Spotlight Interview … Photographer Danny Santos II

Photographer Danny Santos II is in the “Spotlight” in this segment of  James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Danny for your participation.

Danny Santos II: Thank you for having me.

JRP: Danny where do you call home?

Danny Santos II: I’m from the Philippines, but have moved to Singapore almost 4 years ago for work.

JRP: What led you to your genre of photography? Do you have any formal training in your background?

Danny Santos II: Street photography was the first genre that really piqued my interest. Later on, I developed an interest with portraiture. Then somehow, I just sort of combined the two. Not only is it more real, the street is just an endless source of potential photographic keepers waiting to be captured. You just have to wait and work hard for it, and no, I did not have any formal training for this.

JRP: Who are some of the photographers that have inspired you and helped to shape your approach to photography?

Danny Santos II: Early on, I was looking at the works of Garry Winogrand, Daido Moriyama, William Klein, and Trent Parke. Though I haven’t really followed what they are doing, they did show me what was possible in the streets. Later, I saw the works of Philip-Lorca diCorcia and loved his aesthetics.

JRP: How important are personal projects to the development of a photographer’s growth?

Danny Santos II: I think personal projects allow you to create a road map to the kind of photography you want to specialize in and get known for. You get to practice what you’ve always wanted to do, and if you get lucky, you attract potential clients and get commercial jobs out of it.

JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?

Danny Santos II: I usually don’t bring a bag when I’m out shooting in the streets. I try to pick one lens and go with it for the rest of the day.

JRP: Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most used light modifiers?

Danny Santos II: Available light … sometimes, on client shoots, I use a reflector. That’s it. I guess it came from the street aesthetic that I’ve gotten  used to.

JRP: Could you please describe your still digital work flow and the software you use?

Danny Santos II: I review and edit my work in Lightroom, and make adjustments in exposure if needed. After which, I export the selected photos in to Photoshop and make selective adjustments on the highlights and contrast of the images.

JRP: As you look through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of your images?

Danny Santos II: Capturing something that you know can’t be captured again … or would be hard to recreate.

JRP: With today’s economy what changes are driving the photo market place and how have you adjusted?

Danny Santos II: I haven’t really been in the industry long, so I’m still finding my way through it. I am not yet in a position to notice any significant adjustments.

JRP: What seems to be the biggest obstacle to over-come in building a client base?

Danny Santos II: Coming up with a good body of personal work that will define you as a photographer and which clients will judge you by.

JRP: If not photography what would Danny Santos II be doing with his time?

Danny Santos II: I’m a graphic designer by profession and only do photography on the side. So if I don’t have photography, I’d still be doing graphic design and maybe another hobby like running, cycling, or maybe even painting.

JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Danny Santos II: I got this from Chase Jarvis’ blog, “Don’t try to be better… try to be different.

JRP: What advice would you like to share with photographers starting out?

Danny Santos II: Shoot a lot, experiment like crazy, and never stop looking for inspiration.

JRP: Thank you Danny for sharing your thoughts and images with us. We wish you continued success.

Danny Santos II: Thank you so much for having me.

JRP: To view more of Danny Santos II’s photography please follow these links:


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