About WDO Photography
If you want to know what WDO Photograph is all about you're in the right place. I'm professional photographer W. Donald "Don" Orkoskey. I'm the owner of WDO Photography a photography business based in Pittsburgh, PA. Find out where to find me, read about the history of WDO Photography, and find out how we can work together to make your event, portrait, or any other photography needs you have a success.
If you're near Pittsburgh and you're looking for any of the following please give me call via the button below or visit my contact page.
My speciality is on location photography. That means that your location is my location. I work out of a home office so that no matter where you are in the greater Pittsburgh area I can provide you with incredible photography, impeccable customer service, and will exceed your expectations.
I have a mobile studio that I can set up at your location for portraits and I contract with several studios throughout the greater Pittsburgh area so if need be we can schedule your session closer to where you're at. I have contracts with studios in the city, in the North, East, and South of Pittsburgh.
I opened WDO Photography in 2007 and since then have offered high quality photography services in the greater Pittsburgh area and beyond. The services I offer include portrait photography, event photography, wedding photos, commercial and business photography, as well as fine art photography, nature photography, and photography classes near Pittsburgh.
WDO Photography, Pittsburgh PA
5844 Walnut St. #3
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Why I'm a Photographer
The following video will help you understand a little bit about me and why I'm a photographer. It was created by one of my photography students, Dejah, who interviewed me while I taught her videography. Find out about my time as a photographer, some of the highlights, and hear some advice for those looking to become a photographer.
My story starts in West Virginia with a 110 film camera and a Polaroid 600 Instant camera. I grew up in a middle class family, fell in love with telling stories, taking photos, and with creating visual art of all sorts. At the age of 12 my parents separated and my mom lost her "good job" that helped us live a nice comfortable life. I ended up having quite an adventurous time as a teen. I worked in a factory, worked late nights for an inventory service, and generally got to see some ugly sides of the world. In high school I took a photography class and was hooked. I decided then and there to study photography.
Over 20 years later I still love to meet new people, hear about their lives, and to create photographs with them. I live on the East side of Pittsburgh with my wife Zhanna and our cat Glasha. I like to be involved in my community. I ran a nonprofit for several years during a particularly difficult time for the organization but managed to pull it out of a nosedive and get it set on the right track. I'm a problem solver and am dedicated to doing things right.
When I'm not taking photos for clients I can often be found in the woods creating fine art nature photos, teaching others photography, or at the soccer field playing pickup football with people from all over the world. I still remember a bit of ASL (American Sign Language), can speak a tiny bit of Spanish, and I'm learning Russian, (my wife's native language). I care about social justice, immigrant's right, and the plight of displaced people the world over.
Today & Tomorrow
Today and tomorrow I'm working to do more conservation photography. I want to tell stories about the places I love and the threats they face. I'm teaching more private lessons these days and want to work more with kids and other groups that are often neglected when it comes to having their stories seen or listened to. I'm also looking to exhibit more work. You can see a list of where I've exhibited below.
In 2022 I joined the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. I was elected to the position of Secretary of the Board. I'm very proud to serve my local chapter and to help improve the photography industry locally and nationwide. ASMP Pittsburgh is dedicated to helping photographers in Pittsburgh thrive.
Here is a list of current and former exhibitions I've been a part of:
- POV Approaches To Nature Photography Pittsburgh Botanic Garden (2022): This group show featuring myself and 5 other photographers looks at nature photography from different perspectives. You can read more about the show in my blog post Discover The Best Nature Photography In Pittsburgh.
- Selfie The Westmoreland Museum of American Art (2014) This show was the result of a residency project working with 4th graders asking questions of self representation and the definition of self. The students provided objects that helped define who they see themselves as and want others to see them as. I photographed them and they created collages of the photos in the style of David Hockney.
- Connecting Pittsburgh Prague House of Photography (2009): this was an exchange showcasing photographers from Czechia and Slovakia here in Pittsburgh and a group of Pittsburgh photographers at the Prague House of Photography. Read about it in this archived Post Gazette article.
WDO Photography History
After successfully working as an assistant and second photographer for several amazing photographers all around Pittsburgh I started WDO Photography in 2007. I've always loved meeting and finding out about people. I always wanted to be an editorial photographer but as a result of cutbacks in the world of newspapers and editorial photography more generally I decided to pursue event and portrait photography as my main focus. I also began to offer photography classes and private lessons in the fall of 2007.
Over the following years I've worked with a ton of amazing clients, photographed a sitting president, taught a lot of talented photographers, and had the privilege to help capture and tell some amazing stories. I really believe that everyone's story deserves to be recorded and preserved. We all have unique contributions to offer to the world and I love having the opportunity to help people share their talents and tell their stories through photography.
Tell Your Story
I'm a photographer because I want to tell your story. Tell me your what you want the world to see when they look at you and I will help you achieve that. For the last twenty years I've worked with people like you, helping them to tell their stories together.
You know what you wish to project into the world, you know how you want to be seen. I know how to translate that vision photographically. Every single portrait tells a story. From your pose to how I light you. It all matters when it comes to showing the world what you want them to see.
This is why before I take a single photo of you we'll talk about how you want people to feel or think about you. Do you want to project your strength, your kindness, your wisdom, your expertise? No matter what your truth is, together, we can create photos that tells that story and shows the world who you are no matter the type of photography we're doing together from individual and family portraits to your wedding or even your company's event.
I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2001 before attending Point Park University and the University of Pittsburgh. I studied photography, photojournalism, and information science at each of these schools. There were quite a few influential people I had the privilege to learn from including Professors Barry Lavery, Tom Donnelly, John Beale, and more.
I learned a great deal from these incredible photographers. Barry Lavery was an expert storyteller who traveled the world and had a passion and empathy only matched by his wit and enthusiasm for life. Tom Donnelly was a walking database of photographic knowledge who could take a photo of a hunk of coal and make it look sexy. John Beale continues to amaze me with his abilities to find and photograph the mundane in unique and interesting ways.
In addition to taking photos I've also been teaching photography classes since 2007. I teach classes independently as well as through community partners including Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. I love teaching photography near Pittsburgh.
Even before I started WDO Photography helping people understand photography was important for me. Teaching photography classes is a direct way to spread that knowledge and share my love of photography with the world. Check out my list of classes here.
My past clients list is quite large and include the following companies which I really enjoyed working for. I've worked with many of those listed here on numerous occasions.
- Buddig Meat
- Discovery Church (A Night To Remember)
- Effectv (Comcast Spotlight)
- Grow Pittsburgh
- Jeremiah's Place
- North American Fruit Explorers
- Strip District Meats
- Strip District Neighbors
- The Atlantic Magazine
- The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
- The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary
Do you have any questions or are you ready to talk about what you need? Contact me with the form below and we can start to plan out your photos.