Daniel Swalec Photography

Bio

Looking back, I have found myself realizing that even as I was growing up in suburban Detroit, MI, photography was a part of my life. Throughout my childhood I would often play with an old VHS tethered backpack video camera and would gladly take relatives cameras and play “family photographer” on holidays, mostly to avoid being in the photos. Throughout middle and high school, I worked for a company producing SVHS master recordings of local dance recitals and weddings and duplicating them to VHS copies for sale… back then SuperVHS seemed so high tech… This translated into my wanting to get into telecommunications after graduation, and I enrolled as a telecom major at Michigan State University. It wasn’t long after my first meeting with my advisor that I realized the courses that I wanted to take, doing projects with real cameras in my hands, weren’t available until the third year of my course load, meaning 2+ years of books and studying before I would be able to do what I really wanted. I proceeded to change my major into theatre with an emphasis on lighting design, and to take a job with the Sports Broadcasting Department. It was the best of both worlds; a camera on my shoulder, and I got to play in the theatre.

It wasn’t until university that I really began to discover still photography, and it was my work in theatre that first introduced me to the SLR camera. I purchased my first one, a Nikon N/F65, in the summer of 2005 after working at an amusement park outside Chicago. Needless to say I have never really looked back. Throughout university, I continued to study lighting design and technical theatre and without realizing it I was learning the basic techniques of portrait lighting. The concepts and ideas I learned in lighting for the stage has translated into creatively lit portraiture. After moving into the digital realm of still photography while I was in the mountains of North Carolina after graduation, I continued to learn and as my career in theatre furthered, I purchased my first speed-lights and modifiers and was off to the races…