Photography

20 cameras, 24 hours, 1 city

A Day in Dallas

Presented By

In Dallas, there aren’t enough rooms where you’ll see a healthy mix of people interacting with different cultures. We’re stuck in our silos, where we’re comfortable. But what makes a city great is its people—them coming together, learning about one another, sharing ideas, collaborating. Photography can be a bridge. For A Day in Dallas, I teamed with D Magazine to give 20 different people disposable Kodak cameras. We asked them to shoot a roll of film over the course of 24 hours. You may know some of them, but many you won’t. They lead nonprofits in southern Dallas. They play for the Dallas Mavericks. They help arrange funeral services. They fled Syria. They produce music. They go to school. The disposable camera levels the field. This is a day in Dallas, blemishes and all, told through 20 different pairs of eyes.  – Hance Taplin, founder of the fashion label By Way of Dallas, as told to Matt Goodman.

Buthayna

Refugee Artisan Trainer

Buthayna fled war-torn Syria in 2013. She eventually was granted refugee status and were resettled in the United States. She’s since found work as an artisan and trainer for Dallas-based social enterprise GAIA Empowered Women

Date shot: October 2.

What neighborhood do you live in? Richardson.

What did you want to show through your images? I wanted to show the sequence of a regular day, usual tasks, and habits. I wanted images showing more of a refugee’s life. Pictures that will communicate with the viewers the commonalities and differences that we share. I tried to take the pictures in the exact order that I experience things to paint a true picture of everyday.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Dallas is diverse and it welcomes people from all over the world with different backgrounds in so many ways, which makes it so unique. I’m sure Dallas isn’t the only place that does this, but I’m sure you are not able to find the amount of diversity in one neighborhood like you can in Dallas.

Melina Christofis

Bartender

Melina Christofis bartends at Midnight Rambler in the Joule Hotel and is a brand ambassador for Illegal Mezcal. A Detroit native, she’s lived in Dallas for three years. 

Date shot: August 18.

What neighborhood do you live in? Bishop Arts.

What did you want to show through your images? I wanted to show people what I, a resident of Dallas, find happiness in every day. My pet, my friendships, my passion projects, small moments of beauty and joy found in the everyday—all of these things excite and motivate me and make me glad to be living where I do. I wanted to show that there is more to Dallas than big hair and big money.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it?  I would want people who don’t live here to see that community is important to us and that Dallas has a lot of talented creatives who keep this city interesting. We are growing it into a hub for cultural richness.

Victor "Phazz" Clark

Producer

Phazz spent years as a choreographer before he began producing music. This year, he produced Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Cole Beasley’s first album

Date shot: September 29.

What neighborhood do you live in? Northridge Estates. 

What did you want to show through your images? That hard work and perseverance creates success!

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? They should know that COLDNATION RECORDS and PHAZZANATION STUDIOS will do great things for the city and the world.

Daniel Driensky

Photographer

Daniel Driensky has been a professional photographer based in Dallas for the past decade. 

Date shot: September 10.

What neighborhood do you live in? Lakewood.

What did you want to show through your images? When I shoot film, my work tends to have a “documentary” feel since I carry the camera with me and go about my day. I’m not looking for anything specific; I’m photographing things that I come upon that stand out to me. Often times a sense of humor finds its way into my work.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it?  Dallas has a very strong and humble arts community, whether music, visual arts, or otherwise. The community is not pretentious but still very talented, every bit as much as L.A. or New York City, making Dallas a hidden gem. I hope that people/companies/brands looking for talented artists to hire or purchase work from will soon realize what an amazing art hub Dallas is under the surface.

Dear Giana

Artist and Fashion Designer

Dear Giana is a 9-year-old Flipina-Mexican-American artist. She rose to popularity with her drawings of high fashion ads from magazines like VOGUE. She has 22,000 Instagram followers and lives with her parents in a Dallas suburb. 

Date shot: August 11.

What neighborhood do you live in? Dallas.

What did you want to show through your images? Being a young creative is so much fun!

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Many creative people come out of the Dallas area and I am proud to be one of them.

Eddie + Angelee Fortuna

Architectural Designer and
Social Media Director

Eddie and Angelee Fortuna run a successful lifestyle blog, His + Her, that showcase the couple’s life in fashion, design, and downtown living. Eddie is an architectural designer at Omniplan. Angelee has worked on the visual team for J. Crew and served as the men’s stylist for Nordstrom. 

