The West Sioux Studios Member spotlight for January 2020 is shining on photographer extraordinaire Dez Murray! Dez does a terrific job capturing heart warming images, whether she is photographing a wedding, high school seniors, or families she is very personable and passionate! She stays plenty busy chasing around kiddos and a husband, as well as working as an addictions counselor… while also building her photography business! Dez truly is an outgoing individual, and we are lucky to have her as a part of our West Sioux Studios Community!
The passion Dez has for photography and her work as an addictions counselor have merged together into an amazing project called “Breaking Stigma.” When finished, this exhibit is intended to change the way we all see addiction, by focusing on the people rather than the stigmatized idea of what someone who has addiction is. A lot of addiction photography is captured for shock value to paint an abrasive picture of addiction, and while that is certainly a real part of addiction… especially active addiction, it isn’t the whole story. These are people with lives, families, and wide reaching impacts on our communities! And Dez is capturing it all!
Her shoots are wrapping up this month and her showcase will be coming soon! We can’t wait to see “Breaking Stigma” and all of the fantastic studio work Dez will continue to create at West Sioux Studios!
Take a deeper look into the life and photography of Dez Murray with our Q&A session:
When did you fall in love with photography? In my High School dark room – I spent most of my time there and smelled super weird in HS because of it ha!
How/When did you decide to pursue photography as a profession? In HS I had every intention of pursuing a profession in photography but 9/11 was an event that devastated me in my senior year in High School. I joined the military directly after graduating (with no regrets!) and it wasn’t until the last few years that I picked up a camera again realizing how much I had missed it. Life takes funny turns sometimes.
Tell us more about “Breaking Stigma,” its been a long journey, why is it so important for you to see this exhibit come to fruition? This has been a long journey! It is so important for me to challenge the way addiction is viewed because I am so tired of the visual representation that is ugly. My friends and family are not ugly. They are beautiful humans who suffered from a disease and deserve to be seen as such. There is also an amazing road to recovery from this disease and I want to show that.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you during a photo shoot? My best friend and I were shooting in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona and I kept hearing a buzzing. I kept looking around looking for an electrical box or something… instead I found the largest beehive I have ever seen in a Saguaro cactus right behind me!
Tells us about the gear you use? I have a canon 80D that I love!
What is your favorite image you have ever captured? Oh this is too hard.
What has been your impression of West Sioux Studios so far? I have loved it! Everyone has been super helpful, welcoming and interested in assisting me in any way possible.