The Queen Photographers

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Member Profile: Shanita Dixon

Member profiles highlight black women photographers who are active members inside of The Queen Photographers Virtual CoWorking Community. These photographers participate in weekly virtual video calls to connect, support, and give advice to fellow photographers on various stages of their professional journey.

In this post learn about Shanita Dixon of  Shanita Dixon Photography

How did you get started in photography?
I started out as a youth, playing around with disposable cameras. It was the joy of Yearbook class in high school that made me curious to pursue it further. I went to the Art Institute and it was a wrap – photography was my thing!


Who inspired you along your journey?
My family and friends have been fantastic along this journey. My clients are all wonderful in their own respects and a constant inspiration. I also follow a few photographers online who motivate me to keep pushing and improving my technique and craft.


Who was the first person who believed in you?
Chris Charles, in 2010. We met in the Graphic Design program but once the photography program opened up, we maintained contact. He saw the potential before I did.


What was the moment you knew you could be successful at photography?
Once I registered my business and filed taxes after the first year, and started learning as much as I could, jumping into it full-time [with no plan — risky was an UNDERSTATEMENT, LOL!]. Of course, I made plenty of mistakes, but I knew that I was on track to building a successful business, like this was REAL and I could keep getting better at it.


How do you define success for yourself?
Success for me is waking up to do exactly what I love, taking care of myself and my loved ones, and being able to make a positive difference in so many lives by being authentically me. I intend to be a millionaire.


Give us a typical day in the life of YOU.
A typical day of mine starts with meditation, intentions, affirmations, and incense. I don’t start my day unless I talk to Spirit first. After that, I check my emails and notifications and sometimes [if I’m not too tired from overworking the night before] I check my daily schedule and figure out what’s most important to tackle. After I’ve showered for the day and made a decision, I grab breakfast from downstairs [usually toast and fruit] and water to stay hydrated throughout the day. If I’m off work, I’m up and working on my laptop or edits or graphics for the brand, brainstorming, or listening to an audiobook. I’m into self-help and spirituality like crazy, so I’m constantly doing worksheets and unearthing any beliefs that have previously held me back. And I’m constantly praying throughout the day. I also am a NIGHT OWL – I like being up when the world [this coast at least] isn’t. I would literally work until 4am, and be up again at 6 to go to work. For that reason, mid-day naps are a MUST. I wake up from the nap, energized, and I get my workout in. I try to get at least 3 a week. I define a successful day by how much love I was able to give myself and the amount of smiles I can bring to people. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s really my thing. I see myself as a lightworker, so I’m all about doing what I can to make the world just a little brighter.


What’s been your most important skill you’ve developed as a photographer?
Creativity. Whether I’m on set and I see a different angle than usual, pick up a random prop, or I try something I’ve never tried with my lights, or even in my post-processing, I’m always open to new techniques. It keeps everything fresh. My clients appreciate the individuality.


What’s been your greatest challenge?
Belief in myself. Thankfully, I’m taking the courses necessary to get clarity on my brand, so I’m sure the confidence is coming.


What’s been your greatest reward in choosing photography?
Really knowing that I’ve captured an awesome time in their lives, and that people take pride in the services I provide. Most of my clients are word-of-mouth and many of them have my prints in their homes or marketing packages.


What do you want to learn from a community of your peers?
I’d love to learn more about the techniques you guys use, and how I can add to any of the experiences!


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