We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalyce Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dalyce, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Being a Photographer, Videographer, Writer and Business owner brings a host of unforeseen challenges that I’m constantly trying to resolve. Each photoshoot, switches on my ‘problem solving’ mode. How do I get the lighting just right? What can I do to make my client feel relaxed in front of the camera? Am I able to get this shot, in a unique way? And these little moments of critical thinking, are what help inspire me, each assignment! Folks may not know that many creatives and artists will feel a lot of anxiety when releasing their work. Whether it’s intrusive thoughts, worry about how the public will receive their work or comparison to others in their field, these moments can come naturally. I honor my feelings when I feel nervous about sharing to the public or sending photos off to clients for payment, and then I give myself affirmations that my work always stems from love and my self-worth is never measured by someone else’s critiques.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I received my BA in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 and my Minor was in Africana Studies. Then in 2016, I received my MFA in Photography from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My life abroad continued after my MFA, when I chose to live and work in Thailand for three years. I know that what sets my creative process apart from others, has everything to do with how I see the world. I am a Black, Indigenous, Vegan, Feminist living with Type 1 Diabetes who believes in living a cruelty-free lifestyle. My culture, my experiences, my chronic illness, my travels, oppression, joys, family, have all influenced what I choose to photograph and the clients I choose to work with. My work will always have the intention to uplift and empower my Black-Indigenous people.
I am most excited about an ongoing investigatory documentary film project I am working on. I am looking to uncover some mysteries within my own family, investigating the death of my maternal grandfather. It hasn’t been easy getting the funding, equipment, support or even cooperation from others, but I’m overcoming these challenges by reaching out to friends and family for support! I’m also tapping back into connecting with a therapist to make sure my mental health needs are being met throughout this process too, which helps to keep me grounded.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in San Diego County, there are gorgeous beaches like Ponto Beach near Carlsbad where I’ve even taken some clients for their photoshoots with me, because the views are so breathtaking! If you love arts and culture, I will definitely show you Balboa Park, where dreams go to thrive. You will see a beautiful botanical garden, museums, a science center with an observatory, a gorgeous Spanish Village Art Center, and so much more! I’m an active lady, so most of the spots I’d take you, would be outside! Have you ever been to a mineral water hot springs in the desert? Well, we would pop off the grid for two days and enjoy camping in the clay browns and dusty green foliage of the Anza Borrego State Park! And don’t you worry about being hungry at all! There are several, amazing plant-based and Vegan locations where we could either sit in, or grab food to eat at the beach or at a park (my personal fave)! I would take you to eat the traditional, Vegan Sonoran food made by Johnathan Felix of Vegan Urbano SD at his pop up stall at Ocean Beach–my suggestion is to order his Vegan Crunch Wrap & the rose-shaped mango drizzled in Tajin & Chamoy sauce! I would also take you to a vegan rooftop cafe called, Trilogy Sanctuary. We can sit on the roof, drink smoothies or coffees, look at the seals of La Jolla down below, enjoy a swim at the beach, stuff our faces with the best wraps, burgers, fruit bowls, tacos and cruelty-free desserts!
Oh! And for your trip, I hope you’ve brought your roller skates, because I love either doing a 2-hour road trip to Los Angeles to skate on Venice Beach, or I stay local and do a nice stroll around Mission Bay, here in San Diego County!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A big shout out goes to one of my closest friends named Lily Johnson. I met her while teaching English in Thailand and we bonded instantly. Both Sagittarians, both Black, feminist, writers and plant enthusiasts! I have also been inspired by seeing Lily’s fight for better education in the school systems both in America, and abroad. She is a compassionate, Queer spirit who has used her experiences growing up in Miami and living in Philly to push her crafts forward. We’ve related over some traumas, some joys, some ‘ah-ha!’ moments; and through it all, I feel like I’ve learned how to be a better woman myself, thanks to our sisterhood. On top of being a fantastic educator, Lily is also an incredible artist who paints, draws, writes poetry and owns her own natural body product online shop, called Old World Queen! Please go check out her social media and support her products. My life living abroad in Thailand for 3 years, would not have been as incredible if I hadn’t met her. My photography work and focus on sharing stories from my Black Diaspora, have been heavily influenced by many of our late-night chats surrounded by mosquitos, in the humid candle-lit darkness of her front porch when we both lived in Chiang Mai.
Other: I have created and am the Host of the High Friends! Podcast available to listen on Spotify and available to watch on YouTube. High Friends! Podcast is a safe space where myself and Black, Indigenous or otherwise under-represented people, can consume cannabis and have healing conversations without judgment. There are no rules, just deeper thoughts, vulnerability, and fun as we smoke and talk over Zoom. Cannabis has been a major part of my Diabetes management and we live in a time where the majority of individuals incarcerated for Marijuana-related offenses, are Black Men. Creating this Podcast has allowed myself and my guests to open up about the many benefits cannabis has brought to our lives. Give it a watch and listen!
Photo #1: August Rose & Dalyce Wilson