My name’s Dan, I’m vaguely equal parts Scottish, English, Spanish and Italian, and to say my full name you have to use at least 3 different accents. I was born in Edinburgh but I’ve lived in London for 15 years now. As befits a nerdy introvert (check out my old blog) my day job and main profession is a front end web developer, photography’s just been a hobby that’s grown WILDLY out of control, fueled by a curious eye and inspired by the queer icons and collectives of East London.
I started out with simple snapshots of nights out in 2008, when it was my mission to try and capture those beautiful split-second moments of unguarded joy (whilst skipping some of the mess). This continued when I moved to proper club photography in 2012, and even when I changed to shooting mostly drag and cabaret performers it was always about capturing situations rather than things, looking for people’s reactions and the fun in the moment.
In ten years of taking hundreds of thousands of photos documenting queer nightlife (and deleting most of them), I’ve learned a lot about fun, queer culture, and how people see themselves. For the last couple of years I’ve tried to bring a lot of that to my portraiture, keeping an irreverence and a sense of fun, leaning into the ridiculousness and the fantasy of it, not getting bogged down in tiresome gender preconceptions, and focusing more on the person and their character. After all it’s all just a different point of view, but no less true for that.
After a year of shooting friends who were performers on the east London drag circuit, I heard of an opportunity to show an exhibition at Dalston Superstore which was pretty awesome. 40 portraits of kings and queens displayed in the scene that most of them came up in. It was a collaborative crusade to learn from, signal-boost and celebrate some of the local queer icons out there writing their own rule books. The exhibition ran for two months at Dalston Superstore in Autumn 2018, though it being my first I didn’t really capitalise on it, and I’ve no idea how to do something similar again!
To make a booking or if you have any questions, get in touch!