Doors Open Baltimore Sponsor Highlight: Vivian Marie Doering Photography

Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, courtesy Vivian Marie Doering Photography

Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, courtesy Vivian Marie Doering Photography

By Tiffany James


Vivian Marie Doering is a Baltimore-based photographer and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. For the past five months leading up to Doors Open Baltimore 2017, Vivian has donated her spare time and photography services to capturing extraordinary images of this year’s participating sites. Vivian was kind enough to carve out time to share why Vivian Marie Doering Photography committed to being an in-kind sponsor for Doors Open Baltimore.


Vivian headshot

Tell me a little bit about Vivian Marie Doering Photography  and the work you do there.

Vivian: With my photography company, I work on many different projects, from volunteer work photographing architecture for Doors Open Baltimore, product photography for sales, and weddings, to documenting gallery artist’s work and children’s first birthdays. With my architectural work, I choose to keep people out of the photographs to create a sense of stillness and serenity. I want the viewer to be intrigued by perspective, excited by textures and colors I’ve combined in the frame, feel emotion from the inanimate, and ask “where is this?!”.

What inspired you donate your photography services for Doors Open Baltimore 2017?

Vivian: I’ve always had a passion for architectural photography. My old boss, and friend, Brian Miller, [CEO of Full Circle Fine Art Services], suggested I help him photograph the sites this year as an opportunity to explore new places in Baltimore, build my portfolio, and get people as excited about Baltimore architecture as I am.

What outcome or result do you hope will occur as a result of participating in this event?

Vivian: I hope that my photographs will inspire more people to explore Baltimore by participating in the event this year. They could be enthralled by the brilliant blue ceiling of the Brown Memorial Church, the red vibrancy of the industrial interior of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the golden glimmer of Chase Brexton Healthcare’s hallways. There is such a diverse plethora of architecture that Baltimore has to offer.

From the perspective of a photographer who has photographed several Doors Open Baltimore 2017 sites, what is the most interesting story that this event has to offer for its visitors?

Vivian: There are many intriguing stories that are part of the sites for Doors Open this year. One of my favorites was the First Unitarian Church. It is the longest standing structure to be built and used by a Unitarian congregation. I listened in on a tour with Catherine, the church historian, about the Tiffany stained glass and mosaic, the beautiful pipe organ donated by Enoch Pratt, the stunning barrel-vaulted ceiling designed by Joseph Sperry. She also explained that their congregation consists of people from many different faiths, embraces the LGBTQ community, and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. This site has a very fascinating history that will not disappoint!

In your opinion, why is it important for people to learn about Baltimore’s history through its architecture?

Vivian: Baltimore, with it’s dense history, is filled to the brim with different styles of architecture. Many structures have kept their original purpose, and others have transitioned with new functions. The architecture of Baltimore—in it’s past, present, and future—is the life of the city, joining communities together through education and entertainment.  

What was the most memorable moment you have experienced as a DOB event photographer?

Vivian: I was scheduled to photograph the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum a week after the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA. With a heavy heart, I rode over to the museum on Eutaw street and was greeted with the kind smiles of Iris (curator) and her daughter. Before I began photographing, Iris took me on a tour of the museum with their beautiful floor-to-ceiling portrait images, the new modern glass walkways on the top floors, and charming wooden spiral staircase. This museum provides many examples of strong people that should be praised for their participation in Baltimore’s history.

Prints of Doors Open Baltimore photographs by Vivian Marie Doering and Brian Miller will be available for purchase during Doors Open Baltimore at AIABaltimore and Full Circle Fine Arts Services and Photography Gallery.