Jackson resident D’Artagnan Winford is a fine-art portrait photographer. Photo by @Carlynphotography.
D'Artagnan Winford has been an artist since he was a kid, growing up taking art classes in school and being admitted in a gifted arts program throughout middle and high school. While he now runs his own portrait photography business on top of serving as the senior art director at the Ramey Agency in Fondren, Winford says that he never saw himself as a photographer until he started working at Mississippi Valley State University, from which he earned his bachelor's degree in fine arts in 2002.
"I worked at Valley after I graduated, and there were times we had to take pictures because we didn't have a photographer on staff. I just figured I needed to learn how to use a camera, and it didn't really click until 2012 or 2013. My wife bought me a camera, and I just started taking pictures of my kids. It just kind of blossomed from there," Winford says.
The Itta Bena, Miss., native enjoys taking portraits because of his admiration for the human face and how he can just sit and talk to people as he shoots them.
"Art is my relaxation. It's my getaway from daily designing on the computer. I get to interact with people and just sit and talk," he says.
Winford's favorite part about being a fine-art portrait artist is that he can help his clients see themselves as he sees them.
"I remember this one time, I did a shoot for this girl who was a nurse, and while shooting, I showed her some of the pictures on the camera and she made a comment like, 'Who is that?'" he says.
"I thought she was just playing, but then later on she sent me a video that was like, 'I've been going through depression the last year, and when I said that I honestly meant it—like who is that girl?' And she was so thankful that I helped her see herself again, and she hadn't seen that person in a while. It made it all worthwhile to me.
"To me, with that camera, I'm able to give back to people, and just show people how I see them," Winford says.
In the future, Winford aspires to one day have a book of his photography in the Mississippi Museum of Art and for sale in the gift shop, perhaps the type of thing you would see on a coffee table, he says.
"Most of the people I shoot are Mississippians, and part of the reason I do that is that I just want to show Mississippi in a different light than what we naturally get known for," he says.
Winford lives in Brandon with his wife and four children.
Outside of work and photography, he likes to travel, hang out at the Rez and spend time with his kids.
This month, Winford will be releasing new photos for Lupus Awareness Month. Most of Winford's work can be found on his Instagram page @DartagnanPortrait. To learn more, visit the photographer's business page on Facebook.