We had the good fortune of connecting with Dylan Newton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dylan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Sometime during my college years at Lamar University, while I was studying marketing, It seemed to me that I could make photography my main career path if I just had enough tenacity to build my own business. I sought out several local photographers and listened to their experiences in how they decided to make photography their career path, and what that looks like in the day-to-day activities. Each of those photographers had a similar piece of advice that concerned me, “Be sure to take up weddings and senior photoshoots because those make the money. I was rather discouraged when I heard that because I really hated taking up weddings or senior shoots. I had no desire for it but I know that those events did make quite a bit of money, and even more if I organized myself to take on that work more efficiently. But ultimately, I knew that if I primarily focused on those particular services, then I would be so burnt out on photography, that I wouldn’t even want to work on my own personal art. I understood this balance when I used to work for Guitar Center for four years while in college. At Guitar Center, I would be around guitars, playing them, talking about them so much that when I got home, I wouldn’t even want to play with my own guitars. I exasperated my energy on my work that I was exhausted to do anything for myself. I saw that same outcome if I would go to make photography my main source of income. That’s when I understood my mission, to find a career path that would allow me to work with imagery, but not so much that would exhaust my creativity with imagery or photography. I wanted to keep my art sacred and preserved so that my occupation wouldn’t exhaust my energy. I now have a wonderful position at a marketing firm as a digital production marketer. My role is surrounded by imagery, but I’m not going out to photograph anything which is the perfect balance I would like to keep in my work life. I realize that working with imagery is just something I love to do. it really is as simple as that. I enjoy working with imagery so much that I strove to find this weird balance between keeping imagery in my job, but not so much that it ruins what I love to create.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First and foremost, I am a photographer that focuses on film photography, fashion, and cyberpunk. Though I have a lot of experience shooting film and fashion, my favorite genre of focus is cyberpunk. For those who do not know, cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a dystopia futuristic setting that often focuses on a dynamic between low quality of life and high-tech society. This world features technological breakthroughs such as highly advanced augmented prosthetics, artificial intelligence, and cybernetics that is juxtaposed by a society that is breaking down and often dominated by corporations that have little government oversight. I don’t meet many people who dedicate themselves to this photographic genre as much as I do because every aspect of creating the art is really difficult and requires planning. The more I researched into the genre, I realized that the cyberpunk genre itself is surrounded by advanced technology which meant that I would either need to learn how to build 3D digital assets or actually build the props myself so I decided it would be easier, look better, and be way more fun to build the props I use in my photoshoots with real materials rather than build them in a digital space. So many of the masks that you see in my photos are pieces that I actually built. Working with models on the outfits is also difficult. The fashion in the cyberpunk future isn’t cheap, or easy to recreate so sometimes I’ll buy the pieces I really want to be featured or work with the model on what they have in their closet. One of the most difficult parts of creating a cyberpunk image is the editing. Each photo that I work on might have one-hundred or more photoshop layers. There are usually so many different parts to edit in each photo. I’ve learned so much about photo editing from a small community of photographers that specialize in cyberpunk, I’m so grateful for how much they taught me. Ultimately, I just want people to see how much premeditation and effort is put into creating an image.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The wonderful thing about Austin Texas is that it has no shortage of cool things to see, and many of these locations don’t have a price tag to them. When it’s hot and the sun is out, going to the Greenbelt and relaxing by the river or grabbing a blanket and laying out on Zilker Park is such a fun thing to do when you don’t have much money to spend. Pub crawling is also a fun thing to do around town and believe me when I say that there are many bars to visit. When I feel like treating myself to a good dinner, I usually go to Jinya ramen bar in North Austin at the Domain. Their ramen is delicious and there are plenty of bars to crawl around the area.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
one of my best friends Hannah Brower is truly a force to be reckoned with. In my photography, Hannah is usually seen as a model, but there are so many other wonderful things that she brings to the forefront of the creative process. When we work together she has so much insight into what ideas do and do not work to fit our creative direction. It’s no surprise to me that Hannah is the fashion director for Fashion Institute of Technology’s magazine “BLUSH”. It’s because of her that we love mixing her taste in editorial fashion with my love of cyberpunk style and futurism and come out of a session with some really cool photos. I have such a fun time with her, and she has been such a great friend of mine over the years. She encourages me all the time and I’m just entirely thankful for her.
Before I go on, sorry I didn’t have any horizontal photos that accurately represented my work. I’m primarily a portrait photographer so the majority of my images are portraits. People I would like to credit: Photographer who took my portrait: Claire Gould Models: Hannah Brower, Dillion Lalor, Regina Garza