Dan Milnor and a conversation (you may need to hear) about pro photography today
Today's guest is a photo book and creative evangelist. He loves photography, but he really does it for paying clients anymore, which he says has led to a more rounded interesting and better life. He spent twenty five years as a full time photographer mainly shooting documentary work for newspapers magazines clients in Nineteen, Ninety, seven, he quit photography, but in nine, hundred, ninety, nine talked into coming back. To work as a photographer then in two thousand and ten, he quit a game this time for real and today he works for Blurb the print on demand bookmakers he lives in. New Mexico one of the United States with his wife where he rides bikes explores and continues to work on his own documentary projects and create box that potentially no one will see or even care about. I stumbled across him on Youtube while rediscovering my passion for Photography and start shooting more for myself. He's breath of fresh air full of positivity even though he will potentially go against everything you've heard from any other guests of interview. Thing is crossed. This is a positive experience. All of us I'm talking about Dan. Mill Nor am truly rat to have him here this now Dan welcome might yeah. Thanks, I appreciate it. Wow. I've sounded amazing intro. Maybe. We should read that again. I'll send details to. Tell me why do you feel that you are? A happy better more random person now the shooting professionally. Oh, man it's a great question I just started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago. I've thought about it a lot but prior to that, but I made a realization a couple of weeks ago that I sort of pushed aside since two thousand ten when I made the decision to really walk away from being a full time photographer I became a better person almost immediately, and the reason for that is that being a professional photographer especially if you're trying to. Make your own work and not just you know sort of content with any assignment that comes along the Pike if you're trying to adhere or hold to a certain standard or style that may or may not have a home in the industry, it's very difficult, and so the consequently you're forced to think about yourself far too much. So the moment I quit photography, which was I think it was Tuesday afternoon in two thousand ten just said I'm done and I deleted my email account primary email account and I suddenly didn't have. To think about myself all the time I didn't have to speak about my business I. It was like being on the freeway letting your foot off the accelerator and all of a sudden you can lift back and say, wow, I can take a look around here and I realized one I've been focused on myself for far too long and I've been focused on a very narrow sliver of Tarpley for far too long. I should have been a more well rounded human being and educated in in areas that I wasn't also Just more educated in regards to the creative industry in general, you know what our designers doing, what are illustrators doing, what a writers doing why am I not collaborating with these people? You know it just was a wakeup call of sort of epic proportion and it's on me because I made the same realization in the nineties when I quit the first time and then I talked myself out of it I was like, oh I should do this again and I probably should have never gone back from ninety seven or ninety nine. I was like a square peg round of the photo industry I never really felt completely at home because my philosophy about what I was doing was not typical. And I WanNa make the pictures that other people were making I. Didn't WanNa make them in the style that other people were making them and I just kept finding myself swimming in quote unquote wrong direction and you know my colleagues and other folks in the industry were just like what are you doing? You can't do what you're doing and I thought well, you know I can and I am and it is. A weird scenario to end when you're constantly in the minority. But yeah, I just took a look around inside I need to stop thinking about myself so much and start thinking about other people but understand, hey, you had a chance to thanks so much about is still if you answerable to, I guess an editor so won't you focus on the work you had in front of you had to submit and get done. Well, it depends on what style what I'm shooting. So I made a couple of realizations very early. So I graduated from photo journalism. School. Ninety two I got an internship at a major newspaper ninety three to meet year to find an internship I was like banging my head against the wall. I found internship and ninety three. I got very fortunate because it was a big paper they had good budgets. They had a lot of photographers that I was rabid I was so amped on being talk refer and the photo editor realized that very quickly and it wasn't like I was a great talker or great inter. It was just that I was rabid and my pictures were in focused and I could talk to people without slobbering over myself and so I think the photo editor looked at me and said Oh. He's not a liability like I can actually give him good assignments. So I got good assignments. Photographer when you're working for a newspaper or a magazine Yes, you are almost entirely beholden to their editorial style it what the editor wants, photo editor, etc, and so found very quickly. You know what I could get away with in the newspaper world? Picture wise because we were a very conservative paper and I I would shoot things in in the field in my head as I was framing it up I'd say they're never gonNA run this even if it was a great image, I would say all the higher ups are GonNa make nervous they're not gonNA run. And when I went into the magazine world, it was the same thing I realized very quickly that I was not shooting my photographs shooting their photographs.