Meet Dana Washington, a thirty year old visual artist, writer, and overall creative soul from Buena Park, California. Sometime in 2010, Dana shot her first photograph in a darkly lit room. She found Tupac on the cover of XXL magazine, and with her Pentax ME Super she was able to get the shot.
“After I saw that, I knew photography was going to be a thing,” says Washington.
Since then Dana has come a long way from photographing copies of laid out magazines. She’s contributed images to L.A. Record Magazine, and has even made their front cover. Dana’s passion for music has even lead her to photographing album cover art for musicians, including Sassy Black of Seattle’s hip hop duo, THEESatisfaction. Although Dana may not know how that came to be, she doesn’t question it. “I’m honored that people actually trust me, I believe in myself that much more.”
Photography has brought on a source of self esteem for the visual artist, but Dana doesn’t stop there. Photography is used as a means of survival and confrontation. “The most important thing for me is getting [creativity] out with whatever I have.”
In her most recent series, Awa (2015), Dana captures her subjects beauty and vulnerability. Awa took off after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. “I wanted to counter the images media portrays of people of color, and attempted to present ourselves dignified and beautifully.”
You can see more of Awa, and the rest of Dana Washington’s work here.