Brian Doherty’s love for photography was realized while on tour as a dancer in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.
Since 2001 he has performed sold out shows in theaters, arenas and stadiums in all 50 states and 25 countries across 6 continents. While touring the world he picked up a camera to start capturing it all and soon after, he started his own photography company.
Brian then went on to work with Grammy nominated Surefire Creative Studios, shoot national advertising campaigns, was featured on Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset and photograph a number of celebrity clients including Muhammad Ali, Jordan Knight, Nick Carter, Jenny McCarthy, Snooki, Perez Hilton and Chanel West Coast, to name a few.
In 2014, Brian’s photography career came full circle when Michael Flatley commissioned him to photograph the advertising campaign for “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games,” which went on to show his work on billboards and news outlets worldwide, taxis and buses in London and NYC and on video screens in the heart of Times Square.
Brian also captured Michael Flatley’s historic final performances at the world famous Wembley Arena, London’s West End, on Broadway and The Colosseum in Las Vegas.
When not on the road, Brian works in Boston, Los Angeles and London.
Brian Doherty is also the brother of Irish Dance champ Scott Doherty, the co-creator, choreographer, and lead dancer of Rockin’ Road to Dublin.
Brian will be joining the tour, and his brother, in November 2016 to take more fantastic photos of the 60-city show in November 2016.
Scroll down for our Q&A with the man who is the eye behind the images.
Be Inkandescent: Your brother is the co-creator of Rockin’ Road to Dublin. How does it feel to see the amazing project he has created?
Brian Doherty: Honestly, I cried after the very first show. I was so proud. This is something he’s wanted for so long and to see it come to life is so inspiring. His work ethic is incredible.
Be Inkandescent: You also are a dancer. Tell us a little about your career, and what made you decide to make the transition to photography.
Brian Doherty: Being on tour with Lord of the Dance for 14 years brought me literally everywhere. I wanted to capture it all so I bought a camera, started shooting and created a brand. That led to working with some amazing people and I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of talented people on my team.
Obviously, I jumped at the chance to capture what Scott and Chris have created from day one.
Be Inkandescent: You shot the first series of photos of Rockin’ Road to Dublin before the show evolved into the current 60-city tour. Tell us about what you’ll be doing on this tour.
Brian Doherty: This part is easy. When you have some of the best dancers and musicians in the world paired with the most dedicated team behind them… I can’t miss. This show looks as good as it sounds. I’ll be shooting promotional stills and video for the upcoming tour along with capturing all the fun that happens behind the scenes. The world has to see what they’re in for with Rockin’ Road to Dublin and I’m honored to be able to show it to them.
Be Inkandescent: You have had an amazing career as a dancer. What made you want to become a photographer?
Brian Doherty: My grandfather had a video camera at every family party. I was always drawn to that idea of creating memories. Once I was surrounded by all of the visually stunning aspects of touring the world, that was it. I knew photography had to be what I do.
Be Inkandescent: Tell us about your first photo shoot — and what you recently shot. How have you grown and changed as a photographer?
Brian Doherty: My first shoot was for Grammy nominated Surefire Creative studios in Boston. It was for an artist who actually became one of my best friends, Makio. After that I really tried to make a name for myself in the Boston scene. With a lot of hard work and networking, I built a business there. The real learning process came when I moved to LA and was incredibly lucky to assist some of the biggest names in the photo world. That was the best thing I could have done.
Fast forward to one of my most recent shoots which is one I’m most proud of was with “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali. No one has seen those photos yet as they are for a special book release but trust me, they’re moving. The last ever portraits of him alive.
Be Inkandescent: What was your big hairy dream about being a photographer when you started out? Did it come true?
Brian Doherty: When I first started, I wanted to be able to tour as a photographer, see my work on billboards and be able to walk into any store in the country and see my photo on the cover of a magazine.
I toured with Nick Carter, Jordan Knight and of course Michael Flatley. Because of Michael Flatley my work is on billboards worldwide advertising Lord of the Dance. And I had a magazine cover with Jenny McCarthy that was on newsstands nation wide. I suppose the next thing I’d want is a movie poster. That’s the next goal.
Be Inkandescent: Is there a favorite photo that you have taken?
Brian Doherty: One of my favorite photos of all time is of Michael Flatley warming up backstage moments before his last performance ever in Ireland. It’s the same venue where Lord of the Dance debuted 20 years earlier. That image has also not been seen yet as its for a photo book which will be released soon.
Be Inkandescent: Is there are photo shoot that you worked on that you wish you could forget?
Brian Doherty: I learn something at every shoot wether it be good or bad. Every single one is an opportunity for growth so every shoot is worth it.
Be Inkandescent: Was there one moment, or the one story, that changed your career?
Brian Doherty: A massive part of whatever success I’ve had is because of the people I surround myself with. Celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki is the reason I’ve been able to add such beautiful imagery to my portfolio. Everyone at Surefire Studios in Boston always help me create the best content for the musicians I work with and my friends at Copious Management in LA taught me basically everything I know and of course Michael Flatley’s trust in me to create the new look of Lord of the Dance advertising. They’re all building blocks. Nothing is overnight.
Be Inkandescent: Being a professional photographer has changed in recent years. How has your business changed with the times?
Brian Doherty: We’re living in a time where everything is available in your hands, in front of your face on a number of devices 24/7. It’s so easy to get your work, your name, your brand out there. I just need to made sure my work is the best it can be before it gets to that point. It has to stand out. I’m very picky. Otherwise it just gets lost in the sea of content.
Be Inkandescent: Tell us about your business and what you most enjoy about being an entrepreneur?
Brian Doherty: My success is limited only by my motivation. I don’t have anyone telling me what I can and can’t do. I have the freedom to chase everything I want and so far, It’s worked. That’s the best part about following your dreams. You’re the boss.
Be Inkandescent: What is your best advice for those who want to make it big as a professional photographer?
Brian Doherty: Take as many photos as you can. Everywhere. Of everything. Once you find what draws your eye then it’s time to learn. Assist photographers who’s work you admire. Don’t be afraid to say yes to a project and learn in the process. Fake it till you make it.
Be Inkandescent: If you could do it all again, would you become a photographer?
Brian Doherty: Either that or be the star of my own show…. But I’ll leave that to my brother.
For more information about Brian Doherty Photography visit BrianDohertyPhoto.com.
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