Dan Stone is one of our Top 30 under 30 featured photographers.
Here’s a little bit more about him, what he does, and some of his best advice:
Tell us how you got started in photography.
I got interested in photography in high school. I think it was grade 10 or 11 and I was maybe 15 or 16. No one in my family was into photography or arts of any type, but I had a very generous graphics teacher that gave me an old manual Pentax camera for the summer and 20 rolls of B&W film. I was volunteering at a summer camp that year and I spent all summer photographing people having fun, beautiful landscapes and rock concerts. As soon as the summer was over I bought my first camera (I still didn’t have one of my own) and it was always with me. I was drawn to textures, roughness and shapes that came with hard light and I quickly decided that I liked shooting in direct sunlight or artificial light where shadows are distinct. That has actually been a constant for me, in that I’m drawn to the dramatic and I always love manipulating light.
Now that you are one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 wedding photographers, what’s next for you?
Oh I dunno, world domination….
No, but seriously accolades and recognition are great and I am super excited to be recognized in this way. Being one of Canada’s “Top 30 under 30” doesn’t really change anything about how I go about being a photographer. I will still strive to make my clients as happy as can be while still pushing the limits of my imagination.
How has attending photography seminars or photo conventions such as the Canada Photo Convention benefited you as a photographer?
Information, inspiration, affirmation…. take your pic.
The first convention we ever went to we learned a great deal about lighting and getting the most out of every situation we encounter. As we went to more seminars we found that they weren’t so much about straightforward information, but rather inspiration. These seminars focused more about ideas and emotion for us and a time to recharge our creative batteries. Finally as we have matured as photographers conventions have become more of a reassurance of what we are doing – sort of an encouragement that “yes” we are doing things right and others feel as we feel.
Conventions like CPC are not just about learning, but also about community and inspiration.
What does it mean to you personally to be a young wedding photographer in Canada?
It was a little strange in the beginning when our clients were always older than us by at least 5-10 years. We always felt like we had to act older or more mature than we were. In reality it probably never really mattered. Now our clients are most often our age or a little older and it feels like we are sort of in the prime time of our careers as far as client reliability goes. It’s just a really fun time to be shooting weddings. We get to have a blast with our couples and be creative, it’s just a really fine career to have in your late 20’s ;)
Tell us about a pinch-me moment that you had where you just couldn’t believe that this became your life.
Ummmmm…. Becoming one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30!
To be honest I don’t really know what I would point out as a “pinch me” moment in my life. I am blown away every day that I get to take pictures of people on their wedding days for a living. It blows my mind that we started this business when we were 20 and now 8 years later we are still here, still doing our thing, and still loving every moment of it.
What’s one thing you would say to another photographer that’s just getting started?
Don’t be afraid of failure; be of a growing mindset where you can learn from every success and every mistake. Never pass up an opportunity to learn and grow.
Oh, and get a very good accountant.
To see more of Dan’s work, check out his website here.