Photographer of the Month: Dan Price

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Oct 16, 2017 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Dan Price is a Midwest-based freelance photographer whose aim is to capture the mood of a given moment.  

He got his start when a doctor prescribed daily walks as a part of his treatment in battling Lyme disease. Shooting surroundings that he was presented, like his backyard or a nearby field, became an important part of his recovery.  

Self Portrait. Potterville, Michigan. Photographer Dan Price
Self Portrait. Potterville, Michigan

Lansing Henge. Photographer Dan Price
Lansing Henge

Mundane places force him to see beauty in plain midwestern landscapes, small towns, and rust belt cities. Dan's goal is not necessarily to document subjects objectively, but instead to chase light and shadows, find the story in a sunset, a field, or a sand dune. Dan has found photography therapeutic, cathartic, and discovered he can worship while he shoots. Dan is married to Suzanne, and they have three budding young photographer kids: Jaden, Parker, and Owen.  

Once I found Dan on Instagram, I couldn't stop looking at his photos. He's an extraordinary photographer, and one I am proud to spotlight this month for our Wandering Educators. Take a look at his website and instagram, after reading his backstory here. I think you'll become a fan, too. 

Smoky Mountain Purples. Photographer Dan Price
Smoky Mountain Purples

Grand River in Holt, MI. Photographer Dan Price
Grand River in Holt, MI

How did you get interested in photography?
I didn't take a traditional route into photography, it was actually the by-product of some crazy circumstances. I had been very sick for several years with constant fevers, joint pain, fatigue, and so on. After a couple years of seeing doctors, getting tests run. and still having no answers, I was finally diognosed with Lyme Disease. As I was being treated for that, my doctor wrote a "script" telling me to walk every day for at least half an hour. At this point in my life, the fatigue was pretty intense, so this was no small task. But as I started to walk, I'd take my iphone 5 out and take some pictures. I started to fall in love with the process of framing photos, editing them, and then posting them to Instagram. The response to them was really positive, so I eventually bought a camera and started shooting more seriously.  
 
Even as I've recovered from Lyme disease and have gained most of my health back, the process of being in nature, walking, seeing the sky and the sun, and then capturing that moment to share with others has been such a cathartic rhythm that I don't think will stop. 

Okemos, Michigan Woods. Photographer Dan Price
Okemos, Michigan Woods

Okemos, Michigan Woods. Photographer Dan Price
Oak Openings. Toledo, Ohio

 
How long have you been a photographer?
I bought my first camera in August of 2015 and had been taking iphone shots for about 8 or 9 months before that. I got my first paying gig right away on a lucky shot of some storm clouds that rolled over my hometown of Lansing, Michigan. That ended up being on dozens of billbords across the country.  

Nature Trail. Lansing, Michigan. Photographer Dan Price
Nature Trail. Lansing, Michigan

National Treasure. Potterville, Michigan. Photographer Dan Price
National Treasure. Potterville, Michigan

What is your favorite place or thing to photograph?
1. Glacier National Park is probably a place I could live and never stop finding new places to photograph.  

2. I love shooting in and around Lansing. It's not a destination place, but finding the beauty in the ordinary is a challange for me that is really exciting. When people want to come in from out of town to shoot with me in Lansing, I know that I've represented this area well.  

Snow Bokeh. Holt, Michigan. Photographer Dan Price
Snow Bokeh. Holt, Michigan

Glacier Reflection. Glacier NP. Photographer Dan Price
Glacier Reflection. Glacier NP

How can photographers be a part of change in the world?
There are so many things to complain about, rage about, and fight about in this world, and sometimes it's good to engage with those things, but I really believe that humans need rest from the battle and photography is a way to give people a moment of respite in the middle of a 24 hour news cycle/crisis type of world that we all live in.  

Beyond that, there are so many possibilities with photography. One of my goals is do a Lyme Disease project. They call Lyme Disease "The Invisible Disease" because the symptoms aren't always obvious to those who come into contact with its patients. I'd like to bring awareness to the disease by doing portraits that show the pain of the disease, and make it "visible" to others. 

Sunset through a barn in Potterville, MI. Photographer Dan Price
Sunset through a barn in Potterville, MI

Smoky Mountain Sunrise. Photographer Dan Price
Smoky Mountain Sunrise

Do you have any trips planned for the future, and if so, what are you looking forward to?
By the time this is published I'll have spent two weeks on a trip partnered with Pure Michigan. I'll be shooting fall colors in the upper part of the lower peninsula. Then, I'm planning a trip to Bosnia sometime this year to come alongside a medical clinic that is working with amputees, and I'm hoping to get some time to travel and shoot on that trip. And then next summer I'm planning a trip to SE Asia and a family vacation out west again. The national parks are hard to beat and I want my kids to build memories of adventure and exploration our fair country.  

Milky Way over the Badlands. Photographer Dan Price
Milky Way over the Badlands

Solar Eclipse. Tellico Plains, TN. Photographer Dan Price
Solar Eclipse. Tellico Plains, TN

 
Any photography tips you want to share?
Generally everthing has been photographed objectively. Look for ways to express your emotions as you remember the places you visit. How do you capture the mood of a scene instead of just taking a technically "good" picture? Other people have taken "good" pictures of almost any place you've been. Find a new angle, reflection, focus on a detail, overexpose your photo a bit, try something new, experiment. 

Dirt Road Sunset. Holt, MI. Photographer Dan Price
Dirt Road Sunset. Holt, MI

Clingman's Dome. Photographer Dan Price
Clingman's Dome

Beyond that, everyone asks me about how to shoot the Milky Way, so here goes. Get a wide lens 12-20mm and shoot wide open on a tripod for between 15-30 seconds. Set your ISO between 3200-6400 and don't be afraid to overexpose and bring back the highlights when you process it.  

Winter Milky Way. Potterville, MI. Photographer Dan Price
Winter Milky Way. Potterville, MI

Wildfire in the Badlands. South Dakota. Photographer Dan Price
Wildfire in the Badlands. South Dakota

Check: 
www.instagram.com/danpricephoto  for his daily work, and
https://www.danpricephoto.com/ for his official web site.  

Mackinac Bridge. Photographer Dan Price
Mackinac Bridge

na Maria Island From The Air. Photographer Dan Price
Anna Maria Island From The Air

All photos courtesy and copyright Dan Price