Dawn Kingston is a full time freelance photographer based in Amesbury who loves to shoot music and fashion and everything in-between.
Where are you from? I have been living and working in Amesbury, MA for the past 8 years!
Have you always wanted to be a photographer? Looking back I have always been a photographer but not in a professional sense. I have my whole life categorized chronologically in albums since grade school. The funny thing is I stopped photographing my actual life as much when I made the decision to become a professional photographer.
About 8 years ago I knew I wanted to work for myself and start my own business. I knew I would love to be in the fashion world so I started out as a Makeup Artist. In an attempt to sell my makeup I started taking creative pictures of my models after I did their makeup and ended up falling in love with taking the images instead.
Was there a specific picture or event that made you realize you wanted to pursue photography? I have always been a fan of gritty rock and roll photography. I think even before I became a makeup artist the first time I fell in love with taking photos was at a concert. The Black Crowes were playing at the Hampton Beach Casino two nights in a row and a friend got me free tickets. Not having anyone to go with I went with just my little point and shoot camera instead. I shoved my way all the way to the front each night and took as many pictures as I could. The pictures were horrible but I loved going through them after and editing them in a way to make it look like I did it on purpose!
What has been your favorite shoot to date? My favorite shoot to date has been working on a music video set with Director JR Saint and rapper Machine Gun Kelly. After a long day of shooting candid behind the scenes photos I asked MGK if I could also shoot his show in Worcester that night. He said no problem so I continued with them to the Palladium and was granted access to shoot his whole show. He was one of the most intense performers I have ever had the pleasure of shooting on a stage and those photos will always be some of my favorite live images. Motley Crue also happened to be in town that night so after the show we headed over to the DCU center to meet up with Tommy Lee. I was the only photographer in the room there and got to listen to Tommy Lee share classic stories of his journey with MGK in a room filled with maybe only 10 other people. Total rock star moment and I don't know if I will ever get the chance to experience something like that again but I have the photos to prove I was there. It was awesome.
How would you describe your style? Still trying to figure that out! I am all over the map.
Who has photography introduced you to who you otherwise wouldn’t have met? O my goodness this question has so many answers! I think the biggest celebrities I have met so far would be Nas, Machine Gun Kelly and Tommy Lee. This past year however I have met a whole new network of social media stars and singers while shooting on a world wide tour called Magcon Tour. Basically Magcon travels all around the world with different groups of artists to give their fans a chance to meet them in person. It has been one of the funnest experiences I have gotten to have as a photographer so far. I am always being introduced to new young kids just starting out in their music careers and taking some of their first photos. It will be exciting to see where these kids end up as they grow their already huge audiences. I could be shooting the next Justin Bieber you just never know! People reading this article probably would not know who they are but their kids would! A few names would be Cameron Dallas, Jacob Sartorius, Aaron Carpenter, Taylor Canniff and Johnny Orlando. You can follow this journey of mine best on my Instagram! @Dawn439
Best interaction at a shoot? The best interaction I have ever had at a shoot involved another photographer actually. We were shooting some lifestyle shots together of some models at a really fancy golf course (like we had a very strict dress code to adhere to to even be allowed to shoot on this course). As the other photographer was following our walking subjects through the course he fell off of a small bridge right into the water in front of the entire Country Club and everyone on set. He was not hurt and neither was his camera so we all just could not stop laughing for the entire rest of the shoot. I like to have fun while I work.
Worst interaction at a shoot? I had a total panic attack at a shoot once involving about 10 kids elaborate set ups and nobody listening.This was before I knew what I was doing though. Today I would be much more prepared. I was like wait I don't even know what settings to put my camera on never mind trying to get about 10 small kids to do what I need them to do with no set shot list. I almost never picked up a camera again! These moments happen. You just have to learn from them and try again.
Favorite things to do in Amesbury? I love walking my dog and shooting photos at Woodsom Farm, that place gives me life.