Our Story

Our founder’s story

Peter Poulides is the founder and executive director of Dallas Center for Photography. His professional career spans decades of shooting for national magazines, corporate clients, industry, advertising and stock agencies. In 1997 he started teaching some classes on the side and soon discovered that helping other people learn about photography was more personally rewarding than shooting for clients.

While expanding the course offerings at DCP, Peter and his staff started doing pro bono work for several area nonprofits. DCP collaborated with local art museums to host photo tours of exhibits and worked with other nonprofits on photography education for their staff. He also found that there was a need in the area for photographers, both professional and amateur, to have a place to exhibit their work without the hurdles and pressures of a commercial gallery.

In 2018 he made the decision to turn DCP into a not for profit corporation and assembled a board. One year later, the website changed from .com to .org, the gallery opened, and the region had its first community owned photography center.

What we do at DCP

In the first 10 years of operation, DCP has served over 4,000 unique clients. Last year alone, we offered 79 classes from beginner photography to image processing, 43 workshops from macro and studio lighting to pet photography, light painting and darkroom processes, and 14 special events including speakers, movies, swap meets and events at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas.

Why we’re so passionate about photography

We’re in the midst of a golden age of photography. Never have so many people taken so many photos with such ease and quality, and then been able to publish them worldwide in an instant. Dallas Center for Photography exists because people want a place to go, a real physical place, where they can learn about photography, attend events and see images displayed in a gallery. Photographs can be powerful. Good ones can be beautiful, touching, entertaining or troubling. Great ones have the ability to connect the viewer with moments and subjects across time and space in a way that matters. They can also be a lot of fun to create!

The fine art of photography is also a technical art. The camera is a tool, but sometimes a tough one to really understand and control. Our basic classes are known for the way they demystify the technical aspects of digital photography while keeping our clients engaged and curious about the next step. Our workshops cover a range of styles, subjects and aspirations, always encouraging experimentation and focusing more on the process instead of intently bagging the perfect trophy photo. Our events bring in speakers from across the spectrum of photographic specialties to talk about their work, their process and their lives. Other events bring people together to trade gear, talk about tintypes, watch movies or go on photo walks to spend time with other photographers.

Our facility

Dallas Center for Photography occupies a custom designed 6000 sq. ft. building near the Dallas Design District. It includes a dedicated 900 sq. ft. classroom, a large darkroom equipped for up to 10 people to print at once, an 1800 sq. ft. gallery and shooting space, staff offices and, unique to the area, has plenty of parking!