I Quit Software Engineering to Pursue my Passion for Art. Now I Take Selfies with Animals - My Real Introduction

in introduceyourself •  2 years ago


In 2013 I quit my career in computer engineering. Dropped programming, talking about it, my networks and the meet-up events. It just wasn't me. 

You know that feeling. Ask yourself, you wake up every morning - are you really excited to start the day and jump into what you do as a career? 

At the time, not me.

It took four years of a push and pull (2009-13) between my parents wishes and my brainwashed educational knowledge of a career path to figure out,  you can do anything you want to in life (subject being it's a positive career topic) as long as you do two things.

1. Be consistent at what you love to do

2. Approach your life plan in a smart and helpful way

Those two sentences have lead me to where I am today. Now I wake up every morning happy to do what I love in life as a career. Not that I make a lot of money from it, yet. However it is slowly turning into something recognisable and stable.

I'm much happier for two reasons. Knowing that I am free to work when I choose to and that work has a positive effect on people's lives.

So what do I actually do in life? 

I capture photos and videos and create content to positively inspire and help people. The main aim to make people smile and think how they can better themselves. Through content, public speaking, or else Instagram influence. I do it fun or paid projects with brands or tourism boards. 

Straight off the bat here is what this post is about, my collection of animal selfies. It's a continuing project that I accidentally started two and a half years ago to bring people smiles. The internet labelled me the 'Real Life-Dr Dolitte' because of it. People were so perplexed from it my photos were featured all over the web.

Like nearly everywhere.


Here they are.



















These pictures were taken as a side project for fun (side projects seem to be everyones true calling). 

Did you crack a smile? I hope so.

That was only a select few, there are over 60 which all posted images can be found on this Instagram hashtag #DaxonAnimalSelfies if you want to see even more.

Now thanks to the Steemit community I have found an avenue for my photography and videos to help me continue creating.

Thank you for scrolling, I hope it made you smile.

The original if you want a closer look at my signature photo (4608 x 3456) https://www.flickr.com/photos/30309824@N08/28664150610/sizes/o/ 

So who is this animal guy?

I'm Allan Dixon, 29 born in Ireland and half Canadian. 

If you would rather watch a video then cast your attention span to my 18 minute TED talk about how making yourself vulnerable through user generated content will lead you to succeed. It includes more detail on the animal selfies.


My story in text format:

I started filming on hi8 cassette tapes as a teenager.

Totally hooked on creating media of my friends skateboarding. Took hundreds of thousands of photos on my first digital camera. Contributed photos to magazines and news papers. Started uploading videos on Youtube in 2006. I loved it.

But then forgot my passion at university as studying software engineering took over my life. Of course I partied as well, that also took over my time.

I continued programming for four years and got lost, somewhat depressed as life wasn't working out. I was staring at a computer screen for fourteen hours a day and it wasn't healthy. I wasn't feeling right. My friends could see though me and advised I make a change, a life reset. 

This was my turning point. 

I decided to invent my own dream job so I got the attention of a billionaire in the hopes of getting him to fund me to work for him. Using my video skills to make his company awesome. It's a really long story, I met him in person in California but he wasn't interested.

I went on to do my own videos and people starting taking notice. 

People saw my video work, but also knew I had a background in engineering. With both those skills they asked me to come onboard to film aspects of engineering. E.g. interviews, technology conferences.

Now I was being paid to be half way out of engineering and half way in creating videos. Still not the right topic or fit.

Then in 2013 everything changed. I entered a competition called  ’The Best Job in the World’. A campaign run by Tourism Australia in which quarter of a million people entered. 

Impossible competition you say?

But I won it, another really long story. I won a dream job competition!

My job was to showcase why Australia is such a great country to travel to. This was the final nail on my engineering coffin. It was time to peruse a full time career in photography and media.

Now this is were the animal selfies started. While working and travelling throughout Australia I encountered wildlife everywhere. I tried to take a photo but they would come up too close. So close that they wouldn't fit in the frame of the camera, so I turned the camera around and took a selfie instead. 

People thought they were hilarious, so I continued.

I've now been doing this for two and half years and grew an audience of over quarter of a million people on Instagram all because of consistency. I've stuck to my passion of nature, wildlife and media.

