We had the good fortune of connecting with Dionna Bright and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dionna, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My sister first introduced me to the Arts. We grew up in the deep country and creating was the best way for us to connect; as individuals, as sisters and with the natural world surrounding us. Art, specifically photography, continued to remain present in my life into adulthood and I realized quickly that I loved the way that it allowed me to see, perceive, create, express and connect in beautiful ways. Pursuing an artistic career is both a dedication to the authentic moments that my sis and I shared together and a way for me to share my authenticity with others.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My portrait photography is vibrant, authentic and light-filled. Not only do I serve wonderful clients in Charlotte, North Carolina with creative ideas and photoshoots incorporating major intentions, themes and props but I am also a Self-Portrait Artist.

My professional photography journey began in 2017 when I began shooting graduate students part-time. Since a lot of my work at the time was client and income focused I began feeling burn-out pretty soon into my professional career. In 2019, when I was ready to put the camera down, I met some creatives who re-introduced creating, connecting and collaborating simply for fun. That was the breath that encouraged my transition into Creative Portraiture and Self-Portrait Art.

I began capturing self-portraits at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and realized quickly that it was a direct path to my personal healing and self-expression. To this day I’ve created over 50 self-portraits, each one being unique and expressive. In addition to this I now host guided Self-Portrait Photography Workshops for individuals in my community because I feel that everyone should experience seeing themselves from a different perspective and creating in this way.

As someone who seeks continuous growth I made goals early in my career and continued to evaluate them each year. Some of the major lessons that I have learned along the way include:

1. Authenticity and the value of a safe space.
When I am creating, collaborating, and working with my clients I encourage connection, intentionality and authenticity. Getting to know my muse is at the forefront of my service and artistry. I strive to have a presence that exudes safety, authenticity and allows others to feel like they can be themselves.

2. Not giving up, it’s all a part of the process.
There are ebbs and flows that come with running a business and creating art. I’ve had moments where I would struggle conceptualizing an idea or have a hard time promoting, managing and altogether wearing my many hats as an entrepreneur. Despite the roadblocks I have come to realize that the process itself is art and it is just as important as the outcome. Leaning on your community and support system when things get tough in any capacity is okay.

3. Other lessons include: be intentional about every part of your process, have fun, change your environment and challenge yourself to inspire ideas!

The core of my brand, my art, and my business is authenticity. I feel that when people are allowed to be themselves they shine Bright.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Charlotte, NC is such a wonderful city with so much to do, from great food options to inspirational events. There are always fun things going on and weekend festivities for people of all ages.

Socializing and food go hand in hand for me so I would take a friend to a variety of places including Hawkers, Kid Cashew, Cabo Fish Taco, Optimist (Food) Hall and Lets Meat.

Charlotte has amazing murals, one of which features my likeness. We would visit Charlotte’s Arts & Entertainment District a.k.a. NoDa, stop for some delightful ice cream from Jeni’s and then head uptown to visit my mural and many more.

While uptown we’d also visit the museum: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture!

I may be biased, but everyone should stop by Charlotte’s camera store, Biggs Camera. Not only for the awesome gear but also just to pop in and say hello to the lovely team that works there.

I would definitely take a friend to go running with Mad Miles Run Club. It is an unmatched running and community experience! Additionally, many of the Mad Miles runs take place in Camp North End which is an innovative and creative hub filled with amazing businesses (including BLK MRKT CLT), food options and creative spaces/installations.

I love events that inspire me and Creative Mornings Charlotte, hosted by CLT is Creative is a great international breakfast lecture series that will have you making new friends, connections and feeling insanely inspired to show up for yourself and others.

Last but not least, we would check out all of the amazing art and artists at VAPA Center, the Visual and Performing Arts Center in Uptown Charlotte.

There are so many things to do in Charlotte, this doesn’t even cover half of it. I always recommend anyone visiting to check out Axios Charlotte and CLTisCreative on IG to stay in-the-know.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The creatives in my community are amazing and deserve a huge shoutout. I feel so blessed to be able to not only work alongside my talented peers in Charlotte, North Carolina but to also be apart of cultivating a strong community that seeks to create, connect, support and uplift one another. In addition to this I can’t help but mention my family, my friends and everyone else who has supported and contributed to my journey. They’re all amazing and have helped me grow both in my artistry and as an individual.

Website: https://www.dionnabrightphotography.com/

Instagram: @dionna_bright | https://www.instagram.com/dionna_bright/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dionna-bright-photography-llc/

Twitter: @di_alchemist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dionnabrightphotography

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvW_gGTtvVH_d4T3AD7SrCA

Image Credits
Dionna Bright Photography

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