Photographer: Nesrin Danan
Location: I live in Portland, Oregon. I'm in school for sociology at Portland State University, so I go to class during the day and go to shows at night. I live about ten minutes away from every venue in the city which is clutch, and on weekends, I travel. During the summer I tour.
Style: My focus is concert photos. I love, love, LOVE shooting live events. It's a challenge to work with lighting and movement during live shows which keep it interesting. Experimenting with colors is my favorite part of photography, and I get to do a lot of that when I'm touring and shooting shows. The music industry is just also so much fun, and I'm constantly surrounded by smart, talented people and I wouldn't trade that environment for anything. I kind of just fell into this career; I was shooting a lot of stuff when I started photography but my concert photos just got the most attention so I began to focus on that more. So yeah, live events and artist portraits are mainly what I'm known for.
Equipment: Canon 6D. My go-to lens is either my 85mm which is actually a film camera lens which I've rigged with an adapter, or my 20mm for flash nightlife portraits. Editing wise, I'm all about Photoshop.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
Keep shooting! I tell people this all the time. Just take a million photos and you'll be able to see "the moment" in post. DO NOT PUT DOWN THE CAMERA!
“You won't get paid for some work, and that's okay, but think before you shoot. Be able to tell the difference between opportunities and being ripped off.”
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
In my freshman year of high school, I took a film photo class, which is all my school offered. I learned everything about dark rooms, composition rules, and started developing my own photos. Then I took my camera to a Macklemore concert and took some photos, and people noticed me from that. That’s when I started working with D-WHY, and he introduced me to everyone I work with now, like Hoodie Allen, G-Eazy, and Mod Sun.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot.
That's a tough one. I'm not sure what my most memorable photo is because I feel like I grow with everything I shoot. One of my favorites though is when I got to shoot a Drake show for the first time. I was 18, hadn't been shooting very long, and a friend of mine set me up with a pass to the sold out show but he didn't tell me until 2 hours before it started. Basically I just showed up and I was the only person allowed to take photos, it was wild! Don't think those are my best photos anymore since that was two years ago, but it was such an amazing experience and makes me realize that I have some great friends.
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
Other photographers. I'm constantly stalking my photog friends' work, and looking at what they're shooting and how they're editing. Not as a copying thing, it's just inspiring. Gives me ideas and pushes me a little harder.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
An artist I used to shoot for a lot named David Morris was a huge influence on me, and I don't think he even realizes it. He's a really wise, talented man that I looked up to so much when I started my photography career -- the second show I ever shot was his. He introduced me to hella people that I still work with constantly today, and was always constructively critical of my work. One thing he said to me that I still remember and carry with me is, "The less you talk, the more people listen when you have something to say."
Tell us three photography tips.
1. Don't stick with settings. I'm always adjusting my shutter/ISO to get different lighting effects and sometimes at shows this is necessary. Learn how to operate your camera super fast so you can maneuver with lighting changes.
2. Know your worth. You won't get paid for some work, and that's okay, but think before you shoot. Be able to tell the difference between opportunities and being ripped off.
3. BE NICE. This is just as much of a photography tip as it is a life tip. No one likes a photographer who's an asshole. It's not about you; it's about the subject. Manners are important, and having people like you is a huge part of the job.
"BE NICE. This is just as much of a photography tip as it is a life tip. No one likes a photographer who's an asshole. It's not about you, it's about the subject."
Finish the sentence.
If I weren’t afraid I would... drop out of school and pursue photo full-time.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... I'd never made a Tumblr when I was 14.
I've been listening to... Panic! At The Disco's new album, Death Of A Bachelor.
Kids these days... are too concerned with likes, rather than quality content.
I look and feel my best when... I'm at brunch with my girlfriends.
When no one is looking I... stalk my ex on Twitter.
Traveling... is something you never regret.
I respect... Mindy Kaling.
Tag a friend to feature and ask them a question:
Ron Dadon, @ronathann. Why are you a photographer and not a full-time model? You're so stunning!
Ron Dadon answered: Thank you so much Nesrin that's so sweet of you! The main reason as to why I prefer being behind the camera is because I like to have creative freedom when capturing an image. I love playing with different lighting and scenes in ways that accurately portray the story I'm trying to tell. I also have so much fun editing afterward and bringing the photo to life again.
Being able to connect and collaborate with other artists and models is also a great part of being a photographer. Hearing other artists' opinions and ideas always really help inspire me. Don't get me wrong, modeling is absolutely beautiful and so much fun too, but I personally prefer to be behind the scenes capturing the photo!