Image 1 by Dawn Hester

Dawn Hester Q&A

Dawn Hester talks photography with TheBlkGaze.

To me the Black gaze is when people are surprised and/or shocked I’m not a wedding photographer. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong being a wedding photographer but all Black photographers aren’t.

How does this relate to your photography practice?

It really doesn’t. I photograph what I enjoy. If I decide to shoot what others want me to then I will lose myself, my passion.

What do you want to say or address with your photography?

My tag line on my website is “capturing what is here today and may be gone tomorrow.” Regardless if it’s a portrait, a landscape, or any type of event, I want to give it 200+ percent to capture with my upmost ability. I want whoever is viewing my work can “feel” my work.

Image 2 by Dawn Hester

What influences and inspires you? How is this reflected in your work?

Life in general. Old buildings where you would say “if these walls could talk”. Older generation and their history of life. Really nothing in particular but I try my best to document and make sure I document 💯.

Who are your favourite Black photographers from the past? Why?

Gordon Parks. I started out as a film shooter. Looking at his work just reminds me so much of my life growing up. His work makes me pull out old photographs of my life and reflect. I love black and white and it brings out so much personality in people and everything else.

Image 3 by Dawn Hester

Please describe the highs and lows of your experience as a Black photographer?

The highs? I retired as a Forensic Photographer, the best career ever.

Lows is a tough question! Maybe meeting photographers whose backgrounds are forensic/law enforcement.

Image 4 by Dawn Hester

What work are you producing and what more would you like to do?

Because of COVID-19 I don’t travel as much. I did start a podcast Photography Adventures and that’s been fun. Maybe when things become a little safe travel by train and document life.


About Dawn Hester

Dawn Hester is a retired retired Air National Guard and FBI photographer who is blessed with 35 years of photography experience and the passion to continue enjoying doing what she loves.

Dawn’s photography is best described as, ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that’. She invests her time travelling and capturing what is here today and may be gone tomorrow”. Dawn continues to share her passion via the Photography Adventures podcast.

You can find more of Dawn’s work on her website, Instagram and Twitter accounts.


Take part in The Q&A

The Q&A is an ongoing discussion open to Black photographers of all ages, genders and genres.