Interview by Ryan Lyons
Diamond Dixon is a photographer who works to find sincerity within her subjects. There's a since of intimacy that is revealed whether it's through their eyes or body language. Currently, she resides in Baltimore where she's consistently striving for her own ideas of uniqueness within photography, magic, and in life. I got to know her and why she creates during our interview below. She's currently celebrating her birthday and the release of her new photo site. Peep our interview below.
Your portraits are exciting to me. Why have you chosen it as your medium?
Thank you! I chose portraiture because I enjoy people and capturing their natural reaction behind the lens. I feel like portraiture is power. It can empower the subject to continue being who they are and even better.
What is your intent when making an image? What do you look for?
My intent is to always create a strong image while looking for the rawest moment. I usually look for calmness, raw emotion, and sometimes playfulness.
"With each image, I aim to instill a feeling of liberation, strength, and being who you are. That's important to me." - Diamond Dixon
How do you feel about the representation of black women photographers?
I believe as black women we must implement the stories that represent us and our culture. I look up to black women like Deborah Willis. I enjoy her books Harlem and Posing Beauty. She highlights the black experience through images in such a beautiful way.
Are there any black women photographers that you look to for guidance?
I looked to Lynnette Astaire for guidance. She's a photographer and overall artist. I asked her if I could contribute to a magazine in 2011 called CY. Lynette was based in Chicago and that's where I was planning to move for school. She encouraged me to have my own direction and told me you have to be tough minded in the photo business.
"I believe as black women we must implement the stories that represent us and our culture." - Diamond Dixon
What haven't you done with photography that you would like to do?
Tailoring an image to fit my models personality. Lately, I've been getting into creating a set for my shoots and an overall mood. I would like to do more of that.
What do you think makes a good image? How often do you shoot?
For me it's always the expression of the subject, lighting that captivates the eye, and concept. Lately I shoot 2-3 times a week. It all depends on my pace. I always find a way to shoot even if it's with a trusty disposable cam.
Some of your pictures like the Uno Hype ( first photo above) one feel like apart of a story line? Is that ever a concept with your photography?
Not necessarily. With each image, I aim to instill a feeling liberation, strength, and being who you are. That's important to me.
How do you imagine your photography growing?
I imagine myself focusing on project based and conceptual imagery. Each series will have something to learn from. I want to keep people intrigued visually while informing them.
Can you also describe Diamond without a camera in contrast to Diamond with a camera?
Without a camera, I'm very adventurous, always thinking of new ways to be better in my life and with my craft. I read self help books for artists too. Those are nice. I also enjoy studying different forms of magic. With a camera, I'm able to be in the moment to actually live out what I imagined or able to experiment even more.
What would you like to create?
DIY photo exhibit installations, clothing, and a book. I've also been dabbling with creating t-shirt designs. My next creation will definitely be a whole outfit though.
Who are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by myself. I feel it's imperative.
What have you been listening to lately?
Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Butch Dawson, Sade, Blu, J Teez, and Classixx.