Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dan's 2010 Two Words of Advice


I had a lengthy 2009 year in review post that I planned on subjecting you to today, complete with a bunch of photos that illustrated my year in pictures. Upon further review today, I thought it looked like pure crap. It was not even close to what I was thinking or feeling today. Instead I'm going to give you my two words of advice for 2010:

Look up.

Here's hoping that 2010 is your best year ever. All my best to you and yours. Happy New Year, friends.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Ton o' Fun!


With the help of my interpreter, we pulled off what I call a Ton o' Fun! These Indonesian school boys formed a tight circle around me as I was flat on my back looking up at the sky. Needless to say, we had a blast.


Monday, December 28, 2009



When Tori's mom asked me if I would shoot her daughter's high school senior pictures, I started fidgeting. I have always gravitated away from shooting senior pictures. Same with weddings. They are both a moving target. Many genres of photography have trends and the best photographers in those genres keep up with the trends. I cannot seem to find the time for that. Or perhaps I just don't want to. I suppose if my phone stopped ringing I'd need to rethink that.

Tori, her mom and I had a discussion over lunch. I've gotten pretty good at saying "no" to things that are not in my sweet spot and clearly this was not. However, this assignment was beginning to sound like something that was not cookie-cutter. Cookie-cutter is not my thing. It was beginning to sound like a bit of an adventure - for them, too.

We came to an agreement. Intuitively, they knew they wouldn't get the typical selection of photos and they seemed okay with that. And I could tell we had similar beliefs and values that made it difficult for me to say no. The rest is history. I think they're pretty happy with the results. So am I.

The photo above is one example of many that made it difficult to choose favorites. Much of that is do to Tori's energy, enthusiasm and beauty (inside and out).


Friday, December 25, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I have another reason to be thankful today...another reason to be thankful to be home for the holidays. On Flight 256 from Amsterdam today, a terrorist attempted to blow up the plane. Thankfully, his attempt failed.

I was on that same flight six days ago.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let there be Light.....


I asked my friend, "Hindsfeet", to be my first ever guest writer for this post. Hindsfeet fell down my Internet "rabbit hole" many months ago now. I think she is a brilliant writer and thinker. I love her blog and would encourage you to visit. A link to her blog follows her wonderful composition below.

Hindsfeet and I share a spiritual common denominator -- and He is the subject of this special Christmas post. Thank you for so graciously accepting my request, Hindsfeet. <><


"For now, we see through a glass, dimly, but one day soon, face to face. For now I know Him in part, but one day soon I shall know Him just as I also am known."
1 Corinthians 13:12

Merriam-Webster defines color as a property that becomes apparent when light falls on it. Jesus came that first Christmas to add color to the window through which we view the world. When Christ illumines our lives, we begin to see our surroundings through a different lens, filtered by our Heavenly Father. Moreover, we begin to see Him. As we set aside time to sit, as Mary did, at His feet, and learn of Him (Luke 10:39-42), the lessons of our Lord begin to shape our outlook; as we progressively get to know Him with each passing day, with each abiding experience of His grace, of His discipline, of His forgiveness, of His love, as we allow His light to flood our lives, the hues of His holiness become vibrant, the lines that were blurry become vivid, the image of the incarnation of our Lord comes to life in our life, and gradually, going from glory to glory, we gain the treasure of seeing our Sovereign God, of knowing Him, even as we are known.

This Christmas, let there be Light.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Mud Puddle


This photo came up in conversation at the studio today. I was on assignment shooting a Habitat for Humanity renovation project when I happened to see this little guy. He is about to launch his battery operated speed boat on its maiden voyage. Pretty heady stuff for a little guy.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Michigan - A Winter Wonderland


My friend, Hindsfeet reminded me of the wonder of Michigan winters today. Winters in Michigan can beat you down if you let them. I learned a long time ago that I needed to be the aggressor. I needed to take the bull by the horns and celebrate the change of seasons...and I've always loved an adventure.

Having just spent a week in the Ukraine, outside all day long with single digit temps, the current Michigan weather seems mild. Having the right clothing and knowing how to wear it is a game-changer. Now I love being outside in the winter. There is a lot of beauty out there. You just need prepare a bit more than usual to go in search of it.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cast of Characters


For the first time in more than 200 posts, I am posting a photo that was NOT taken by me. This is much of the crew I was with in Bali, Indonesia. We were eating our breakfast bento boxes in a small rural village outside Bali. From left to right:

Dan (half-crazed photographer with obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, assorted nervous ticks, often-times sugared up and over-caffeinated)

Patti (client)

Katie (producer)

John K. (writer, concept guy, genius)

John R. (agency VP and super guy)

Photo by Viv Scanu, cinematographer based in Jakarta.

*Copyright 2009 - Viv Scanu - Used by permission.


More Bird Lady



Friday, December 18, 2009


I have clicked my last photo in Kiev and have traveled east to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It has been a very productive and rewarding trip. In fact, I think I've captured some of the best photos of my career (none of which can be posted here).

If you've followed this blog for any length of time you will know that I love my job. I love my family more. I am SO ready to be home. And so ready for CHRISTmas.

Now I just need to start and finish my Christmas shopping.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bird Lady


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Anything to Stay Warm

In the 10-degree (fahrenheit) weather, this fur ball knows where he needs to be to feel some heat. He better be careful. Based on what I've seen around here, he could get made into a hat!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Kiev, Ukraine

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

I am on assignment in one of the great cities of eastern Europe - Kiev, Ukraine. I wasn't here more than twenty minutes before I felt the magnetic pull to get out the door and start discovering. It is a visual feast here - ripe with history and character everywhere I turn.

It gets dark very early here. My plane hit the tarmac at 4:30 pm and it looked like the dead of night.

More to come.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A K9 Christmas


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And there's nothing I like better than a home full of life.  We've got a lot of THAT goin' on!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remembering Olive the Wonder Dog


We miss you, Olive.


Friday, December 4, 2009


You already know I have a thing for faces that really aren't faces at all. I think this one is an absolute riot. Not exactly sure what this thing is, but it's attached to a wall in a small Indonesian village - some kind of electrical device, I guess. To me, however, it could be a cartoon character.
Hey, if Sponge Bob can make it big.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Photo Stud?


If you're one of my many three readers, you know that I cannot be too serious for too long. I figure it's time for this sign. No, this is not a statement about me (just ask my wife).

I saw this sign in Toronto and couldn't resist taking a snap. You'll probably agree that it's unlikely the 'I' and the 'O' just happened to fall off. I'm no fan of vandalism, but someone clearly had a sense of vision and creativity.

Who knows...maybe business improved...