As long as people can take value or happiness from your work then I believe you're on a successful path.

My aim is to inspire others to do more of what makes them happy in life.

Start doing what you love and tell the world.


Thank You! :)

I'm @daxon on Instagram if you want to follow along, a new photo everyday. 

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These are awesome. I love this goofy goat picture the best. It is a goat, isn't it?

Some of these animals can be quite dangerous... the kangaroos, the emus, even the horses. They say "from the back, a horse can kick you, from the front it can bite, and from the saddle it can buck you off". Are some of them from petting zoos? Did you have any moments where you were injured or nearly injured?

Welcome to Steemit; I hope you like it here.


I have only been sneezed in the face by a camel and multiple llamas. A dog came close to biting my face. I don't go up and stick my face beside every animal. It's more so take my time, hangout, take normal photos and then it becomes accustomed to me. Some were from petting zoos and others in the wild.

Loving your stories, pictures and definitely honour your courage to follow the dream! Namaste :)

Oh my goodness, I remember reading about you winning the Australia contest but never followed up on your story @daxon. As a fellow Canadian, I applaud your initiative. Now, these animal selfies--they're simply the best! What a wonderful way to share our mutual humanity. Perhaps more people will think twice before safari hunting, before trapping, before harming any animal.


Thank you @florentina! Glad you like them :) Yes I've seen a lot more solidarity towards animals since these photos hit the web.

lol, very nice.. I lolled.

You got my upvote +5%


Thank you! The lol was worth it

love it, so much positive energy in this. Must upvotet :) keep on at youre dream :)


Thank you :) slowly but surely

Been following your posting in Instagram. Glad that you finally made it into Steem.


Thanks @raj23! Glad to be here

well Daxon yo've came a long way from little old arklow. well done mate

Welcome on board, bro! Your story is such inspiration. How long does it get that one shot?


Cheers! From 5 minutes, 4 hours to days. It all depends on the animals feelings and curiosity at the time. That's probably why I've taken a few years to compile photos that really show off something unique.

It's great to see someone use the Internet for what is really was made for!


Cute animals, check! More happiness to come

@daxon, I have seen you before, how about coming up with an animal magazine?


I have a few projects coming up to educate more people about how they too can surround themselves and help animals. So maybe a magazine in the mix.


Are you two related? Your guyses hair look identical. LOL


Every day is good hair day with someone else.

Haha! Wonderful photos! :)
It's very amazing!

Jesus man. Those are amazing. almost too amazing... I am starting to think your just really good at taxidermy. #hmmmm


More so just good a hi5'ing real animals :)

Please just never take a selfie with a stingray.


True, yet to encounter one.

Awesome! Warm welcome to Steemit!

Thanks for verification and great pictures! Some of the most original ones I've seen in forever!

My aim is to inspire others to do more of what makes them happy in life.

Glad to have more people like you on board! :)


Thanks @acidyo! (what a username :) ) Glad you liked the photos.
Lots more to come

Brilliant! Thank you for being yourself and joining Steemit. All the best to you here!



Welcome to Steemit! Cool photos! Looks like you are enjoying your live. I really like to see people who can make living doing what they love! :))


Thanks @vorsseli, I'm out of that initial zone of disbelief.

This is awesome. I love your energy, look forward to reading more. As an Aussie myself, a little warning - don't take a selfie with a Drop Bear.


I heard they're everywhere, so I stand under all the trees in hope. Someday :)

Hey! I know this guy! The thing is, going viral is great and success in your passion is wonderful, but there's a leap of financial insecurity that has to be made.
Anyway, keep up the greatest job in the world and be happy!


Yes, the main thing is finding a source of income to allow you to continue doing what others love to see you do. Otherwise I'll fall back into the normal jobs of life. But I hope Steemit can now help me with this.

When can we see you with a shark? :)

welcome to steemit .Excellent work m8. upvoted. nice story. good pics and funny :-) . i love it.
Check out my work, let me know what you think...@pcste


Thanks, for sure!

It's something new. Thanks. Interesting to read and see cool pics

What program did you use to put those animals in your photos?


Animalshop CC 2020

i enjoyed watching it.

