Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Peaceful Soul


In any language. On any continent.



Shanghai, China
December 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home for the Holidays?


When you’re home for the holidays enjoying time with family and friends, please remember the folks out there that don’t have a home and their day feels nothing like a holiday.

Maybe their circumstances are a result of poor choices or just bad luck.  In any case, they’re worthy of our prayers.

God loves them, too. And I think He loves it when we give them a hand or a hug.....


(Old Town Christian Outreach - Food Giveaway - Saginaw, MI - Temperature - 20 degrees)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Canadian Heroes

Toronto Pearson International Airport

During our return trip from China about a week ago, we noticed these Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan. They were watching a movie on their laptop.

If you happen to know a soldier serving in Afghanistan (or anywhere for that matter), please thank them for their service.  And for our freedom.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guardians of the Night


This past summer I had the honor of photographing my friend, Officer Joaquin Guererro and his beloved K9 companion,   Rookie II.  Officer Guererro's story is quite remarkable.  In short, on 9/11, he felt so compelled to help, he and Rookie (Rookie I at that time) made their way to New York City the very next day.

I posted a snippet of their story months ago now.  You can revisit it here:

[I have been out of touch with my blog the past few months. Being out of touch has been mostly by design...and the fact that I've been globetrotting more than usual.  I felt compelled, however, to post this follow up about one of my favorite people.]


Thursday, December 16, 2010

China Doll

Huzhou, China

© 2010 Dan Denardo Photography


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thank You to The McKay Press

Thank you to The McKay Press for choosing one of my photos as the cover for their 2011 Calendar/Planner. I am honored to have them as a partner.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Subculture Sweethearts

While wandering the streets of Dusseldorf, I crossed paths with this couple. They were the sweetest, most gentle folks I met all week. In the few short minutes we were together, I was taken by their quiet spirit. And afterward, I was mad at myself for expecting something else...

I'm still a work in progress.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tall Timber


I recently visited one of my favorite pine forests.  It was planted decades ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  It has been years since I've been there.  The last time I was there, the shafts of late-day sunlight knifed their way between the up the forest like a laser light show.  I remember it being incredibly beautiful.  This time, however, things were different.  It didn't look the way I remembered it.  It had changed. The forest was more mature and it changed how the light reacted with the surroundings.  It wasn't as visually appealing as my memory of it.  I felt a little disappointed.

And then I looked up.

Wow!  The view knocked my socks explosion of color and grandeur that I never expected.  I plopped down on the ground like a kid making snow angels.....lying in the pine needles, I just took it in.  The sight, the smells, the sounds.... a sensory feast....and food for my soul.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunrise & Steel



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Green and Graffiti

Green & Graffiti
Dusseldorf, Germany

A few years ago, I had the good fortune of seeing Walter Iooss (pronounced Yoce) speak at a conference in New York City.  He is a photographer for Sports Illustrated with three hundred covers to his credit.

When asked his secret to photographing sports, he said, "Pick a great background and wait for the action to move into it."  I've always loved that strategy and it has been one of the guiding principles of my photography to this day.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Sunrise of a Brand New Day


The last sign of life on this blog was over two months ago.  I knew I was going to take a time out, but I didn't know how long it would be.  I promised myself it would be at least a week…figured it might even be two. Surely, it wouldn't be a month.   No way would it be two....

I felt the itch the very first week… I had something to say, but forced myself to stay quiet.  I had other personal projects to work on… and I just had other things goin' on.  And time was slip, slip, slipping away.

My style tends to be the polar opposite of "all talk, no action".  I prefer a lot of action and not much talkin'. I guess it's in my DNA.  Like my son once said to me when I was giving him a hard time, "Dad, it's the way God made me."  Hard to argue with that one….

As it turns out, kickin' my can into the sunset ended up being a longer stroll than I first thought..... a circumnavigation of my world.  And now I feel like I'm walking out of the sunrise into a brand new day. The break was good for me. "Ebb and flow..." as a good friend of mine says.  I didn't know I had any "ebb" in me.  I'm mostly "flow".  Maybe I've learned to set a different pace - forward momentum, to be sure, but maybe I'll opt to be the tortoise for a while… a slower flow … although I'm not betting the farm on my ability to adhere to that strategy.

