Meet Dan Glasgow of Dan Glasgow Photography in Raleigh, NC. Dan’s focus in on-location modern children and family portraits. He uses Canon equipment, shoots RAW with his right eye, in manual mode and uses TRA and Kubota actions as well as his own created actions and presets.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
When I realized I couldn’t do this and give everything away! If something interests me I throw myself into it — I want to learn all I can, experiment, improve, create. It took me a while to recognize how much I was drawn to photography, but once I really got started I knew I was hooked. It’s been a very natural progression for me.
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
The importance of understanding the business side of things; someone told me that when I was just starting to consider phootgraphy as a career, and I’m grateful for that advice. I’m always learning something new about this art, but that’s one of those things that has really stuck with me and helped me grow.
What makes you different from everyone else?
Great question. I like to ask myself the same thing about my clients…what is it about this baby, these siblings, this family, that make them who they are? I try to answer that question with my images, so when you look at them, you feel connected to the people in the photograph.
One item you can’t live without?
I really do like coffee. I’ve given it up before, because I don’t like to think “I can’t live without it”, but I really like it. Especially Peet’s. And Illy.
Your best bokeh image and why?
this one of they little boy in the woods. I really love the warmth and the way the light and the leaves just wrap around him and create this magical golden background.
I’m really enjoying “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp right now. And “The Lovely Bones” — powerful story and so well-written.
That depends on the day of the week! The Dark Knight, Kill Bill Vol. I and II, Ferris Beuler’s Day Off. My kids have discovered Star Wars, so I get to watch those all over again!
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s everywhere. movies, art, commercials, music, magazines, being around people, driving. It’s rare that I’m not out somewhere and making a mental note of something that I saw or heard. It doesn’t have to be visual. For me there’s different kinds of inspiration — there’s the kind that makes me want to pick up my camera right now and go shoot, and there’s a more abstract and emotional experience or idea that I collect and let it blend with everything else in my head, and I think that shapes what I do in the future.
What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
my creative eye and my clients. Without those two things my business wouldn’t exist.
Do you use a second shooter?
no, it’s just me.
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Be confident and show that you’re passionate. If you want someone to give you a chance, you need to be sure of your abilities.
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I’ve admired Susan Stripling’s work for a long time, and was fortunate to get some good advice from her when I was starting out, and it would be cool to work with her. For kids, I think Audrey Woulard or Barb Uil. All three of those photographers have a real distinct quality to their work… you know it’s theirs as soon as you see it.
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Convince myself that I could do it!
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Having a business plan is so important. Moving forward and growing is difficult if you’re unsure where you’re headed.
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)? If for, who have you had the most success with?
I’ve been most successful with word of mouth and referrals.
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
It has to be fun, right? Ideally everyone involved should be able to walk away feeling like they gained something.
Anything else you would like to share?
Shoot for yourself. Work hard. Try to be different, and create amazing images. Push yourself.
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