Artistic Vigilante got a time out with awesome surealism and dark art photographer dawndra budd. Scroll down to enjoy this fascinating and insightful interview.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Kindly tell us your full name and your country of origin

DAWNDRA – Dawndra Budd. USA. I claim the country, but not it’s current leadership.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – How did you get started in photography?

DAWNDRA – I took a class just for fun when I was 18 and just starting college. I fell in love with the darkroom. That was a long time ago!

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – A lot of your images seem to be lonely, distant, dreamy and a bit dark can you kindly explain what your photographic process and inspiration is?

DAWNDRA – I guess to be painfully honest, I don’t really have much family and I often feel alone. Art is a reflection of yourself- at least a part of yourself. I suppose I am a little lonely, but not when I have my photography. I am a little distant and in my own world.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – How did you get into the genre of dark arts and fantasy?

DAWNDRA – I guess it just excites me. Starting with movies as a kid. Legend, Never ending Story, I LOVE Barbarella. I also am a huge music lover, and the music conjures things for me. I am drawn to the other-worldly. I want things to look more like my imagination. Real life can be boring, haha. I love dark films, dark moody music. Vintage or timeless clothes.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – A lot of the time you seem to do outdoor shoots as opposed to indoor shoots,why this preference?

DAWNDRA –  I love the outdoors. If there were more abandoned buildings and castles around here, I would be in them! But I have always loved the beauty of animals and nature since I was a kid.  I escaped into the forest. My best childhood memories were there, that was my sanctuary. I dreamed of riding horses and living off the grid with a bunch of wild dogs. I feel like being next to some beautiful nature puts you in check, makes you realize how big the world is and how small your problems are.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – A lot of your shoots seem to have a lot of planning required especially for model selection; it certainly doesn’t look easy to pull off can you explain the process of getting models for your creative ideas?

DAWNDRA – I have a lot of inquiries from models looking for me to photograph them. I tend to use my friends for the most part to be perfectly honest. I love to shoot with new people, don’t get me wrong. But most of my planned shoots are with a few select model/friends who I know well and we work well together to create my art. There is often a road trip involved, rescheduling because of weather. It’s a lot of work before and it’s just simply a fun experience with my girls.  Some contribute ideas more than others, some have real modeling experience and some do not. I am lucky to have friends who have let me experiment on them for years.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Does this genre of photography fetch you money or is it purely for the art?

DAWNDRA – Both. I do have a business that supports me (Portraits by Dawndra) but there is a crossover in the two worlds at times, that is my favorite. Believe it or not, I photograph families and weddings etC. for a living. I do sell prints and have art shows, and I am working hard at getting better at  promoting both of my photographic endeavors. I am very good at pumping out the work, but I’m not so great at promoting myself. Is there a magic spell to fix that?

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – How much does a dawndra shoot cost ?

DAWNDRA – Depends on what kind of shoot! I do so many – couples, families. If your talking about a fantastical shoot I do get those jobs once in a while. And I struggle with what to charge, but I want charge a lot.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – What are you preferred gear for shooting?

DAWNDRA – I shoot on a Nikon D810 and I use prime lenses. Both Sigma Art and Nikon lenses. I always bring my prism in my bag. Sometimes I bring an Icelight.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – You seem to have a lot of world class images and it is pretty important to us that the world see them and it has a wide reach, what are you doing to promote your art?

DAWNDRA – This interview at the moment:) I’m going to have a fun art show this year on Halloween at the Virago Gallery in West Seattle. Come see me.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Can you please leave a word of advice for photographers that want to do the very same thing you are doing?

DAWNDRA – You have to just do it until you find your stride. For some (whom I am jealous of) that happens fast. It took me a long time to get into my distinct style. I was pretty slow at it to be honest. I had a lot of dry periods over the years but now I won’t allow it. You find the inspiration.

ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Where can you be reached for commissioned work and jobs?

DAWNDRA – Instagram; dawndraphoto Facebook Photographs by Dawndra. Email or you can simply light your Dawndra VooDoo Doll up and talk to me that way. I will be listening.

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