Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Dila Atay received her BA in Studio Art and Art of Design from Franklin and Marshall College, minoring in Psychology. Her photography has been exhibited at the Philips Museum of Art in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and at the School of Visual Arts Gallery in New York City. In 2009, she won the Excellence in Photography Award at the Phillips Museum's Annual Juried Art Exhibition.

Atay's recent work focuses on environmental issues, but rather than work in the usual documentary style she takes a high-concept approach involving studio setups and manipulated images. Her keen eye for art and design has also been expressed in theatre and opera productions at Lancaster's Roschel Performing Arts Center, where she has served as set, costume, and lighting designer. Atay recently completed her Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Digital Photography at New York's School of Visual Arts, and currently lives and works as a professional photographer in Istanbul.