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Meet Darrell Antone

Today we’d like to introduce you to Darell Antone.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m originally from Kansas City, MO, and Olathe, KS and I took my first photography class my Junior year of high school. I’m definitely dating myself here but this was back in the film and darkroom days. I was instantly hooked. I loved the entire process. Being able to literally freeze time and then print it out knowing no one else captured that exact image at that exact moment. After high school, I went to Fort Scott Community College on a football scholarship. This was a very small town about an hour from home. You really only went to this school to get good grades, play sports and to then transfer to play at a larger university after two years. While there is where I learned about Gordon Parks – the man who brought us the movie Shaft. Thinking it was impossible that a black man born in this small country town in 1912 created such a powerful film I started doing research. I then learned about his genius and his iconic images in photography and was inspired. My creative path has closely paralleled his career and ironically our birthdays are just a few days apart.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. After college, I moved to Southern California in 2005 and after losing my job during the recession in 2008 I moved here to Dallas. My then on and off girlfriend (now wife of 6 years) lived there and it was the only place I could find a job without having to move in with my folks back in KC. Like most people around that time, I struggled with finances and it really put me in a deep depression. I made music on the side to make ends meet and other than having a point and shoot camera, photography was an afterthought at that point. So many side hustles later, I finally picked up a DSLR in 2014 and haven’t put it down since. I went to workshop after workshop, watched several YouTube videos and online tutorials and took notes and really honed my craft. I created Darrell Antone Photography in 2015 and have built a steady business in my part-time.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I specialize in on-location headshot booths and portraiture. I’m most proud of how fast I’ve been able to pick up where I left off with photography and to quickly reach a level to where I’m able to learn from and rub shoulders with some of the Dallas greats such as Greg Daniels, Omar Ramos, Carlos Vincent, and Kieone Young. I believe I bring a different style and I’m a bit of a hybrid photographer who can be hired to shoot just about anything. I’ve done everything from stock photography to real estate. I really took myself through an extreme self-teaching course and it put me in prime position today.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Mirrorless cameras are the next big thing and they are here now. All the major brands have now released their versions and paired with the convenience they provide, I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. I will say that smartphone cameras are getting better but I don’t believe we will reach a point to where a photographer’s livelihood is threatened by phone. I’m a firm believer that a software-created depth of field/background blur will not fully match that of a professional camera and I don’t see anyone hiring someone to take headshots or shoot a wedding on a smartphone. Are they great for selfies and quick snapshots? Sure. But nothing beats what a photographer can provide.

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