Mykalee McGowan

Capturing Moments with Diamond Dixon

Self Portrait. Source: Diamond Dixon

Batteries charged? Check. Memory cards cleared? Check. Diamond Dixon, a 21-year-old Baltimore photographer,  packs up her equipment and head to her car. During her drive, she inserts The Love Movement by A Tribe Called Quest in her CD player. With her tunes playing in the background, she clears her mind to prepare for another day of work.  

This is an average day for Dixon. While many people her age focus on graduating college and joining the workforce, Dixon is part of a select few who chose the path of becoming a creative entrepreneur with photography as her skill of choice.

Dixon’s interest in photography started at a young age. Memories of her father taking pictures at family event enticed her to save up her Chuck E. Cheese tickets for a camera of her own. After her grandfather gave her her first film camera, she became the unofficial historian of her family and high school peers.

“ I was taking pictures of family events, creating CD’s and stuff like that. I was always recording stuff. I was addicted to taking photos and inspiring people. That’s where it became prominent in my life,” she said.

Source: Diamond Dixon
Source: Diamond Dixon

During her last two years of high school, Dixon knew she wanted to become a photographer. That was until she took a film photography class in her senior year.

“It was so hard for me because I never did anything like that before. At that point, I felt that my work was eww. But I learned to push through and create my own lane of photography,” she said.

And that she did as her photos has graced entertainment websites like The Fader, Brightest Young Things, and Pitchfork. Dixon has a extensive collection ranging from concert photography to everyday people. Despite the variety of subjects, the main focus of her work is to capture authenticity.

My work is literally to bring forth organic moments. I’m all for that. I like capturing it because I feel like often time we remember people for who they are but when you get it on camera it’s a better feeling,” she said.

Bilal, singer. Source: Diamond Dixon
Moruf, rapper. Source: Diamond Dixon
Erykah Badu, singer. Source Diamond Dixon
Vashtie, DJ and director. Source: Diamond Dixon

Dixon’s mission to photographing “organic moments” has recently moved towards filming them. She is currently creating her first documentary called B-More. B-More is about two Baltimore residents who are changing the world’s perspective of their hometown through music. Going from photography to film has been a challenging yet awarding transition to Dixon.

“I feel like this is a whole different type of art medium of really capturing somebody in their essence. You have to find those different times with that person that really is being in the moment,” she said.

Whether it’s filming for the documentary or doing a photo shoot, Dixon credits many upcoming artists as her inspiration. According to Dixon, artists such as Rog Walker, Andre Wagner of Abstract Elements, Uno Hype, Khalil Joseph, and King Maddox are the future.

Uno Hype, rapper. Source:Diamond Dixon

“The newcomers, we are the game changers. It’s not about being like anybody else. It’s not about fitting into a certain mold. Whatever I’m into, that’s what I’m gonna do and harness that energy. I’m gonna own my craft,” she said.

She is also inspired by people who made started small and broke into the creative industry like Kesh, an LA based artist and Street Etiquette, the men’s fashion duo.

“The people I look up to, they have their own business now. And beyond their own business, they created their own lifestyle,” she said.

An artist’s lifestyle isn’t all glamorous, but Dixon has a great support team in her friends and family.

“They believe in me. They believe it’s just that they don’t see it right now. They don’t see the big empire that I’m definitely gonna have but they definitely believe in it. One day, I asked my dad ‘do you think I’m really gonna make it in this photography thing?’. And he was like, ‘yeah, you just gotta be focused’,”she said.

Even though he instills the idea of being focused to his daughter, Marvin Dixon is very proud of far his daughter has come.

“Diamond’s a go-getter, she’s not gonna say no. She’s gonna keep on going no matter how many doors slam into her face. I know when she has a goal in mind, she’s gonna do it”, he said.

With a slew of projects such as an photo exhibition, the documentary, and a magazine coming in 2015, Diamond Dixon workload is heavy but it’s not going to break her.

“There’s no way I’m quitting, stop doing it out of nowhere because I believe I am talented”, she said.

Check out more of Diamond Dixon’s work at DiamondDixon.com and Facebook.com/bmorethemovie.

Self Portrait. Source: Diamond Dixon