beach; Center right: Brass Lone Star Door Knob at Texas State Capitol; Bottom right: Historical Mechanical Antique Farm Machine.
Personal mission / Artist's statement
For Keith, photography is not an activity as much as a compulsion. He is driven by a need to translate the world he encounters into his personal vision, using a camera and lens. Photography is his way of seeing and interpreting life. While he sometimes photographs grand landscapes and awe-inspiring vistas, his favorite natural subjects are the tiny, intimate details of a landscape. He maintains a child-like wonder over the fact that a photograph can freeze for eternity a droplet of water dangling from the tip of a leaf, at the same time giving this quiet moment equal artistic status as a monumental mountain peak.
Black and white is Keith's way of distilling a subject to its essence. In black and white, the spirit of a thing, a person, or a place becomes more evident.
While Keith is inclined to photograph any subject that interests him, he is most drawn to places and landscapes with long history — places where the spirits of long gone inhabitants can still be felt. He rarely photographs people, but his photographs are always about and for humankind.
Keith's work is unapologetically aesthetic. He seeks subjects that are peaceful, beautiful, atmospheric, maybe moody but never caustic. While there's a need for art that challenges the viewer and creates controversy to spur awareness or create change, that's not the nature of Keith's photography or his personality.
News media, bloggers, reviewers, and social media influencers
Keith is available to the media for interviews and discussions in person, via telephone or Skype, or by email.
Lectures, panels, and artist talks
He can be for booked for lectures, talks, and panel discussions about photography, the nature of working solely in black and white, the business of fine art or landscape photography, history of photography, artistic influences, working as a photographer in a media saturated world, or other related topics.
Marketing and promotional collaborations
Keith will assess opportunities for appropriate, mutually beneficial marketing collaborations on a case-by-case basis. Contact Keith with your proposal or concept.
Keith is available on a limited basis to provide honest and thorough reviews of photography-related equipment, software, film stocks, etc.
An article about Keith's photography work, published in "DeSoto Magazine: Exploring the South"
- Graduated with a B.A. degree in Communications from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas
- Studied art/visual communications in Houston
- Worked as an award-winning advertising/corporate Creative Director with a career spanning 20 years prior to taking up fine art photography as a serious pursuit
- Began taking photographs in junior high school at the urging of an art teacher. Continued into high school with dark room practice and publications
- Taught art and design as a member of adjunct faculty for several years at Austin Community College and Texas State Technical College (Waco)
- Works with art consultants in New York, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Nashville, Denver, and Costa Mesa (California)
- First camera was a Canon AT-1 given to him in high school by his parents. This is a mostly forgotten manual version of the popular Canon AE-1
- Keith is a single parent of two children, now grown.
- Favorite food: Anything spicy, ethnic, or foreign, especially Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean.
- Keith grew up in Texas, but spent early years traveling with his family because of his father's military career.
- At age 25, Keith was selected for a trip to India as part of a Rotary Club-sponsored group study exchange trip.
- In addition to photography, Keith is passionate about art, travel, history, archaeology, music, and ecology.
- Keith supports a progressive ideology. He believes in the right for everyone to live life on their own terms with the unfettered ability to seek happiness, earn a living, and love the person of their choice. He is unequivocally opposed to hate, bigotry, racism, and the small thinking that results from those negative tendencies.
- Keith's biggest artistic influences include Hokusai, Andrew Wyeth, Wolf Kahn, Bill Brandt, Margaret Bourke-White, William Henry Fox Talbot, and David Hockney.
Recent career highlights
- Three photographs selected to appear recurrently in Grey's Anatomy (look for them over the bed in Meredith Grey's bedroom).
- Two photographs on the big screen in the 2016 holiday comedy Why Him?, getting ample screen time with James Franco, Brian Cranston, and members of Kiss.
- Selected for licensed reproductions with Fathead for their first-ever series of fine art photography pieces
- Having 19 photographs selected by Nashville gourmet restaurant Prima to fill the walls of one of their private dining rooms
- Sending a photograph on a European rock tour as backdrop art for a Danish singer's stage act
- Works chosen for the interior design of the swank Angel Oak Restaurant inside Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California.
A scene from season 13 of Grey's Anatomy, showing three landscape photographs by Keith Dotson.
What people are saying
"Oh, how very beautiful. It’s the small images in a big world that capture our imagination … not the big picture. These are exquisite and it warms my heart to see that these pictures also represent some of my modest endeavours in photography. Black and white is my very favourite. Thank you." —Comment on a blog post about Keith's work.
"This picture is just amazing mate! I'm completely crazy about your fantastic work! You're a true inspiration." —Instagram comment
"Another lovely site with a focus on fine art photography. His portfolio, especially those on nature and landscapes, are beautifully curated and distinctive in his personal style. The real value is in his blog though. There is just so much information and commentary from him of his portfolio work. One key learning from him: to stick with a theme/project and produce solid quality images." —Quoted about Keith on the photography website bnwtimes.com.
"Your photographs caught my eye and the more I looked at them, the deeper they got into me. What an amazing artist you are! They are sad, quiet, and beautiful." —Message received via email
"While Dotson's rich portfolio covers places, structures, and landscapes, the results come from his decisive thoughts formed long before the click of a shutter." —Quote from an article about Keith's work in DeSoto Magazine
"Wow Keith!! These are some really nice b&w images. The lighting is done exquisitely, by someone who understands lighting. Outstanding!!" —Comment on a blog post about Keith's work.
"As the beauty of his work shows, commonplace objects can become dramatic masterpieces after their colors are stripped away." —Written in an article about Keith on a popular photography blog.
"Stunning photograph. Keith was an absolute pleasure to deal with and nothing was too much trouble. Very prompt service and arrived in Australia very quickly and securely. Thank You!" —Customer review
"The picture came in today and it is even more beautiful than I expected." —Customer review
These portraits of Keith Dotson are released for use by the news media, bloggers, reviewers, and social media influencers.