Creating the Photograph: Dan Bannister’s “The Boxer”

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach you about how they concepted an image, shot it, and edited it. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching readers how to light. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Photographer Dan Bannister has been featured on this site a number of times but most notably with the Blacksmiths. His work has evolved and more clients ask him to shoot video in addition to stills. And so the idea behind “the boxer” is an interesting one. “Walking into a set and shooting stills of what you see when it’s been lit for motion can be a real challenge, especially when the client needs the stills at F11,” says Dan.

And so Dan tells us about how he tackled the challenge.

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The Importance of Photographers Putting Their Best Foot Forward

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All images by Dan Bannister. Used with permission.

Photographer Dan Bannister is all about not only doing creative photo projects, but he also understands the the importance of networking. When he did The Blacksmiths and #WokeUpLikeThis, he understood that he needed to get eyes on his work–so he contacted me. But Dan also knows just how important to it is for people to know about what you’re doing. So every year, he mails a sketchbook called the Assistants. It goes out to art director, designer friends and clients every year. “The theme is ‘The Assistants’ because the book contains images of light tests with assistants from various commercial and editorial shoots, paired with the final finished image we were actually shooting for the client.” says Dan. He’s been doing it for four years.

After a couple of years, he gets calls from designers and art directors reminding him to send them one. “I get designers asking for an opportunity to design it because there’s so much latitude and opportunity to really make it their own.”

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The Blacksmiths Profiles a Disappearing Craft

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All images by Dan Bannister. Used with permission.

Some portrait projects are also documentary projects–that’s the case behind Dan Bannister’s latest series called: The Blacksmiths. This project was important to him because he loves pursuing personal projects in addition to his commercial work. It was designed to bring light (so to speak) to manufacturing business being sent offshore in addition to the rate that it’s been disappearing. Further, the project uses creative framing and lighting to highlight the hard work that these people do for their craft.

Dan has been featured on the Phoblographer before for his #wokeuplikethis photo project. As you can tell, Dan has an affinity for photographing people.

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Dan Bannister’s #Wokeuplikethis Features Models Without Makeup

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All images by Dan Bannister. Used with permission.

Photographer Dan Bannister is behind the #wokeuplikethis photo project; which plays on the popular Instagram hashtag but specifically showcases professional models without makeup. Dan is a commercial photographer that works with models, makeup, and all the production elements you can possibly think of. But for this project, he tells us, “I wanted to create some images that were devoid of all the elements that go into typical shoot with models and present images that were more about the subject in a raw sense.”

We chatted with Dan about the process of taking portraits like this and the motivation behind it.

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