Fashion & Advertising Photographer Nikon Ambassador Www.Dixiedixon.com IG @iamdixiedixon Dixie@dixiedixon.com
Prime lenses are much more cinematic, with a 1.4 aperture and beautiful bokeh and sharpness. If starting out in fashion photography, the 105 millimeter is a great lens to invest in. Transcript: "Zoom or prime lens? I would go with the prime lens every day. Every single day. There's something about the prime lenses. They're so much more cinematic, especially with say a 1.4 aperture. And I just love the bokeh and the quality that you get from the prime lenses, and the sharpness. So I actually only own primes and I will rent zooms when I need them for say documentary type projects, like runway events, and fashion photography events that are going to be super fast and I got to have that zoom. But otherwise, if I have full control of the production and the fashion shoot, I always choose primes. Some of my favorite primes are the 105 millimeter Nikkor, the 1.4. Gosh, I love the 200 f/2. Oh, such a great lens. And the 85, the 50, the 35. I have them all. So yeah, I definitely recommend the primes. And if you're just starting out in fashion photography, my go-to would probably be the 105 millimeter, if you could just choose one lens. So hope that helps. Peace out."
Instead of striving for work-life balance, I focus on presence. Being fully present in whatever you are doing is more important than striving for balance. This means being completely immersed in a shoot if you're working, or not being on your phone when hanging out with friends. Presence is what life is about and striving for balance can come from a place of lack. Transcript: "That's a great question. How do you manage work-life balance? So I am a little bit different in. I don't really believe in work life balance. I just think that if you are fully enjoying whatever you're doing, that's what life is about. Like if you're as long as you are fully present and whatever you're doing, whether you're shooting your fully immersed in that you're just fully focused on that shoot. If you're hanging out with friends, you're fully. Present, you're not on your phone. You're just thoroughly enjoying that moment. I really think balance, I mean, if you're striving for balance, it means that you're coming from a place of lack and I try not to come from a place of lack and I try to come from a place of how can I be fully present in this moment because really, that's what life's about. It's just being fully present in that moment. So if you can focus more on presents than balance, I think it might kind of shift your thinking in a way as opposed to striving for this work life. If balance thing that I had tried to work on for the past, like, 10 years. It's never happened because I love photography so much and some might be a consider me a workaholic. And I honestly I love it. I still love and keep up with all the relationships in my life as well. And I'm fully present whenever you know, I'm hanging out with friends or family or whatever it is. I just I think really instead of striving to find this quote unquote balance that we should on. Honestly, be looking more at Presence, so hopefully that's helpful."
The biggest misconception about what I do for a living is that people tend to think it's glamorous and all done for you. In reality, there are so many details and long hours that go into fashion photography. It takes true grit and passion to be successful in this field. Transcript: "What is the biggest misconception about? What you do for a living? I like that. So I would say in fashion photography. The biggest misconception about what I do for a living is that people tend to think that's the super glamorous sort of Lifestyle where you're just traveling around and going to fashion shows. And you just sort of show up to a shoot and These beautiful pictures and it's sort of all done for you. Like a lot of people, I think, think that with some of my Productions that I just show up and shoot it and it's like all pre-made or prepared. I wish that was the fact, but people don't realize gosh, how much goes into every single production that we do. I mean, down to every single detail and a lot of these days that I'm shooting and creating I mean they could be 10 to 18 hour days in 100 degree, heat with barely any breaks or being able to sit down. I mean your mind is constantly on for those hours. And so I tend to really crash out after production days just because they are. So exhausting, but they're obviously such a great adrenaline. Their adrenaline rush in definitely my ultimate passion, I loved every single minute of it but I just don't think people realize the sheer work that goes into it. I mean, to do it. Photography for a living is such a joy and an honor but it's also it's you really have to love it to go to the amount of work, that photographers, go to to, you know, make a great living doing doing photography, and doing what we love. And so I think that's probably the biggest misconception is just that whole fashion photography Looks So Glamorous. The end result so beautiful. But man, what goes in And what goes into it is definitely True Grit."
