VoyageDallas Daily Inspiration: Meet Daymond Sands

Daily Inspiration: Meet Daymond Sands

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daymond Sands.

Hi Daymond, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.

I have been a freelance photographer for 14 years. I never dreamed I would have ended up as a photographer. My journey started in 2002 on a vacation trip to California with my grandmother. My mother bought me my first disposable camera. I never understood why would she bought it for me, but she explained, that life is short and you need to cherish every single moment of it. If you have something, you need to share it with someone else. That is where and how the pictures are formed. After the trip, I came home with 3 disposable cameras and had the film developed. They came out AMAZING! My mother said that I was born for this. I was made to be a photographer.

During my college years, I began to take more pictures with my family and my circle of friends. My cousin came across my work and she encouraged me to become a photographer. She gave me her digital camera which was my very first DSLR camera. Frankly, I thought becoming a psychologist was my calling. So, I graduated with degree in psychology but in the end, I never used my psychology for work. I was a paraprofessional for some quite time. During that time, I desired to pursue my photography business as a side job.

From there, I started working as a freelance photographer in 2010 when I met a friend who is a photographer and saw my potential. She took me under her wing as a mentor. She gave me some tips and then some. She taught me a lot of what I needed to take with me as I continued to grow. Along the way, I have had several people asking me to guide them and be their mentors. That is where the idea sparked. I remember watching tv where some Deaf actors was involved in some scenes such as children of a lesser god, switch at birth, heroes, and more. I decided to establish this television show called, Click Click Crop and it has continued to grow.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?

This journey is a rich experience for me; personally, I started off with nothing. No experience of how to operate my business. I took a chance and jump in with inexperienced knowledge of how to operate my business out there. I had to start somewhere small. Social media is the key. I have to build somewhere they can see my work. I started out with a mock run to see how it goes. A year later, I had a chest pain which I was admitted to hospital 4 times less than 6 months and later to learned that I had a minor stroke on my 4th trip to hospital and it led me to not being able to walk or talk. I was diagnosis as demyelination which is similar as multiple sclerosis. My dream shattered. I pushed my dream aside and to take care of myself for two years.

I got on my feet once again. Never thought I would pick up where I left off. I thought it was just a dream that I can dream. Along the way, I met people who dream of becoming something more. This is where ignite starts to burn brighter than ever. I picked up once again. I started out with a mock run to see how it goes. I had to rolled up the sleeve to see people if they want to be part of the show. I was a one-person running the show on season 1 with only $200 to start up. I had to seek out to people who want to pursue their dream as well. I thought of myself if I want to support their dreams and grow together.

That is like being said, kill two birds with one stone. I had to get assertive and to communicate with people by sharing the vision I had and supporting them as well. I got in touch with people and see if they want to hop in with me by building their own careers as well. It happened within a week. I learned that you cannot operate your own show. I learned that we need to broad of wide range of people to get involved to grow. Operating the entertainment show cost money and so I had to do fundraisers using as photography, selling arts, sign sing at some locals, and acting gigs to get the money to create the show. Also, picking people who can help to grow the business was the most challenge experience for me. I had to sell my business to get them to see the vision but not just that, it is about picking out with people that you can feel the vibes and trust that they will run it with you. That’s the part of hiring the employee was difficult because I have never interviewed people before

You know the nursery song called, hokey pokey.

“You put your right foot out

You put your right foot in

And you shake it all about

You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around

That’s what it’s all about!”

So, this song is a perfect fitting of the journey I am on. It is about trusting yourself and go with the flow. It took me through social media, my health issues, and hiring employees and money was the biggest challenge I had experienced to get to where I am. I didn’t give up. I was very fortunate to have family and friends to push my farther and support my vision.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?

I’m a small entrepreneur with many skills that I would like to use for. I produced some small movies, music videos, and photography businesses. Click click crop is my most proudest because it has wide range of things, I can get creative with. I love art so I bring that in. I love pictures so I bring that in. I love acting so I put that out there! I am also a mentor for who would like to start off photography.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?

If you are looking for a mentor. Start with something that you love. I love photography. I went to seek any photographers and I met a deaf local photographer in DFW, Kiana Thomas. Who was my mentor and now is part of my show as a judge and mentor for others Two, build network by sharing your vision because words do spread out faster than you blink! Keep them in touch and keep sharing because they are your audience. They will pass it around for you!

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