We had the good fortune of connecting with Deon “DK” Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deon “DK”, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Balance is something that is often downplayed but is very necessary to be successful. As a young creative who is obsessed with my craft, I normally would overlook balance for the sake of working nonstop. I used to see this as being “dedicated” but it’s actually working hard and not smart. Anything you do too much of, even if you love it, will burn you out. I didn’t believe that until it started happening to me. So I’ve had to learn that it actually IS okay to stop taking pictures for a day or two and do something else I love. It IS okay to have a rest day and regroup your mental and physical by taking it easy every once and a while. We must forgive ourselves for wanting to take a break because it is OKAY! That balance is needed so when you jump back into your work, purpose, or craft…you can give it all you’ve got!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love this question because it makes me think back on everything and how it all added up together to get me to this point. This could easily become an essay! Making it to this point in my creative journey is a blessing in itself. I didn’t start out as a photographer. I was and still am an actor first. A lot of people don’t know that because my photography has stolen the show recently. But my first passion and creative pursuit was/is acting. With that being the case, I approach photography differently than some of my amazing peers. In my area, a lot of photographers focus on the technical aspect of photography. There’s nothing wrong with that because you need to know the technicals to take great pictures. But I’m more of a visionary. I believe my vision is what sets me apart. I don’t see a photoshoot as just a person in front of a backdrop with lights in front of them. I view it as a story waiting to be told and I just so happen to be the author or illustrator at that moment. It’s the same as receiving a script when I’m acting. Someone is handing me the story and they want me to illustrate it in my own style. When a client comes to me with a photoshoot idea, I see it as a script that they want me to bring to life with my vision in mind. Approaching photography this way yields very creative and different results. I know all of that sounds nice but it took me a while to fully understand this process. I had to dig deep within myself and learn who I was and then love that person. Once that inner work took place, I was able to give myself to my work, clients, models, directors, etc. in a more efficient way because I finally knew who I was, what my value was, and what I have to offer. Oh yeah, it helps in my personal life too. And having a healthy personal life extends to your business and creative life as well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is tough because I’m naturally an introvert! I guess if I had to come up with a day plan we would start off visiting downtown. Downtown Columbia is very historic and also the spot where everything is. I’m currently in the northeast area of Columbia so when you go downtown, it’s almost as if you’re in another city. So we would go there and maybe walk the strip and check out some stores and what not. There’s a lot of options to eat down there so maybe we could check out a place like Wet Willie’s, Wild Wings, or Mellow Mushroom and get some wings or a pizza. The statehouse isn’t far from there, so we could walk there next and just look around and “see the sights”. I probably would have my camera with me so they would involuntarily become my model for that day. I shoot at the statehouse often so that would be fun. Another area I could take them to would be Harbison. Harbison/West Columbia is another area that’s pretty exciting in Columbia for the most part. There’s Harbison Mall which is a good place to spend a lot of money fast. Inside of that mall there’s a Dave & Busters. There’s also an arcade/restaurant/ bowling alley called Stars & Stripes where you can literally do everything. Drink, eat, hang out, play games and bowl. I think that would be pretty fun and like I said, I’ll most likely have my camera so that could easily turn into an arcade-style photoshoot. To calm things down, I could bring them over to the northeast side of Cola and take them to some parks or Sunset Park in particular which is in Lake Carolina. The is area has an amazing view of the sky and access to the lake. It’s a nice area to unwind and take it easy. Like I mentioned before, I’m an introvert so I may not be the most fun person to hang around but I know how to make sure people are having a good time. At least I hope so!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s so many people who have personally helped me become to creative I am today. I obviously could shoutout my mother who constantly helps me on my journey every single day no matter what she’s going through personally. There wouldn’t be a DK Turner without her. That’s the obvious answer, right? But I really want to take time out to shoutout all of the young creatives in my community and surrounding areas who are on their purpose and doing what they love at a young age. It takes a lot of courage to be yourself and be tapped in to your creative instincts on a daily basis and that is very inspiring to me. To see so many creatives working and following their passions, it gives me a sense of belonging and validation that I’m doing the right thing. I’m in the right space. So for that, I’m thankful. Keep creating, everyone!
Facebook: DK Turner/DK Turner Photography
DK Turner Photography