My first mentor was Jeff Licata, a world-renowned fashion photographer I studied abroad with during my senior year. I also worked with Matthew Jordan Smith and had a great business mentor in college who told me to pursue photography instead of an investment firm job. Transcript: "That's a great question. Gosh, I feel like I've had so many mentors. So many great great folks that have helped me along the way. Very grateful for that. But basically my senior year, I actually studied abroad with the world-renowned fashion photographer. And his name was Jeff, Licata. And so, he was definitely the very first of my mentors. And so was the teacher on that program. Doc, Mason incredible teacher and Jeff had Actually shot for Valentino and Calvin Klein and Vogue and all these amazing Brands. So that's definitely was a huge, huge part, in building my and just starting my fashion career and also, I worked with Matthew, Jordan Smith. He's gosh, he's awesome. He's actually built Tyra Banks career. So I worked with him. I walked up to him after he had spoken at a trade show. And I asked if I could assist him and And so he let me assist him one time when I was in LA for a week and assist on all his personal projects and whatnot that he had going on, and that was such a huge, huge help. And now fast forward, like 10 years, it's crazy at all comes full circle. So we're both Nikon ambassadors now. So we both get to work together on Nikon stuff. So it's definitely surreal and amazing and so grateful for that. And then lastly, I actually in college. I had a really great business Mentor that told me, you know, I had actually applied. I majored in business and applied for investment investment firm job and I got the job but my mentor is like Dixie if you're interested in photography, like now is the time to go for it. So I ended up turning it down at the advice of my mentor and pursuing photography and I sort of haven't looked back. It all seemed to work out so grateful for that and it's been quite the journey. So"
When I'm flying, I always take my camera gear with me in a Manfrotto Reloader series bag. It has three bodies (Z9 and E7/E8 50), a variety of prime lenses, memory cards, and small sand disk drives for backing up images. Transcript: "Hey guys. Great question. What did your carry-on bag look like? So when I'm flying, gosh, I take a lot of stuff with me. I never take the lighting gear, but I always liked to read that wherever I go. Unless it's a really remote location, but I do like to carry on and take all of my camera gear. So usually it's three bodies. We've got gosh, I've got the z9 as E7. Actually 2z nines and then as E7 and E8 50. So for bodies, it's kind of like Overkill, but I just like to have extras. Just in case you never know what could go wrong. I pack them in the gosh. I love the new manfrotto. Reloader series of bags, they've got soft cases as well. It's hard cases and the soft case that I use has four wheels. It's really easy through the airport. Super nice. They also have a really nice hard case as well. And then I've got gosh a variety of lenses. I only shoot Prime's. So I've got like the see the 24, the 35, the 50, the 85, the 105 macro and then the 300. So those are my main prime lenses that I bring with me and believe, you're not at all fits in my carry-on somehow someway, as well as the memory card. Words and it has a nice laptops sleeve as well. And then I also take those little sand discard drives because those are really helpful to backup images and they're super lightweight and they hold like two terabytes. So yeah, I think that covers it. Yeah. That's about all I bring in my carry-on. Yeah, alright the hope that's helpful and I hope you guys have a great day. Cheers."
I like to go on walks, meditate, go to the dog park with my Frenchies, and take bubble baths with lavender as a way to relax in my downtime. Transcript: "Favorite way to relax in my downtime. Yes, so important. So so important. So gosh I'll Throwdown time. I love to go on walks, around my neighborhood. I actually live next to a ranch. So there's cows and animals, and all kinds of things to see and it's a cool kind of river as well. So I kind of I love To walk. And also I try to meditate every so often not really been in the great swing of things lately. But meditation is so important and I do try to do that. Often gosh, what else? I love to go to the dog park with the Frenchies, and lastly, I'd say bubble baths been really into those Past couple years, you know with lavender and those are just very relaxing so I guess that answers the question and yeah would love to hear what you guys do to relax. Need some tips."