Dixie Dixon has always been inspired by the allure, magic and unique challenge of shooting fashion photography. Texas born and bred, Dixie’s projects have taken her around the world. As one of the 16 original US Nikon Ambassadors, Dixie has spent the last decade bringing creative visions to life for major commercial brands, ad agencies, and fashion/commercial clients such as Nikon, Disney, Virgin, Florsheim Shoes, Rock & Roll Denim, Marriott and more. In 2021, Dixie ranked #1 Top Fashion Photographer by One Eyeland Awards worldwide.
Every weekend at 6:00 A.M., shy, blonde-haired Dixie Dixon would show up on the school field, full-manual Nikon FG in hand, to shoot Little League pictures. Shooting took all day. Chaos set in whenever kids would arbitrarily switch positions in line. It wasn’t much of a job, but for a quiet Texas girl in high school, $10 an hour sounded like heaven. Dixie loved it. As the little kids say, she loved it enough to marry it.
Dixie’s camera was the artificial confidence that let her experience every party, social event, and sports game. It was her ticket to life. One day in 2003, the Klein High School Bearkats were getting their butts kicked. The band was blown out. The cheerleaders were listless. Photojournalist wisdom dictated that Dixie should capture the moment as it stood before her, but then inspiration struck.
"I got them all stirred up," recalls Dixon. "I said, ‘I want you guys to go out there and cheer as hard as you can!’ They did, and I captured that moment. I created that moment, just like I do now in fashion. My image made the cover of the yearbook. I think that’s really when I decided to pursue photography for a living."
Dixon went on to college, where she majored in Business with a minor in Art. She supported herself taking every photo assistant job she could find, including helping out a wedding photographer. One day, on a whim, she Googled "fashion photography study abroad," and this soon led her to a stint studying with world-class photographers in London. Fashion photography captured Dixon’s imagination and became her calling. She returned home, quit wedding photography, and, while still in college, spent the following year doing everything possible to cultivate a fashion photography business.
"I knew what I wanted to do, and I was just going to go after it."
Dixon finished college with $10,000 to her name. She invested in a Nikon D70s digital camera and started shooting portraits that soon evolved into "high-end portraits." Clients started materializing asking for her to bring "that fashion look" to their wedding and bridal shoots, and they were willing to pay for it. However, unlike many young photographers, Dixon didn’t put samples of all of her work online. She knew exactly where she wanted to go, and she only publicly displayed images that presented her as a bona fide fashion photographer. "The key in getting into the niche that you're looking for," she says, "is to only show the type of work that you want to shoot."
After a year of presenting herself as a fashion photographer, a funny thing happened: People began hiring Dixon to shoot fashion. She projected what she wanted, and then the law of attraction took over. Soon, she was in a position to accept only the jobs she wanted. Her rise to international photographer celebrity hasn’t stopped since.
Interestingly, Dixon sees her choice of gear, including her storage, as being a key part in this march to success. Like many creative pros, she suffered an early disaster that she’s been careful never to repeat. During that first formative year of her career, she had all of her work on a conventional consumer hard drive—which failed. An entire year of work vanished in an instant, and there was no backup. Dixon learned her lesson about creating duplicate data copies, but it took another couple of drive failures before she learned that ordinary storage was a disaster waiting to happen.
"I used a ton of other drives before I found SanDisk Professional and SanDisk, and they were all too slow or unreliable," she says. "SanDisk Professional drives finally gave me peace of mind because they always have the best hard drives out there, and I could trust them to keep my images safe. I also love that they’re super stylish, because part of shooting commercial work is creating an experience for the client on-set. When I arrive with this MacBook Pro and two SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE SSD's, it looks really professional and streamlined. It makes an impact on my client. The more put together your production looks, the more that they’re going to believe in your vision and the more they’re going to invest in your talent."
On the job, Dixon records to SanDisk XQD Cards or direct to computer, but as soon as possible, she backs up to a pair of SanDisk Professional drives. Counting the computer, this makes three copies of her shoot in circulation on the day of capture.
"People are investing in you to shoot their campaign or magazine editorial," Dixon says. "They’re putting a lot of money into that day of shooting, so I'm really insistent about backing up, because I never want to lose data again. I love the portability, very light weight, and durability of the SSD drives. When you’re shooting on location, it’s really important to be mobile."
Once the shoot is done, Dixon brings her two G-RAID Shuttle drives into play. Not only do these serve as additional backups, but their higher performance makes the G-RAID essential for Dixon’s editing process. This is doubly the case now that she is beginning to add video production into her repertoire. (Dixon recently completed her first major video project, a commercial for the American Heart Association.) Because of this, Dixon has been excited to adopt SanDisk Professional's Thunderbolt-based drives for their mix of high capacity and blazing throughput. "The more I get into video, the more I need the Thunderbolt," she says. "They’re so freaking fast!"
After her projects are through editing and production, Dixon finishes by archiving them on a high-capacity G-DRIVE. This may change if video becomes more prominent in her career and she needs additional capacity, but for now Dixon prefers to keep her hardware as small and portable as possible.
The way in which Dixon uses storage clearly reflects her professional work ethic (stylish, dependable, unobtrusive) and personal philosophy of focus. In college, she decided on her career path and devoted everything about her life to making it happen. Dixon hasn’t had a serious boyfriend in over five years—a curious irony for a woman who says she strives to bring out "romance and sincerity and sensuality" in her fashion photography. (See? Dixon really did marry her work.) This single-minded drive lies at the heart of her success, and it’s why she only trusts one brand to store her work today: SanDisk Professional
"When you finally have experimented enough to find what works, you stick with that," she says. "I found that fashion photography works for me. It really spoke my language, so I’m sticking with that focus. I find that SanDisk Professional drives work in my workflow. They’re super reliable, and they create that positive peace of mind. So I’m sticking with them, too."
SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are leaders in their respective fields who use SanDisk Professional products in their day-to-day work lives. SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are compensated for their participation.
SanDisk Professional external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.