In any case, it feels good to be back.

Oh…..and if the spirit moves you, check out one of those little projects I've been working on.  There will be more to come.

A big thank you to my some of my key clients.  It is with their permission that I am able to publish some of the images on my website - many of the images are from current global advertising campaigns.

Until next time…..


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mom and the Twins

As I drove to my office this past Friday morning, this scene caught my eye.  It was about 200 yards from my office.  Thankfully, I had a camera on the seat next to me.  I pulled over, lowered the passenger-side window and started clicking.  I never even unbuckled my seat belt.

One of my favorite American photographers, Jay Maisel, says, "It's very difficult to get a great shot if you don't have your camera."  I had the pleasure of hearing him say that in-person and I've never forgotten it.

I love seeing deer, especially fawns that are still in their spots. It was special -- made my day.

Here's to twins.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Waiting for My Soul


It seems like I've been going non-stop for a month or more. In the last four weeks I have been in Toronto, Minneapolis, Port au Prince, and New York City. This is the first weekend in a while that I've had a chance to sit down. I am very grateful to be busy doing a job I love, but I really felt the need to take a deep breath. I've finally been able to do that this weekend.

Today in Church, our Pastor told the following story:
A group of Americans made a trip with Brazilian natives down the Amazon River. The first day they rushed. The second day they rushed. The next day they rushed. The next day, anxious to continue the trek, they were surprised to find the natives seated together in a circle. When asked the reason for the delay, a guide answered, "They are waiting. They cannot move further until their souls have caught up with their bodies."

The story really resonated with me. I think I was meant to hear it. It's amazing to me how the right message seems to come my way just when I need it. I know it's not a coincidence. And I know where the messages come from. I just need to do a better job of listening.

(Photo above: Rice paddy, Bali Indonesia, November 2009)


Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Good Reminder

Last week, Jay reminded me of this image I captured a while back. I was glad she reminded me of this one, because I need constant reminders of how richly blessed I am.
I've always thought that a person's shoes tell a pretty accurate story of their circumstances -- their work, their passtime or their wealth (or lack there of). Think about it -- work boots, running shoes, hiking boots, dress shoes, flip flops, etc.
In the case of the young fellow above:

two lefts
two colors
too small
too worn

These are the shoes of an orphan.


Thursday, July 15, 2010



During our trip to Haiti, we witnessed far more than death and destruction. In fact, our mission was for the defined purpose of witnessing Hope. And we found it....remarkably, we found it.

This will be my final post of images from Haiti. However, in the coming days and weeks Ron and I will be revealing a website (and more) that we think will tell a story that is dying to be told. A true story of Hope.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010



I have visited my share of third world countries, but when I hit the ground in Haiti, I was in shock. Haiti was bad before the earthquake. And now there are 1.7 million people without a home. The magnitude of it all is incomprehensible. It was very difficult to look at. And I'm usually pretty good at looking at things.

Believe it or not, however, the biggest culture shock of all was coming back to the United States. It always is. At least it is whenever I return from a land of the "have nots".
Ron (my colleague) and I experienced the following:
  • We slept in a tent for 5 nights on ground covered with gravel.
  • We did not change clothes daily, as extra clothing would take up too much precious space. I wore the same pants all week.
  • Ate peasant food for 5 days (although I happen to like it).
  • Rode in the back of pick-up trucks over roads not suitable for oxen -- our "air-conditioning" was 45 mph super-heated air.
  • Spent the entire day in the hot sun with temps at or above 100 degrees F. Night-time lows of 80 F.
  • Took daily medication to ensure we didn't get malaria.
I'm not complaining. We had it good great compared to the 1.7 million living in tents or under tarps. And I really believe I was meant to be there. I loved that about it.  Re-entry into my world of over-consumption, walk-in closets, three-car garages, air conditioning, three square meals, Big Gulps and Starbucks on every corner now seems way over the top to me. I am glad for that.

Later this week, I'll be staying at one of the nicest hotels in New York City. It was chosen for me by my client who will be in the same hotel. I'll have every comfort of home and then some.....and I'll be haunted by the hotel pictured above....and the dozens of people that may still be buried in it.

