JT - Dana, where are you from and how old are you?
DANA - I’m from Oceanside, California, Born and raised, Never want to leave, 23 years old.
JT - How did you get into shooting photos?
DANA - I’ve always shot photos for fun, the first camera I had was a Diana F plus. I fucked up a lot of the times, rolls didn't come out, but I always kinda of liked it. It was mainly just for friends and taking pictures of friends doing stupid shit. But not until 3 years ago, did it turn into what it is today. Honestly, a lot of it has to do with Instagram, and that's a love hate relationship. I don’t really like it that much, but I got recognition from that definitely. 3 years ago Lenni The Label reached out to me and that’s when I started to do it career wise.
JT - Did you go to school for it?
DANA - Nope, my Dad was always pushing us to be creative in some way. My sisters both went to school and decided it wasn't the best option for me. He was always super supportive of the photo thing, so I just kept doing it, he bought me a couple of cameras. He supported my sisters by helping pay for their college and for me I got a couple cameras so it worked out.
JT - You have a style that stands out and is very different, where does your inspiration come from?
DANA - A really large inspiration for me is 70’s SciFi, kinda the way people perceived the future. That combined with surrealism. I've always liked when photos are super distorted, and they don’t really make sense. Like if I ever have to ask a photographer “how did you do that?!’, that's what I really admire and try to emulate as well. Never having a exact formula for everything.
JT - You introduce a lot of other mediums into your photo work with collages and paintings, How did that come about?
DANA - I kinda started into the whole art world through painting and drawing and I just kinda wanted to mix everything all together to keep me from getting bored. I always like trying something different and experimenting because if you only do one thing, you're gonna get sick of it. I find that if I continually try to add different things to my work, it stays fun.
JT - What cameras do you use, What’s your setup?
DANA - When I started shooting a lot, it was the most stressful thing ever. I tried to carry 5 different cameras with me; I had the Polaroid 600 series, a Land Camera, 2 film cameras, and a digital just for reassurance. I didn't really use the digital camera and I was dropping film rolls everywhere. I was a fucking mess. I still am a mess, but lately I feel like I am growing slowly. Now I typically just use this camera for everything (pulls camera out of bag). Its the last film camera Nikon ever made, the F6, and I’ll either use this fixed 20 millimeter for the wide angle lens or the 50 millimeter. And if I’m doing anything low lighting, like the orbs, I’ll use the Canon Mark III with a 24-70 wide angle lens. At 24 it looks really crazy and distorted, that’s my favorite. If you shoot girls with this set up their limbs look crazy long.
JT - Let's talk about how you recently ended up shooting the new catalog for Bum Bag.
DANA - That was awesome, you all are like family to me so I was super excited to work with everyone. I grew up with everybody in this scene and I really latched onto it. I like how supportive everybody is, and how loving, also how creative everybody is and it's a hard scene to leave.
JT - In that shoot you used some crazy light up cubes and spheres that I've seen you use before, what's up with those things?
DANA - I love to incorporate something different prop wise into my photos, and the Orbs I've been working with are amazing for low light, they are super fun. Its called Loft Tech and it's a bunch of different light up orbs and pyramids
JT - I saw you also recently use a 5ft metallic blow up ball haha…
DANA - Yea, I often use anything that catches my eye. Even if I don't know what it is, if it's different I want it. I was also making my own props out of wood for a while, like the butterfly and what not, I’m not super good at woodworking but in a photograph it doesn't really matter, so it's ok.
JT - I'm a big fan of it all. Any future goals for your photography and the industry you are in?
DANA - I just want to keep growing and keep experimenting and doing shit that's different. I find it hard when influences are everywhere, and if your photos are everywhere people will do the same thing, so you have to just keep on moving and keep doing different stuff. Working for other brands is amazing and it's taught me so much, but I definitely want my own baby. Whether that is a creative company or a clothing line, which I'm in the works on and have been for a couple of years. If I have my own line and work for myself I don’t have to compromise anybody else's visions for my own, that'll be nice :)
Feast your eyes on her work below... Buy prints here