Dahria Smith Photography

Words Dahria Smith

For 5 years I loved painting, I painted and drew images I admired every day. I went through all of high school and college doing art classes. Although when I was at college I did struggle. I found that I pushed my talent into a corner. I felt like I couldn’t do what I needed to do. Grade 11 became the year I just tried my limits although I may have not obeyed the class rules, I did find another passion that I fell in love with.

I remember feeling bored in my English class, and so when I should have been listening, I instead snuck into my friend’s photography class. It started out with me just helping my friend have more motivation to go on adventures as well as being able to scramble my way out of English class to have fun. The Photography teacher already had an idea I was creative and since I was helping her student meet the class goals, she let me stay.

Then in year 12, I chose to formally learn photography in class level 3 and I struggled. I ended year 12 with a C+ grade. The school saw that I had no direction in my work. They didn’t see a pattern, though I could probably still say I have no idea what direction my photography is going, I do know it’s going forward.

I never would have thought I’d pursue photography outside of school but it helped me get away, it became a release. I had so many ideas in my head that stuck there and I needed to get them out.

I bought a camera and some lenses of my own in 2017 and took my friends on a journey to take photos of them. I spent hours and hours editing and trying different things. I couldn’t help but go back for more. I captured photos of the people I loved and cherished and it made me realise that people don’t last forever. I wanted to make sure I always had memories of that and I wanted the photo’s I took to represent that as well.

I started my own business in the middle of 2017 and strived to become successful. I tried new things and worked hard to set myself apart from the rest.

That was when I had the opportunity to photograph Tash Sultana’s concert in May 2017. It was a night that I will never forget. I was the only person in the room who had my opportunity and it wasn’t an easy process to start off with. I didn’t think I would make front of stage, but somehow I managed. There was such simplicity to her concert that I didn’t worry about dancing I just sat and watched and shot photos. I faced some technical difficulty at one point where I thought my camera battery would die, but luckily it made it through the night. I was so grateful for the entire opportunity. I felt like life wanted me to experience it.

After her concert I had even more opportunities to shoot gigs in Hobart, which was something I intended to pursue.

Since then, I have had so many crazy experiences with my photography and I see so much potential in pursing this dream. Its something I wish to do for as long as I can.

I’m also thankful to Youth ARC for recently giving me the opportunity to have my first solo exhibition where I was able to showcase my work to the public for the first time!

Since then, I’ve been hired to be the official photographer for Coogans website and magazine, my first ever business job! I know it will have its ups and downs but it’s something I love doing. I have learnt so much along the way, and I feel that the more I try, the more I will succeed with the things I most wish for.

My biggest motivation is that I hope to make a difference in peoples’ lives as well as my own. Sometimes life just takes us in the direction it wants and sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow. If I hadn’t of skipped class that day I wouldn’t have found this creative outlet that I love so much and a passion that has proven to be successful out of college.

Don’t be afraid to try new things because if you don’t, you might never know the pleasure of making your dreams a reality, and that life will decide your future job for you if you don’t make an active step in the direction your heart tells you.


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