Haiti's estimated death toll -- 230,000 and still climbing.

I pray that Haiti never becomes a distant memory for me.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Real Deal - Encore (by request)


Thanks for the request, Jay. I figure I owe you a few, since you helped talk me away from the delete button when my "post" total hit one hundred. At 100 posts, it seemed to me that I had said all I had to say, but you knew better. Thank you for that.


I spent twenty four hours (round trip) driving to my home town of Minneapolis this weekend. It gave me time to reflect on many things, including my journey to Haiti with Ron. Whenever I return from an international trip, it is always a struggle for me to settle back into a routine...especially if I've seen things that are difficult to look at. I cannot help but see the stark reality between the "haves" and the "have nots".

News flash -- If you are reading this blog, you are a "have".

Haiti has been the biggest contrast I have ever experienced and I cannot stop thinking about it. All of my trips change least incrementally. This time the change is much more than incremental. This weekend, I came to the realization that the difference was not just Haiti -- it was being with Ron...and seeing his heart.

When Ron works he is a one man show. The same is true for me. It's usually me, myself and I.

This time was different. We were working together as a team. And this time 1 + 1 = 3. As a result, I feel meaningful change coming on. And I feel God staring me in the face... and He is wondering which fork in the road I am going to take...


Next post: The Transition (back to my reality)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Real Deal, Finale


Ron is working the phone as we're about to enter one of the most dangerous slums in the world -- City Soleil, Port au Prince.


Yet another thing Ron excels at -- making connections with people.....especially kids.


Three school girls pose with Ron around the corner from our temporary home at Matthew 25 House in Port au Prince. Actually, the girls wanted nothing to do with him until I convinced them that he is Jackie Chan....well, not sure I really convinced them, but we all got a good laugh out of that.

You da man, Jackie!

(Ya'll didn't think I could be serious three days in a row, did ya?)

Love ya, bro.


Monday, July 5, 2010

The Real Deal


I've been away for the past week with my friend and colleague, Ron Sim. Ron is an award-winning cinematographer, photographer and journalist. We were on assignment together in Haiti. For this assignment, he decided to put down his cameras and pick up his pen. And he asked me to pick up my cameras.


We had an incredible week together. There were times when we were in harms way, but I never felt threatened. Ron is 'Special Op's trained' for any conceivable situation.... and he always had my back. As a result, I was able to capture some of the most meaningful images of my career....images that will soon join Ron's words to convey the hope of a nation that has been turned to rubble.


Dude, we laughed together and we cried together.....and there is no place on earth I would have rather been than with you this week. I'll never be able to thank you enough. And one thing I learned about you in no uncertain terms, is that YOU, my friend...

... are the real deal.

God bless you, buddy.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Off I Go...


When I was a teenager, I was in an accident that I should not have survived. I was riding my bicycle with a friend and a car going 50 mph hit my bicycle head-on. The collision left me lying motionless in the road.

My friend thought I was dead.

Seconds later, I popped up off the pavement and began dusting myself off. I walked away... with a couple scrapes and bruises and two stitches. That's it. And I am not exaggerating one bit.

I guess it wasn't my time. I figure God had more that he wanted me to learn and do HERE....on earth. I need to remind myself of that every so often. And I need to make every effort to fulfill His plan for me. I pray that I get better at that.

I may be out of touch for the next little while. I'll be with Ron, my friend and colleague. Yes, I'll be putting my cameras to work. Ron will be putting his cameras down, for a change, and will just put his pen to work. A collaboration we've both been looking forward to.....

And I'll be adding a couple things to my camera bag that have nothing to do with cameras or photography.

