In an industry that’s so heavily based on relationships and connecting with people, it’s no wonder that photographer Dixie Dixon’s career has skyrocketed in just the few years since she has been out of college. Her personality, charm and energy are infectious, and she goes out of her way to make everyone who she works with feel comfortable and at ease. The Texas native has spent the past few years traveling the world and creating images that not only capture a lifestyle, but often provide a much needed escape from reality. It’s fitting that I caught up with Dixon, who’s passionate about the beach, while she was enjoying the sun, surf and sand in Fort Myers, Fla., to learn about her exciting, nonstop journey.
Captivated by the imagery she found in books and magazines as a child, it was pretty natural for Dixon to develop an interest in photography, especially since her father and grandfather were both hobbyists. “My dad gave me my first camera, the Nikon FG, when I was first starting out and taught me how to use all the manual settings,” she says.
Her passion for the craft grew while studying business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. “Photography helped me come out of my shell,” she recalls. “I was a very shy person, so the camera became my sidekick. I’d go to all of these school events and photograph them.”
Dixon was in the last class at TCU to use a real darkroom before they converted to digital, allowing her to develop valuable skills that she has carried throughout her career. “I had such a passion for it,” she explains. “I was excited to have that opportunity because you can see your pictures come to life. I could spend seven hours at a time in the darkroom. It definitely helped teach me to shoot correctly in-camera.”
Photographing everything she could get her hands on while in college, Dixon assisted other photographers, and dabbled in portrait and wedding photography. She’d share her images to Facebook, which was in its early days at the time, but still proved to offer great networking opportunities and helped bring in more work for the budding photographer. She also had another talented family member whose skills proved important to her career. “My mom is extremely talented in marketing and branding, so she was a huge inspiration and help in my work and brand when I was getting started,” she says.
Dixon’s business steadily grew in college, but there was one experience that really helped her find direction as a photographer. “My junior year, I studied abroad with a world-renowned fashion photographer in London and Prague, and that’s when I really fell in love with fashion photography.”