Thanks for sharing. I am presently an the field of engineering and wish I had your guts to follow your passion. You are an inspiration.


That hobby of yours. Start sharing and document how best you do it to help others. But you'll have a more comfortable job engineering. My life is up in the air.

Respect !! so many funny ones :D

funny pictures, I like it @daxon


these are the best pictures I've seen here!
they are very funny and cool.
you made my day! :)
I will follow you :)


Thanks @sunnyray! Glad to have Chuck Norris on my side now

This is hilarious and wonderful! Welcome!!!

thanks for posting! very cool animals!

good post @daxon and nice photos! keep it up! 8]

It's good to fallow your dreams!

You're a good man! Following your dream and living the life. Keep it up you're an inspiration to us all!


Cheers for the kind words @demeterz01

I love animals ! :) lolled too

Probably one of the best posts I've seen on Steemit!

Pretty interesting. Software engineering is stressful, especially if trying to build scalable distributed systems.


I stopped at the word sharding

This is what living looks like. Following your true purpose and having fun. I wish this for everyone on the planet. So glad you've found a valuable platform for your passion. Cuuuute animals!


Yes, it's more so for people to realise how they too can achieve this. I'll write a few more posts

where there is a will there is always a way...and with your pure spirit of living nothing can go wrong...keep it up...

Made my day! ❤️❤️❤️

I couldn't believe this when I first saw it - but you look so happy with the animals I guess you mean it?

The one with the first sheep made me laugh - I'm not sure why.

@daxon You must have a pretty large collection of outakes right - lol
I mean getting animals to pose for the perfect shot can;t be easy, even with peanuts and chocolate?

PS You know that Lama was taken the michael out of you, by making his hair like yours, right?


Yes as a collection they're kind of ridiculous. I take a lot of photos and have about 7 TB of media in 4 years. With no time to sort though and edit everything. Someday.

Me and Llama Bob are best friends now, we skype ;)

What a unique reason for leaving your job. I'm so happy you found something that you really like to do. It's so hard to find true happiness when the world tells you you 'should' be doing this or that. Good for you!


Yes, there's a lot of should and not much could. But it was a slow transition of 4 years then another 2 years of creating with enough money to do so.

As girl taking selfies with animals while showing boobs in bikinis you would earn here the tenfold.

Sad but true.

But nice pictures. Upvoted!


So a really good sex change would help? ha

meanwhile, people around the world are strugling working 12 hours or more daily to get 5 bucks daily for food.....


Yes true @bhokor, for me it's like doing 2.5 years of documenting to finally produce something of value

You have great hair. Love this immensely.

HOLY FUCK you sir are a genius. A Marketing Genius. Such a simple idea but a powerful one.

Shit man , you trended yesterday too. Good going.

thanks for sharing @daxon. I know your post has been over $1200, but I still upvoted you from the bottom of my heart, I love all the pictures and envy you. I remembered "I entered a competition called ’The Best Job in the World’.", great job! @miacats =^.^=

What I like about your pics is that it shows the human side of animals. Hopefully one day people will stop eating them. I think people promoting veganism could be very interested with your work. Keep it up And don't forget to let your followers know about steemit :)

Just love this post @daxon! So much positive energy! Good vibes to you bud, and best of luck with your projects.


eBargains Today - www.ebargainstoday.com

LOVE THIS!!, I'm an artist too and animal lover, how fun! I want to see more!! Following and upvoted!!

that's too funny!

I can't tell if you are upstaging the animals or they are upstaging you.

How did you get them to pose?
And is there a camera man, or you're using a selfie stick?

LOVE the way you did you hair for the first one. What animal even is it?
That hair style suits you - you should keep it for a while for the ladies ;-)

These photos are so funny!
Koo dos to yo on changing your pace, I'm doing the same thing.

At the end of the day, all is an experience. I feel it's never too late to change what you do if it no longer serves you. Good thing is you're using the skills you acquired to get you to what you truly want to do now and that's amazing. You look truly happy and with those subjects how can you not be ^_^

Can't stop laughing!!!...
i have hillarious, adorable, naughty goats, and when i try getting pics of them they sometimes come too close, so yeah gotta turn the camera around more!
i'm also Canadian.
Thanks for this inspiring story and work!!!

Lovely pics