Latoya Dixon Smith is a wedding and lifestyle commercial photographer based in Greenville, SC. She has been widely featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Borrowed & Blue, and 99u. Along with photographing crazy-in-love couples who are mindful in their journeys together, Latoya finds her passion in educating and leading The Queen Photographers --a national community of black women photographers aiming to equip each other in business and foster a supportive Sisterhood. Outside of the photography world, she enjoys road trips with her husband Lee and their son, Kent.
If you could tell your younger self something you’ve learned along the way, what would you say?
My advice to my younger self on my journey would be to quickly find people (whether in my specific industry or not) who have already traveled the road you want to embark on. Learn from them, be inspired by them, but also be so grounded in your purpose that you use that as a gage for making your most critical decisions. The universe makes space for all of us to be great in our own way. Most of the time, we just need to step into it, confidently and boldly.
What is the most unique or special place you’ve worked/done a shoot?
During my first year in business I was hired to photograph a natural skin care line created based in South Carolina. The project was the first of its kind for me so I was really eager. The shoot took place on a humid, 100+ degree afternoon, almost unbearably hot. But the owner, the make up artists, the owner, and the creative director were all troopers. We made a scorching day in South Carolina look like a tropical paradise in the photos. Those images are some of my favorites to this day.
What inspired you to become an image maker?
I came to the world of photography about how a lot of photographer moms do. When our son was about 18 months old we bought a camera to capture the day to day milestones that first-time parents never want to miss. My curiosity with my camera challenged me to become better and before I knew it, I had people asking me to take their family photos. It wasn't until I linked up with another aspiring photographer in my area that I was inspired and encouraged to take myself seriously and start the business. We later created The Queen Photographers, a national organization that provides a network and the tools and resources for women of color photographers--a model of what we needed when we began our photography journeys.