Date shot: September 1.

What neighborhood do you live in? Downtown.

What did you want to show through your images? Saturday is our favorite day of the week, so we wanted to share these intimate moments spent together and with our family. We tend to be creatures of habit, so these photos capture rituals like our morning coffee date, followed by quiet time in our loft. The remainder of the photos showcase time spent with Joshua and Yesi Fortuna of Fort Lion Studio.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Dallas has so much to offer. There are so many distinct neighborhoods surrounding the city center and each brings something different to the table. Additionally, the creative culture in the city is rich. There is such a strong community of creatives here, yet the scene has not become oversaturated.

Joshua + Yesi Fortuna

Filmmaker and Photographer/Producer

Joshua and Yesi Fortuna operate the Fort Lion Studio, a production company that offers professional photography and videography services. 

Date shot: September 1.

What neighborhood do you live in? Lakewood.

What did you want to show through your images? How non-typical our typical day is.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? It’s easy to find your new family and establish roots.

Augustine Frizzell

Director/Filmmaker

Augustine Frizzell is a filmmaker. This year, she released her first feature film, Never Goin’ Back and is now directing an HBO pilot called Euphoria that stars Zendaya. 

Date shot: August 16.

What neighborhood do you live in? Lakewood.

What did you want to show through your images? Mostly my cats. (If I remember correctly.)

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Dallas has a vibrant and supportive arts community that’s been instrumental in my development as a filmmaker. Great restaurants, coffee, lots of trees, and a reasonably cold winter make it my home. 

Bill Holston

Human Rights Lawyer

Bill Holston is the executive director of the Human Rights Initiative, a nonprofit that provides aid to asylum seekers. 

Date shot: September 30.

What neighborhood do you live in? Casa View.

What did you want to show through your images? What a great fun city Dallas is.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? It’s a very progressive city with a very active human rights community, a very involved arts community, and a great craft beer scene.

Chad Houser

Founder, CEO, and Executive Chef

Chad Houser founded Café Momentum as a way to support young people who have been jailed for a crime. He helps them learn how to work in a restaurant: cooking, serving, waiting, cleaning. The result is the downtown restaurant, which is open for dinner service Thursdays through Saturdays. 

Date shot: July 21.

What neighborhood do you live in? Chapel Downs.

What did you want to show through your images? A day in the life at Café Momentum.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? That we’re the biggest small town in the country.

Sophie Lindsey-Gilles

Visual Arts and Film Student

Sophie Lindsey-Gilles is an artist and a senior at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. 

Date shot: September 22.

What neighborhood do you live in? North Oak Cliff.

What did you want to show through your images? I wanted to showcase the best parts of the neighborhood in which I was raised. The raw and authentic parts of Oak Cliff that are rich in culture and history and continue to persevere through gentrification.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Dallas is so much more than just a “yeehaw” city.

Jonika Nix

Co-Chair

Jonika Nix is the co-chair for the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

Date shot: August 27.

What neighborhood do you live in? University Park.

What did you want to show through your images? All the love and work that goes into putting together the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Dallas is the host of the Ball every year. It’s an iconic event, and all funds are earmarked for cancer research. So you know exactly where the money is going. We are the only restricted fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in the world.

Griffin O'Neal

Student

Griffin O’Neal is a 7-year-old student at the Episcopal School of Dallas. he plays soccer, basketball, and football.

Date shot: September 22.

What neighborhood do you live in? Preston Hollow.

What did you want to show through your images? All the things I love about Dallas and my life.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? It has a cool lollipop-looking building. And it has a lot of ice cream stores.

Arthur Peña

Artist, curator, educator, and writer

Arthur Peña is an artist and educator who helped lead the DIY art resurgence a few years back, both through art space WARE:WOLF:HAUS and the roving music venue and label Vice Palace. He currently is the visiting assistant professor in painting at the University of North Texas. 

Date shot: July 9.

What neighborhood do you live in? The Cedars.