Off I go.....

in His service.

~~~ +++ ~~~

Friday, June 25, 2010




Thursday, June 24, 2010

O Canada


Blog Post #299.  Who knew?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Road Less Traveled


iPhone photo from a moving train.

Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Metaphor for My Life


Or so it seems some days....

(Union Station - Toronto, Ontario - Canada)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nova Scotia Guy


I crossed paths with this kindly gentleman this past weekend. I was walking along and passed by where he was seated...then I stopped...hesitated for a moment...and then kept walking. As I walked by, I knew I would regret it if I didn't ask to photograph him reading his paper.

I did a U-turn. And I asked.....

I've learned that I need to take action when I see someone I'd like to photograph. It haunts me for days if I don't ask. I figure the worst I'm gonna get is a "no". I find by treating people with dignity and respect, I get "yes" 99% of the time. I'm pretty sure the other 1% are people doing something they shouldn't be doing...and don't want to be seen doing it.

I don't consider myself very social at all, but for some reason, when I have a camera in my hands, it changes everything and there is nothing I'd rather do than get close to my subject, let my guard down and hope they do the same.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking Back #3 - Indonesian Woman


When I saw this woman in a remote Indonesian village, she called me over and asked if I would help her lift something into her little home. Actually, she didn't verbally ask - she made a series of motions with her arms and hands and I understood instantly. I gave her the hand she needed.

Then she began speaking to me and the only word I understood was "Sprite". I didn't really need one, but I knew it would please her if I accepted. I nodded and said, "Yes, sure". She brought me a Sprite in a glass bottle with a straw in it. And she got one for herself. For the next twenty minutes, we sat together on her front step and drank Sprite.... looking at one another, smiling and nodding.

Before I departed, I asked if I could snap her picture and she obliged. Well, I didn't exactly "ask"....I pointed to my camera, then to her. She nodded "yes". I snapped a few pictures, we bowed to one another and I was on my way.

Wearing her red wool hat and sweater, you would not guess that it was 95 degrees F outside. And she had no air conditioning. Nobody does. I guess she just liked to bundle up.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Looking Back #2 - Sincerity and Sacrifice


This past November, I had the opportunity to be on assignment in Bali, Indonesia. Every minute of it was amazing. The people of Bali left their imprint on me in no uncertain terms. They are generous, gracious, sincere and have a capacity to work that is staggering. I learned so much from them in nine short days.


This woman has prepared a sacrifice for the Gods and is about to deliver it to a predetermined location in the Hindu Mother Temple.

While I don't share the same religion as most of the Balinese, I am in awe of their spirituality and the way it permeates their culture. It is evident in every moment of their existence. Seeing it in action was a gift.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ruh Roh


Have you ever seen a sky like this? I have. It was in Raiders of the Lost Ark....just before the bad guys bit it.

As nasty as this looks, it was all show and no go. It passed over the wheat field tonight -- not a drop of rain and not much wind at all. Quite a display, however.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Low Hanging Foof


While I was messing around in the backyard last night, I caught a glimpse of this scene out of the corner of my eye. It must have been just five minutes before the sun disappeared below the horizon.

I yanked my iPhone out of my pocket and snapped a quickie. When I saw how nice it looked, I sprinted into the house for a "real" camera. My neighbors gave me the look that says, "Haven't you ever seen a cloud before?" It was either that, or the, "Good God, I think Dan is loopy" look. It was one or the other.

Yes, I have seen clouds before, but if I had a tall enough ladder, I may have tried to ride one of these to the southeast. They seemed low enough that I could almost touch them.

Yep. It's the little things. It always has been for me.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

K-9 Commander

I visited Officer Joaquin Guerrero yesterday, with a little gift in-hand. Officer Guerrero is a police officer and K-9 Training Commander for the Saginaw, Michigan Police Department. He is known far and wide as an expert in his field.

Officer Guerrero and his beloved German Shepherd, Rookie, were at "Ground Zero" in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Unfortunately, Rookie is no longer at his side - he died of cancer. It was determined that Rookie breathed in carcinogens while working in the rubble of Ground Zero, and it ultimately took his life.

Officer Guerrero has a new companion - Rookie II. I have had the honor of seeing them both in action. Perhaps you have tuned in to this blog when I've joked about Luci and Waldo (pictured above in the framed photo) attending "Charm School". In fact, it's not a joke at all. We've had the honor of attending Officer Guerrero's training classes - yet another way this amazing man gives to the community. And as you might imagine, the class is second to none -- just like Officer Guerrero.

