Tell us about your business.
HawaDigital is a photography business founded in 2017 shortly after I graduated college. This business is based out of Washington DC but does travel because graffiti and art is everywhere. My work does involve all types of photography if asked but the main focus is graffiti/art photography. HawaDigital is operated by a solo street photographer. Art which is unconventional, but extravagant, is typically the subject in which I personally love to capture. HawaDigital is a business that captures stories, allows exposure to street artists because depending on the year graffiti can be a momentary art.
My business highlights unorthodox art, allowing people in my shots to add diversity, and tell stories to point out what’s beyond. My business focuses on being out of the box, overriding the typical backdrops that may be dull. What's better than art that's colorful, vibrant, and is filled with meaning. Graffiti can stand on its own, has personality, and can manifest many stories.
HawaDigital is a photography business that will expose more work to the street and inspire creativity, also highlighting areas that I believe people should go visit and check out the art for inspiration.
Describe yourself in three-to-five words.
Three words to best describe myself is focused, driven, and passionate.
I am very focused on the development of my future and devoted to how I aspire it to be. Evidently everything else is unimportant to me and I tend not to allow distractions to get in my way.I see myself perfecting my craft over all and to do so I tackle the parts that need work individually until I perfect it. I jump on opportunities that will help me to continue to improve my progress.
I'm very driven to be the best me that I can possibly be. Concentrating on challenges, not surrendering, and willing to make sacrifices. I know very driven people and being surrounded by them drives me to exceed expectations of me with my drive and I'll do it for me.
I'm certainly passionate when it comes to things I do, such as photography, simply because I'm able to see the world in unique ways, also because I can give the gift of memories captured in a photo. My passion is fueled more by a saying such as “If you don't have passion in what you do, why are you doing it because people will see you are not happy”. My passion also enables people to believe in me.
What do you consider your greatest strength or asset?
My greatest strength or asset is that I'm a quick learner. I grasp new concepts quickly and efficiently. I am aware that I may not know everything so I welcome teachable moments, never anxious to mention that I don't understand something. This allows me to learn faster from obstacles that may occur and avoid unnecessary mistakes. This is an asset to most because I’m open to new concepts so work I execute can go smoother.
I prefer to learn hands-on which is a quicker learning process in my opinion. Being hands-on motivates me to grasp a better understanding of how to avoid future mistakes and also creating a quicker process for me to retain the knowledge better. It's an asset that I'm a quick learner because, for instance, in future training of any sort I have accurately learned a skill that I am able to teach others which can help in the long run.
What or Who inspires you? Why?
My mother is my inspiration because she has taught me many ways to live my life and to never regret the choices I’ve made to establish the lifestyle I live. She has always made sure to show me passion in what she does, hence me striving to find my own passions in life and following it. Always standing up for what I believe in despite the consequences and sacrifices.
I have learned what is for you may not come easy and some people will never believe in you but who cares. You do things for yourself not for others, you have to be strong because there will be tough times that will test you. My mom is one of the strongest people I know and I strive to be just as strong. “If you want to do something in life you will find the way to make money off of it” she always told me growing up. I saw my mother working everyday and I'll mention how “I know you are tired” but she never complained because she was doing what she loves, which is cooking.
She taught me if you truly enjoy doing something, it’s never work. She also taught me to never stay dormant, grow more, and more in what you're passionate about because there's always something new to learn in everything you do.
Where do you see your business in five (5) years?
In five years I see my business thriving with consistent clientele. I aspire that I will still be doing mostly street photography when it comes to my business, traveling the world to capture art/graffiti with or without people in them which I truly love and have a passion for. My business will be a platform to expose people to graffiti all over so they can travel to and see them and the surrounding areas. My voice by then will be established and more characterized.
I would love to have more published work of mine out there and even start a blog of graffiti spots I plan to visit. I would love to be in the works of creating my first book of art/graffiti I have captured in different states. I would like to maybe even work on becoming a certified professional photographer for more diverse work.
What is your VISION & PURPOSE in life?
My vision and purpose in life is to have a life of meaning for myself. I want to have a career in photography but also now in the government. I want to always be learning, growing, and going after the next thing in my fields of choice such as the next state I want to visit/capture for the art scene or the higher position that opens up that may challenge myself. I want nothing but improvement in my life and for myself.
I want to learn from others and vise versa. I want to leave a mark on people's lives, hoping they feel like I have helped them in some way and it is not necessarily what I did for them but what I may have done for myself or the path. I think that motivated them to do it for themselves, not just for others. The purpose is to be passionate about what I do or don't do because if I don't find joy in it or even a chance for growth I know it’s not for me and it’s not going to make me happy.
Dominique Massaquoi, a 24 year old, who is an up-and-coming photographer and founder of HawaDigital. She was born and raised in Washington DC. Accumulated a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University.
She is a street photographer who loves to take pictures of art/graffiti murals and story tell through her shots. She first picked up a camera at a young age through viewing graffiti murals everywhere on the side of buildings, gas stations, in alleys and even on the side of her favorite carry-outs. She knew then that through capturing these murals in little to no time could lead to exposure and appreciation of this form of art for a lifetime.