Dan the Photo Man of New Orleans, Louisiana sensitively captures moments in the lives of people around him, building lasting friendships wherever he goes. We asked him about himself and his work.
Tell us a little about your adventures and photography and cinematography business?
I’ve been blessed enough to have my work take me all throughout Nicaragua, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, India, and Australia. The majority of my work is based around following a missionary wherever he goes and documenting all the awesomeness that occurs, but I’ve also had the pleasure of flying out to Melbourne to photograph and film a couple of weddings.
What inspired you to get started?
A few years ago, I had literally no idea what to do with my life, so I bought a plane ticket out to South Africa and lived at an orphanage for a few months. I had so many amazing experiences over there that I wasn’t able to capture because I had not brought a camera, so I told myself I needed to get a camera as soon as I got back so I could capture what was happening and share it with other people.
What’s your favorite part about your work?
Getting to meet all kinds of awesome people around the world. My two best friends are photo and video guys I met while photographing a wedding out in Melbourne, and there are a ton of kids from Africa and India that I keep in touch with via Facebook and e-mail.
What was the most exciting experience you’ve had at work? What is the most exciting place you’ve been to?
I was chased by a group of machete wielding bandits that tried to raid the orphanage the second time I visited South Africa, so that was excitingly terrifying haha. The most exciting place was definitely South Africa. I wound up going on a few safaris and we got surrounded by a herd of about 30 elephants, we had a leopard come lay down by our truck and start playing with us, and I hit a lion in the head with a small rock (that’s a long and complicated story).
Any advice to people who want to start something they believe in and are passionate about?
You can’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. All of the people I know that are succeeding are the ones who began dedicating all of their time and energy to what they love. I would also say not to be intimidated by other people. I nearly sold my first camera a few months after I bought it because I just felt like there were so many other people out there that were better than me and that I could never be on their level. I had to learn to use that intimidation as a driving force, and instead of looking at their work as competition, look at it as something to aspire to.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I absolutely love to write short screenplays, so if I’m not filming/taking photos I’m usually writing something for me to shoot in the future. That, or marathon watching Game of Thrones. I watched the entire third season in one day to prep for the fourth season.
What are your 5 favorite foods?
Oh man, this is the hardest question so far. You don’t understand how much I love food haha.
- Seafood. Especially fried shrimp.
- Anything BBQ’d
- Chinese food
- Indian food
- Pies. All kinds of pies.
Visit Dan’s website at www.adventuresofdaniel.com