What did you want to show through your images? On the day I took my pictures, I was preparing to leave for New York for the month of July. This was the only day I could find the time to snap pics throughout the day. I was running errands, finishing up some reading, and finalizing all of my business before I headed to my studio in the Bronx. If anything, I wanted to capture the banality of the liminal space before one departs their home. The triple checking of unplugging equipment, watering plants, checking emails and, in general, all the maintenance that a busy life requires.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? I would have answered this question differently a few years ago. What I feel people should know about Dallas is colored through my experience as a working artist living and creating here. I travel frequently to see fellow artists, do studio visits, exhibit work, make paintings, and take meetings in order to further the creative culture here in Dallas. I used to champion the DIY efforts that a large city like Dallas cultivated, as seen in the golden age of artist-run spaces circa 2013 through 2016. This is not a “back in my day things were different” kind of conversation, either.

The city was literally different in terms of codes and regulations that did not seek to stamp out or prohibit creative freedom and expression through nontraditional exhibitions and venues. I think people should know that the city, fire marshal, and code enforcement department are actively working against the creative class, stalling the growth and momentum that was once celebrated.

Shalissa Perry

Chief Marketing Officer

Shalissa Perry is the chief marketing officer for Downtown Dallas Inc., which means she oversees marketing as well as public relations, membership, and strategic partnerships.

Date shot: September 2.

What neighborhood do you live in? Downtown.

What did you want to show through your images? A typical day in Downtown Dallas for a Downtown resident.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? That is it truly a world class, modern city full of welcoming people.

Dwight Powell

Professional Basketball Player

Dwight Powell is a power forward for the Dallas Mavericks. Last season, he was, by the numbers, the league’s most effective player rolling to the basket after a screen.

Date shot: August 22.

What neighborhood do you live in? Uptown.

What did you want to show through your images? The unseen and oftentimes simple hours of a Dallas Maverick.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? There is a diverse set of experiences to choose from and lifestyles to lead in this small, big city.

Lucia Simek

Manager of Communications and International Programs

Lucia Simek is an artist, curator, and writer. She’s also in charge of all media relations for the Nasher Sculpture Center and curates a series of international lectures and programs about contemporary sculpture.

Date shot: September 1.

What neighborhood do you live in? Oak Cliff.

What did you want to show through your images? Interactions with some of Dallas’ best artists, as well as the small moments that make up daily life.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? While often known for the art that’s in private collections and gathered from elsewhere, Dallas also has many brilliant artists and curators that choose the city as their home, making work and shows that are as good as anything you’ll see in one of the major art markets.

Michael Sorrell

University President

Michael Sorrell is the president of Paul Quinn College in southern Dallas.

Date shot: August 13.

What neighborhood do you live in? Northwood Hills.

What did you want to show through your images? The joy of my day and my life.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? Our next will be even better than our now.

Caodan Tran

Funeral and Cremation Services Manager

Caodan Tran spent much of her adult life working in restaurants and competed in The Next Food Network Star. She now helps plan funerals. She has always loved cheeseburgers.

Date shot: July 29.

What neighborhood do you live in? Oak Cliff.

What did you want to show through your images? The objective for my day in Dallas was to show they way my husband and I would spend a typical Sunday in the city. It is a mixture of errands, trips to places we always tell ourselves we need to visit but never do, and discovering secluded gems in our busy city. It is meant to be a candid representation of life in the Big D.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? I feel that people who do not live in Dallas have a very warped perception of what goes on day to day. It is not a scene out of a Western, though we are capable of producing such a thing. There are communities that transcend cowboys, the Cowboys, and glitz and glamour. There are numerous, vibrant neighborhoods that reflect that if you truly look. There is more under the surface that meets the eye, is what I’m trying to get it. And a lot of it is legitimately cool.

Aelicia Watson

Nonprofit Manager

Aelicia Watson is the founder and executive director of Redeemed Women, a nonprofit in southern Dallas’ Bonton neighborhood that aims to help women overcome generational poverty. 

Date shot: July 17.

What neighborhood do you live in? South Dallas.

What did you want to show through your images? There are a lack of resources in my community and it’s nothing you would see on a billboard.

What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? There is help needed locally. The poor need tools to fish within their community, from the inside out.

Newsletter

Never miss out on arts and entertainment events in Dallas with our FrontRow newsletter.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Restaurants

Restaurants

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Related Content

Comments