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Image by Sincerely Media

Behind the Lense with Photographer: Cheryl Dunn

Cheryl Dunn from Phoenix, Arizona, has a real passion for photography. Her day job consists of working on an assembly line making Covid19 tests and injection pens. We appreciate both forms of art. Cheryl's photography focuses on self-acceptance. "It took me a real long time to stand my ground and present that I am a believer that you are beautiful with no Photoshop, and you need to give mainstream media and society the middle finger." Cheryl knew from a young age that she wanted to be an artist and change the world, but it came with obstacles along the way. These obstacles pushed her further to reach her goals. "I am the soul and heart of those who want to be seen in a positive light and heard. I am the soul and heart of people who want to show their craft with me. The result is nothing short of pure joy and smiles from both people I meet physically, or we link up by using something plain simple as a cleverly presented t-shirt."

Being creative isn't always easy. There are tricks to the trade, learned along the way, and what works for some may not work the best for others. When Cheryl decided to bring music into her photoshoots, she saw how much it lightened up the shoot. "I can give my love and appreciation to Arizona native and pro model Amanda De Leon for this." Cheryl also gets inspired by others who share the same passion for changing the world. Influenced by a couple of indie musicians she met through social media due to the pandemic. "Hello Noon represents the pure soul of what I am as a person and artist making art for a positive change in this world. Avatari represents the perseverance of what I am as a person and always go big no matter what project you do. They are very beautiful souls, and it's a big blessing for what they do for music and their fans like myself. It's all about connection. A good chunk of mainstream society's creatives almost never do this. I love these guys so damn much for just being themselves and making an impact in this world."

"The simplest thing as a t-shirt and sharing the same love of an artist's music can make a photoshoot so epically awesome. Recently, I supported my dear indie rocker friend, Avatari, and bought one of his merchandise bundles. I handed to a local model friend, Elizabeth Vireich, the t-shirt and said, "Let's finally meet after a few years and shoot." The love of an artist's music and the strong friendship between Elizabeth and me made this shoot so much fun."

"Find your mission," Cheryl tells us that it took four years to figure out that she wanted to advocate for plus size females, people of color, and the disabled community and bring them into the light of positivity. A dream project of Cheryl's would be to, in 2024, after a decade of playing the photography game, "take a few of my most trusted model friends and go to Big Sur California and just explore. Sometimes, going into a place blind can make for some great photography adventures. That and I am overdue to see a beach."

Cheryl also has a blog on Facebook called 'Visual Mischief,' and followers can find her on Instagram.


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