Welcome Don, from DZR Images!!
I started shooting and developing my shots in high school. All film. Wish we had digital back then. In fact, I moved to California thinking that I would go to Brooks Institute. As life is, things changed and I took a different direction. I went to USC film school, but upon graduation, I immediately took a job I thought I would never do – bond trading. My father was a trader in the Midwest where I grew up, and I kind of followed up in his footsteps. I started at a small regional firm here in Los Angeles and ultimately was trading for Deutsche Bank’s NASDAQ floor in downtown LA. That would close down after 9/11 and the recession to put me where I’ve been for the last 10 years. While that was going on, the digital boom came and I couldn’t resist. All that technology at little cost. I was an early adopter in 2004 and haven’t stopped.
DP: As you know, I love your work. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I like shooting people in general. Music is my passion for a whole host of reasons. But cute chicks and babies work too. I’m not much for still life or scenic. Not because of a lack of interest, but because every attempt is usually unsatisfactory to me. HDR has changed that a bit. But people and their eyes are most intriguing to me.
DP: The pictures of your baby are so gorgeous. Great subject matter there!
You are on our website as Decadent Publishing’s House Photographer. How did that happen?
Heather [Bennett] of Decadent Publishing had seen some of my album artwork, was extraordinarily complimentary, and thought that it would add a bit of a twist to have me shoot a music themed novel. I was definitely looking to expand my horizon of subjects so I shot the cover of Joy Ride. I believe one or two of my other shots grace the covers of Decadent. I can’t wait to do the next one!
DP: Besides Desiree Holt’s Joy Ride, your work also covers Becca Dale’s Can’t Stop Me and Run Devil Run: A Paranormal Anthology. What was it like seeing your work as a book cover?
Awesome! Anytime somebody appreciates my work, I’m grateful. More important, it feeds my ego!!
DP: What images for Decadent are your favorites?
Well, the Jackie and EJ cover for sure -- and all the images that Decadent readers didn’t see from that shoot. The Run Devil Run catalog is nice, but here’s a case where cute chick trumps the musical passion; by a long shot!
DP: You have a certain ‘style’ that is becoming recognizable on the Strip. How did that evolve?
At first, trying to make horrible pictures look good. Then when the pictures got good, I liked the techniques I was applying and continued using them on most all of my images.
DP: ‘Happy Accident’, to be sure. It’s fabulous. Do you have any other creative outlets you like to explore?
Being a daddy. My daughter has actually become my number one subject of late. But I’m also going to resume my music video shooting again. There [are] samples on my site of some of my early stuff. That was all done prior to HD. But, again, the technology has evolved so fast, that I can shoot full HD for next to nothing. I wasn’t going to make the expenditure until Nikon had every feature I wanted, which looks to be coming in their latest release expected at the end of summer.
DP: Thanks, Don. I have enjoyed following your photographic journey and look forward to working with you more!
Speaking of DZR book covers, we’ll give away a copy of Can’t Stop Me and a copy of Joy Ride today! Check out DZR’s website and tell me one picture that you love, then comment here to win.