Meet Allen Daniel
Photographer Allen Daniel is known for his beautiful portraits of music artists, his striking style, and obviously - his models with cool glasses.
I got a chance to sit down with him to chat a little about the creative environment he works in, where he looks to find inspiration, networking tips, and what is upcoming goals are. Check out our exclusive shoot with him as well as our interview, and make sure to follow him on Instagram.
AJ: I'm excited to be here chatting with you! Now - you're a photographer here in LA - is there anything else you focus on?
AD: Likewise! I've been recently focusing on doing more video work. It's funny cause I've kinda been thrown into it by clients I go on tour with.
AJ: That's exciting! So I know that a lot of your photography interests are based around music and that community (can't help but comment on that cool Snoop pic). Is that were the video aspect comes into play? Music videos and concerts?
AD: It's very exciting. The more videos I create the more fun it gets. Thank you! Getting to do that shoot was definitely an amazing opportunity which led to shooting Wiz & Snoop again because the first time went so well. Video did not come from there. It came into play when I started working with DJ's more and more. At first they wanted me to create short raw clips for them which led to me creating tour recap videos when they brought me along. I'm currently getting into producing music videos actually!
AJ: Aaahh gotcha! Very cool. Yeah that Snoop picture is stellar. Definitely looks like an awesome opportunity - when you're looking to constantly find bigger and better opportunities, where do you focus your search and what are your strategies? Any tips for aspiring creatives?
AD: I honestly just stick to networking constantly backstage. Meeting managers. Learning who is who. Establishing friendship and making sure I stay in contact with people. Going to parties/events if you're invited and just meeting who ever I can. Cold emailing is another huge part of my strategy. I still do it till this day if I really want to connect with someone and haven't met them yet. I feel like it's always important to make the extra effort. The fashion side of my photography has been interesting cause thats all been through Instagram and making connections on productions.
AJ: That's absolutely true. As creatives sometimes it's easy to feel a little removed from the networking aspect but it's always the most important thing! You're a working photographer - what are your thoughts on this current Instagram Lifestyle photographer thing - legit, or totally not?
AD: I can definitely see that but luckily it's a very exciting thing for me. It's not easy putting your wall down and opening up to people you don't know in unknown environments. Well I don't want to bash on anyone on what they decide to do. At the end of the day photography is a art form. People decide how they want to express it. It's obvious some are more passionate than others but some have wrong intensions behind it where they aren't doing the art form anymore for themselves but for their following. The thing with social media is you can control peoples perception of you which will make it seem you live life a certain way.
AJ: Absolutely. We talk about that in the office a lot - the whole point of the creative is the thought behind it and the perception when people see it. Everything else is up to personal perception! So talking about social media what are your favorite channels? Any cool new apps or sites you've seen?
AD: Thats for sure! Well I love youtube! Ha! It helps with so much from learning things to pure entertainment. Every once in a while when I have some down time I will go onto a site called creativelive.com and tune in on a live lesson to possibly pick up on something I can apply to myself. As far as cool apps, "Phhhoto" I really dig creating on. It's kind of a new app. Funny enough, I've been on it long enough where I have gotten involved with the community and owners. I like to think of it as a social media for creatives. In the app you can create gifs and upload them to your profile. I love the challenge of only being able to create in app and not uploading anything from an outside tool. It has become a regular thing for me to use during shoots.
AJ: Oh wow! Good insight. I love hearing about the educational aspect of it. The typical response for that question is instagram and snapchat! I've been seeing a lot of political art, writing, graffiti, etc. It seems like lots of artists and creatives are using their voice to display their opinion and dislike of the current things happening in our country. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and whether you like to utilize your work to speak for something, or prefer to keep it for art and creative works that are visually stimulating instead of vocalizing a thought.
AD: Thanks! I definitely stay away from expressing anything about politics. Not my cup of tea. I prefer to keep it for art and evoking some kind of emotion for someone when they view my work. Been trying to do that with my new daily project. I would like to travel to other countries in the near future and do some humanitarian projects that involve art.
AJ: Oh that's exciting! What are the top destinations on your list?
AD: I have way to many but I'll name a few: Sweden, Norway, Japan, Prague, Egypt
AJ: Cool, that's an interesting list! Japan is high up there for me right now! I keep seeing this really deep blue in your color grade - where did the inspiration for that come from?
AD: Thanks! Japan is a must! I might be going this year! Fingers crossed! Honestly, it's cause I enjoy cool tones more vs warm. I love how moody it makes things.
AJ: And lastly, how does art empower you? How would you like to see others empowered by it?
AD: As cheesy as it sounds I am obsessed with being creative. It makes me feel complete and happy. My life seriously revolves around creating. So seeing art always inspires me to push myself further than I can imagine. I hope art empowers people in only a positive way.