When your dad is a freelance professional fashion photographer for 3 decades in NYC, it’d figure you’d be a photographer as well…I’d say, you’re only partially correct.
Husband of 30 years to my best friend, father of two, navy & commercial airline pilot, high school Track & Cross Country coach and oh yeah…a senior, wedding, family and sports photographer…That’s me!
Photography motto: "I'm only as good as my last shot".
It was not until 2007 that I decided to take a stab at portrait photography. My daughter Taylor was a senior in high school in Louisville, Kentucky and it was time for senior pictures. Until this point I was just a sports photographer and I really wasn’t looking to do portraits.
That all changed when I looked at the quality of the work and the pricing of some of the local photographers I visited. I just knew I could do just as good a job, if not better. Well, long story short. I ended up shooting Taylor’s pictures and she loved them as did her friends, thus began my portrait photography career.
Shooting my daughter’s high school senior pictures was definitely very memorable, but I’d say my most memorable photo shoot would have to go to my senior shoot of Mackenzie Stovall. Now, Mackenzie was so much fun and such a free spirit, that her shoot would have been memorable for any photographer. I also had the added bonus of knowing Mackenzie and her family because I had coached her in Track and Cross Country for the 3 years prior to the shoot.
In the summer before her senior year, Mackenzie found out she was moving from Louisville to Nashville for her senior year because her dad received a job promotion. This was pretty tough to take for Mackenzie as you could imagine. Not only had she lived in Louisville her entire life, she had gone to the same school since preschool all the way through to her junior year in high school.
Things were happening fast for her that summer. She was back and forth between Louisville and Nashville over the summer looking for a new school and house and she also had gone on a mission trip to Kenya for 2 weeks. I remember Mackenzie's mom Tracy texting me one day to say that although their schedule was crazy and their time in Louisville was short, they still wanted me to shoot her pictures because they both loved my work and it would mean so much to MacKenzie for me to shoot her pictures.
Some how, amongst all the scheduling obstacles we had to avoid, we found the one day that worked for both Mackenzie and myself to shoot her pictures. Tracy was busy with the coming move and packing up the house, so Mackenzie invited her good friend Morgan for support and comic relief. MacKenzie’s senior picture session was perfect. We ended up going all over town for 7+ hours hitting a lot of Louisville's prominent landmarks. I thought going to all these sites were appropriate, since it was her swan song to a town she had grown up in since birth. Churchill Downs, The Louisville City skyline, Floyd's Fork park and the Anchorage area of town were some of the locations.
Mackenzie has that unique quality of being able to be fun and beautiful all in same shot. As you can see from her photos her big personality and fashionable looks exude in every photo. She is truly transcending. She has a personality that is infections and I’m so glad she asked me to capture her senior pictures before she left her hometown. After the session was all over, I texted Tracy to let her know that Mackenzie and Morgan were heading home and that the session went very well. Tracy texted me back immediately to say that she had just gotten off the phone with Mackenzie who was talking a “mile a minute” saying she had a fantastic time and was so excited about her pictures. I told Tracy I just wanted her final memory of Louisville to be a positive one and Tracy texted back, “Mission Accomplished”. This is the reason I’m a portrait photographer.
COMPANY: Derrick Dixon Photography