by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
McCade Dolan is a nice guy. But unlike most nice guys who finish last, this young photographer with a heart of gold is winning the race. The reason? He is as talented as he is charming, and, as anybody who's worked with him will tell you, he's got the right amount of 'what it takes' mixed with the right motive. McCade Dolan uses his art to make a connection.
Dolan was born in Washington state, moved to Arizona for 10 years, and then moved back to Washington a few years ago. 'I love it here,' he told Seattle Gay News. 'Capitol Hill is a great place to go and have fun. It's vibrant, full of diversity, and I find myself visiting often. It's nice to have a place to go where you can be yourself.'
Being himself is something Dolan always strives to do. Photographing models and attending nightclub events can do something to a person's ego. Dolan says he isn't interested in all that. For him, it's all about the connection. 'Meeting so many talented people and being able to create art with them is so exciting,' he said.
Because of his positive attitude and general outlook on life, things have been going well for the young photographer. 'What goes around comes around,' he says, referring to his pro-bono work with local nonprofits and businesses.
Dolan is an out Gay artist. He says that being Gay is not something that has ever stopped him from pursuing his dreams. 'If anything, being gay has opened doors for me,' he told SGN. 'I've had the opportunity to work with great organizations, talented artists, and models, both Gay and straight. The exposure has been great because of the connections I've made in Seattle.'
Dolan is hearing-impaired. However, just as the case with his sexual orientation, he says that he's never allowed that to hinder his work, personal relationships, or ambition. 'I'm just your average hard-of-hearing Gay photographer,' he jokes. 'Just kidding. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love my camera. I like to live my life to the fullest, and capture the moments on the way.'
'My grandmother said something to me I will never forget,' he continued. 'She said, 'In life there may be limitations, but never any limits.'
Limits are not something Dolan believes in. In fact, the only limits are the ones you put on yourself. Which would explain his burst of local notoriety and why, for the second summer in a row, he is showcasing his high-fashion portfolio at the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center (HSDC) on Saturday, June 22, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. HSDC is located at 1625 19th Avenue in Capitol Hill.
EXPECT THE UNUSUAL
'Get ready to rock, because this is ain't your Grandma's tea-and-crumpets photo exhibit,' Aimee Chou, a spokesperson for Dolan, told SGN.
Indeed, at the exhibit you will feast your peepers on eye candy like 'Pearl Constellations' (in which a model is literally studded with the sea's magnificent jewelry), the provocative yet beautiful 'Numb,' a medieval-inspired 'Project Silver,' and the Vogue-worthy 'Queen Andromeda' to name just a few.
'You've seen this work on the avant-garde Dark Beauty Magazine website, and you may have seen him working his Canon at various haunts around town - Q Bar, Edmonds parks, and Seattle alleys,' said Chou. 'He is McCade Dolan, an up-and-coming photographer who has taken the Seattle fashion photography scene by storm in recent years.'
With a creative brain that's ticking 24/7, he's known to seek out props as seemingly absurd as a freestanding bathtub or a nun's habit. But what results is only absurdly cool: 'As a photographer, my aspirations are continuing to learn, inspire, and grow. I've been hard at work for the past four years when it's come to my work,' said Dolan.
His first exhibit, last year, was such a hit that he immediately began planning the next. The result: Four performers, six raffle prizes, and more than 20 hand-selected exhibit photos in the form of 16-by-20 canvas prints as well as 8-by-10 matte-framed photos encased in plastic sleeves.
'I'm excited to see the outcome,' he said. 'There's nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your own photos on display for everyone to see.'
Or seeing your images in a limited-edition photo booklet, for that matter. For $75, you can buy 80 pages of Cadeography goodness that will spice up any coffee table.
It takes a village to create photos and an exhibit, so for an extrasensory pop, watch performers VELO, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Cannoli, and Liah Walker at the show. Artist/model/local celebrity Victoria Victor (the subject of eye-catching Cadeography photos like 'Martyr') will play host. Meet Cadeography's dynamic team of models, makeup artists (such as Paula Yahn), stylists (such as Stylewithtan and F.D.T.C.), and costume designers (Devon Yan-Berrong), as well as interpreters Josh Bourque and Karen Royea.
Curious about how Dolan's team created insanely pouty lips and razor-sharp cheekbones, sewed mile-long billowing white dresses, or dodged pneumonia during winter 'Waterfall' shoots? Pick their brains while noshing on free refreshments and wine.
Dolan told SGN that the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to him on a photo shoot was when he was doing one in a historical building and didn't realize someone was still living there. 'This woman came out screaming, 'Why are you in my house?' he recalled. 'I was so embarrassed!'
But the most amazing thing isn't something that happened at a photo-shoot, he said. Rather, 'it's the connections I've made from these photo shoots.'
Three things you might not know about Dolan: he is aviophobic (afraid of flying), his partner of four years is his first real relationship, and when he was a kid, he wanted to be an actor.
Dolan has volunteered at HSDC for the past 3 years. Avant-garde fashion's not his only forte: He also takes photos at fundraising events as well as class photos for preschool kids.
'Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center (HSDC) has been supporting Seattle's Deaf and hard of hearing communities for over 75 years and is proud to be hosting Cadeography's upcoming photo exhibit,' an HSDC representative said. 'Thanks for all your hard work, McCade - we are excited for your show!'
Check out volunteer opportunities with HSDC by visiting www.hsdc.org.
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