In the days ahead, I'll be spending time with officer Guerrero and Rookie II. We'll be working on a special photo together to honor Officer Guerrero, Rookie and Rookie II. As a result of our project, it is my hope that a life-size photo will hang in his training facility.

If you'd like to know more about Officer Guerrero, Rookie and Rookie II, there is a TV documentary airing tomorrow evening. Check out this link for more information.

Friday, June 4, 2010




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God Beams


A couple years ago, I had the good fortune of spending a day with Moose Peterson, one of my favorite American wildlife photographers. We were together on a photo adventure in Red Rock Canyon, in the Nevada desert. I spent the entire day with him. It was one of my best days as a photographer.

Moose calls these rays of light "God Beams."

Good call, Moose.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This Nose Knows



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Don't Forget to Remember

Don't Forget

Freedom means more than a three-day weekend.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Over the Moon



Michigan Sun Dog


I love the little things.

And I love being around other people that love the little things. More and more folks are less and less impressed by the little things. They rarely give them a second thought. Or so it seems to me...

I thank God every day for giving me a childlike sense of wonder.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

She loves me, She loves me not...


When I originally posted this image, I posted it as "Untitled". I know - total cop out. I was about to leave town on assignment and wanted to get something posted before I hit the road. My mind was blank. I was tired and brain dead.

The next day, my friend Hindsfeet commented that it could be called, "He loves me, he loves me not..." What a brilliant idea. With her permission, I retitled this post, with a little tweek. I changed the "He" to "She".

Thanks, H. It couldn't be more perfect.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Morning with Farmer Murphy


I had the good fortune of photographing Farmer Murphy's magnificent barn two winters ago. The resulting photo has been one of my personal favorites.

In February, I gave Farmer Murphy a framed print. I could tell that he was pleased and proud that I recognized the beauty of his landmark. I asked him if I could photograph his barn a second time.....and this time I requested that he be in the photo. He agreed to it.

We finally got together yesterday. When I arrived, he greeted me with a firm handshake and I addressed him as "Mr. Murphy". He asked me to please call him, Dean. I agreed, but found out that "Dean" would not come out of my mouth. The only thing that would come out was "Mr. Murphy", or "Sir".

We walked and talked for about an hour before I ever took my camera out. We talked about life, farming and barns. And we talked about the likelihood that wooden barns will be gone in a few decades. In fact, Farmer Murphy is faced with a tough decision. He's torn between putting more money into the barn for necessary repairs or demolishing it. To maintain an old structure like this is very difficult and costly.

Times are tough for farmers. The need to buy seed, fertilizer, feed and to put food on his dinner table may soon outstrip Farmer Murphy's ability to keep the dream alive. Consequently, the days for his wooden barn or any wooden barn may be numbered. It's sad, but true.

Thank you, Farmer Murphy, for making my day yesterday. I've been so looking forward to spending time with you. In fact, I've been looking forward to it since that 9-degree January morning more than two years ago ... when you gave me permission to walk on your land and photograph your majestic landmark -- an American icon for hard work, a simpler time and a hard-wired connection to God's green earth.

May God bless you, Farmer Murphy .... and your difficult decision to come.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Outtakes #3


The Big Bang

Soooo...I was doing a little Four Generation thing in the studio for some dear friends, when the little guy decided to "turn one loose". I guess you could say we had a blast.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Outtakes #2


This photo was a total screw up on my part. I accidentally snapped the photo when the lens wasn't focused. Normally, I would have deleted this without a second thought. I was about to hit the delete button when I stopped cold. There was something about this image that I found intriguing. For me, sometimes it's what you CAN'T see that makes a photograph compelling. It leaves our minds free to wander.....


Monday, May 10, 2010

Outtakes #1


Sometimes my favorite photos are the ones that never make the cut. I suppose few people would ever opt for this shot, but I liked it instantly. (You know me: Road-Less-Traveled-Guy.)

It's real and it's honest.

How many times do we need to see the canned "say cheese" smile? Don't we have that one covered by now? I like how this picture tells a story. In this case, the "picture may be worth a thousand words" -- and I guess the 1000 words are mostly about evil Mr. Dan.

Can ya blame him?

He warmed up, however, and we had a grand time. What a cutie.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cotton Balls